A cream tea and a castle

Yesterday was my second outting of the weekend, and I took my friend to Ruthin Castle in Clwyd. Usually when we go into Wales we go along the coast, visiting Llandudno, Conwy and more recently Anglesey. I was a little concerned that Ruthin wouldn’t have the natural beauty that we love. Boy was I mistaken.

Ruthin is in an area of outstanding natural beauty: you are surrounded by hills and vales and woodland. The town, although we didn’t visit it as such, is quaint and picturesque.

Ruthin Castle Hotel stands at the edge of the town and you enter under an impressive arched gateway. As you drive up, the medieval ruins of the castle are on your righthand side, tempting you to walk around the hotel’s extensive grounds.

The hotel itself, although more modern, still retains an air of grandeur and certain parts of it still look like a castle with their beautiful red brick. Inside, the hotel is luxuriously decorated and befitting it’s description: unfortunately on this occasion, we were not staying the night.

We were taken to Bertie’s restaurant and whilst I was initially dismayed as I booked the library bar, we were not disappointed. We were sat near a beautiful window, draped with heavy rich curtains. The window was open, allowing a delightful breeze to enter and a chance to see the pretty gardens below. The restaurant itself was tastefully decorated and had some stunning chandeliers.

View from Bertie’s Restaurant, courtesy of my friend
Courtesy of my friend

The afternoon tea consisted of four tasty finger sandwiches each, a warm scone with jam and cream and a selection of four mini cakes. We had a raspberry delice cube, a mini peanut butter eclair, coffee cake and bakewell tart.

The sandwiches were delicious. The scone, perhaps not as light as I would I have liked, was served with ample jam and cream. By this point, we were pretty full so were pleased that the remaining cakes were just bigger than bitesize. The peanut butter eclair was surprisingly tasty and sweet: unfortunately the choux pastry was quite dense and perhaps had been made a little while. The bakewell was nice, the delice was amazing despite looking a little like thick pate on toast. The coffee cake was dry and tasteless apart from the little piping of coffee flavoured buttercream.

We could have as much tea and coffee as we wanted and you could not fault the service and the setting. At £17.50 each though, I think that this is what we were paying for rather than the food itself. It was nice but not excessively so – I’ve paid less for better.

After eating we changed our footwear and had a walk around the grounds. The hotel is beautifully situated and the gardens are pretty.

We particularly liked the Italian garden built in the ruins of the old castle. There were some truly stunning views, perfect for a summer’s day.

Ruthin Castle Hotel is definitely worth a visit and my friend and I plan to come again and stay. I don’t think we would have the afternoon tea again as we didn’t think it was worth the price but I have high hopes that other food there would be delicious.

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