The serving of English tea and home-made cakes has been an important part of the award winning appeal of Upton Cressett Hall since the 1970’s. Guest visitors to Upton Cressett are served traditional English tea, scones and cake against the chic and elegant backdrop of Lady Laura’s stunning millinery creations in the old tea room which is close to the parking courtyard at Upton Cressett. For opening times see here.
With the scones hand-made by Laura herself, the Upton Cressett cakes are all made fresh to order for us from an acclaimed local bakery close to Much Wenlock. ‘I have sourced the best local baker who makes out cakes specially. It will very much be a celebration of the local produce spirit’ says Laura.
‘Many people who come to a heritage jewel of Shropshire like Upton Cressett just want a day out’ she adds. ‘They want to enjoy delicious home-made cake and scones with a pot of English tea, and then stroll around the gardens and the woods. They may not want to have the house tour, so we are encouraging people to come for an afternoon out that is a true step back in time’
‘My millinery studio has rows of colourful hats displayed on the walls and shelves and is like a garden of colour inside. The Millinery Tea Room also celebrates the spirit of the Shropshire artisan. Last season, we found that many visitors to the Hall also enjoyed seeing inside my millinery craft studio so we thought why not serve teas as hats and English tea have always gone together’.
The idea to serve teas with the backdrop of her hat displays came out of Laura being commissioned by Fortnum & Mason department store in London to make a collection of bespoke summer hats for their showroom.
‘Whenever I visited Fortnum’s, I would often have tea with clients in their old fashioned tea-room as well and I realised that a hat studio would make the perfect backdrop for an elegant tea room’.
Tea rooms are on the rise across England with Visit Britain, the government’s tourist body promoting British tourism over seas highlighting the British tea room as a key part of its latest £3.5 million Britain is GREAT campaign to encourage more visitors from abroad to get beyond London and explore counties like Shropshire.
Laura has made hats for real royalty as well as such celebrities as Elizabeth Hurley, including several hats in her new TV series The Royals. She has also made hats for such international brands as Veuve Cliquot champagne and royal chocolatier Charbonnel et Walker. Laura’s hats are for sale in her tearoom and via her website www.lauracathcart.com.