I recently had the pleasure of taking my Husband for a celebratory afternoon tea in Burford. Afternoon tea is his absolute favourite thing to eat and whilst I’ve lived in Oxfordshire my entire life, we’ve rarely visited Burford despite having heard such wonderful reviews of the beautiful Cotswold town. Often referred to as the ‘gateway’ to the Cotswolds and a firm favourite of local unnamed A listers; we were keen to go and explore this idyllic part of Oxfordshire.
Unlike many tourist towns, we found there were a number of places to park in Burford, both roadside and in the large free car park which is situated at the lower end of the town next to the River Windrush.
We were incredibly fortunate with the weather as the sun was shining and Burford was glistening and bustling with happy shoppers. I was immediately taken in by its charm and history. The famous sweeping high street offers a fantastic view both up and down the cobbled streets. Beautiful Cotswold stone boutiques run either side and so many interesting little independent stores, tearooms and antique shops.
As we made our way up the high street I couldn’t resist a quick stop at The Cotswold Cheese Company. There were many artisan and farmhouse cheeses to choose from (over 120) with a real focus on local quality producers. I settled on a piece of Baron Bigod which never disappoints and packs real flavour and creaminess.
We went along to Huffkins Bakery & Café which had been recommended to us as a great place for a delicious and well-priced afternoon tea in Burford. We received a friendly welcome from our waitress who sat us on a lovely window table where we could continue to watch the world go by.
On arrival, we were asked to choose which afternoon tea we would like and were offered the following*:
*Please note: prices and menu may have changed since this review was written.
We decided on the Classic and were given a choice of plain or sultana scones. This impressed my husband who isn’t a fan of sultanas but has rarely been given the choice at afternoon teas gone before. It also avoided an early disagreement as I adore a sultana scone. We were informed that the sandwiches were a mix of Egg Mayonnaise, Chicken with bacon and Tuna Mayonnaise but asked if we had any allergies or if we would like to replace anything with a different filling. We were happy with the selection so continued with it.
The first thing I noticed when the afternoon tea came out was how stunning the choux cakes were and how well filled the sandwiches were. We are frequent afternoon tea goers and I’ve sampled a wide variety of differently priced teas over the years and for me, the sandwiches are a really important part of it. The crusts had been cut off, a small but significant detail. They were all served in brown bread, I would personally have preferred a variety but they were all so well filled with delicious and moist fillings I could forgive that decision.
Onto the scones, although we were only given one scone each, they were large scones so I couldn’t have eaten anymore. They were beautifully soft and just warm out of the oven. Served with Rodda’s clotted cream and Tiptree strawberry jam. Scones are always a contentious tier for my husband and I who have disagreed for over 20 years as to which way round the cream and jam should go. I of course do it the correct way with jam then cream (the ‘Devon’ way) and he insists on the Cornish order but we’re so happy eating away we tend not to let it ruin the tea.
By the time we reached the top tier of cakes, we were somewhat full! I knew I wouldn’t have room for it all but in the interest of writing a fair review I made sure to have a little of each (such a chore!).
I had to start with the Strawberry Choux as it looked incredible. Generously filled with strawberry flavoured fresh cream and topped with strawberry icing and flecks of dried strawberries. It really was a taste sensation, even if a little messy.
I had a small piece of the other three cakes. Carrot cake, Raspberry Blondie and Fruit cake. They were all delicious but the Carrot Cake was a close second to the choux. Nutty and perfectly balanced spice with just the right amount of cream cheese on top.
We were offered a box to take home the leftovers which was most appreciated. We were genuinely impressed with our afternoon tea and full to the brim. At less than £20 each we felt Huffkins in Burford offered very good value for money and a bonus to be able to wander around beautiful Burford before and afterwards.
I popped next door afterwards to Huffkins takeaway café and could see many of the cakes we had enjoyed, including the beloved choux, on the counter. We may return just for the tea & choux another time!
As we reached the car park, we took the opportunity to wander up to the River Windrush and see the river and surrounding area. So very pretty and lots of footpaths available to explore alongside it.
We had a fabulous day in Burford and it really has reignited our love for both Cotswold towns and Afternoon Tea! I saw many restaurants and pubs I would love to try so we will be back soon to try another.
Cotswold Gate is an exclusive development of 67 elegant, energy-efficient, new homes located on Shilton Road, opposite The Burford Garden Company and less than a mile from Burford High Street.
These stylish, new homes are arranged in three courtyard settings – The Woodchester, The Highbury and The Wychwood, comprising a collection of two and three-bedroom apartments and two-bedroom houses. Designed for the over 55s, each new home provides an abundance of living space, regardless of the number of bedrooms.
The majority of homes feature a terrace, balcony or private garden – or a combination of these, along with allocated parking. Private gardens, as well as the beautifully landscaped setting, will be fully maintained by the Estate Manager.
At Cotswold Gate, you’ll be able to socialise with like-minded neighbours in the comfortable residents’ lounge – which will soon become the hub of community activities and, when your family and friends come to stay, you’ll be able to book the luxurious guest suite.
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