I've spent a lot of time changing trains at Doncaster and hanging out on platforms with hastily snatched coffee watching locomotives roll through this large South Yorkshire market town station. It wasn't until I happened upon a certain (currently) purple haired girl of mischief, one Miss Dannielle of Chicadeedee blogging fame, and was invited to leave said station for an hour or two (ok, actually a house-warming party) that I managed to see a little more than industrial rooftops.
Originally a Roman Fort built in the 1st Century AD, Doncaster was built
on the riverbanks of the Don, and is known to most English people for
the deep seam of coal and heavy industry. Or as my Northerner puts it
"those lads are hard men". Because of this when we popped in for
afternoon tea at Lord Hursts, found about 10 minutes walk from the train
station in a leafy suburb, we were surprised to say the very least.
It is simply like falling down the rabbit hole to Wonderland. Yorkshire-style.
The quirky, fantastic and darn magical tea rooms are owned and operated by the eponymous (self styled, florist by trade) Lord Hurst and his partner, and simply overflows with wonderful character.
Our mostly homemade tea was sorted super quickly (including my gluten free on a separate stand) whilst we admired all the glorious details - carnations on the mismatched teaware, sandwiches between alternating white and brown bread slices, the glorious collection of kitsch ornamentation and liberal splashes of whimsy.
London afternoon teas need more whimsy I feel (except maybe the Mad Hatters Tea and Teanamu - they are already perfect.) I wanted to nick everything, I'm not going to tell a lie... instead I settled for slightly blurry photos and a promise to re-visit soon...
This is one of the joys of hanging out with locals in their (adopted) homes - discovering gems that blow your mind...
Go, go now. Hop in your car or buy a train ticket - it's well worth a day trip out of London... Make sure to call Lord Hurst and book in advance (they can even do gluten free, but need a little advance notice).
I bloomin' love England.