Over recent years, afternoon tea has become more and more popular, with venues all over offering up traditional and more unique menus.
To most, it means some sandwiches, cakes, scones and lots of tea (or coffee).
And with a wealth of venues offering the service, we are spoilt for choice.
However, as Mr M and I realised we had been together for 14 years, we thought we would celebrate the occasion with our little ones and were originally planning to book the Running Fox at Felton as we’ve been before and were mightily impressed.
Sadly their bookings for weekends were already full until the end of this month, so we opted for their newer venue at Longframlington.
The Longfram Fox is situated next to the paper shop and opposite Carrs newsagents, and despite its small exterior, they’ve managed to pack a lot in.
There are seven or eight tables packed in alongside the food serving area and then a kitchen at the back.
And outside there is a lovely seating area which I can imagine gets very busy in the summer months.
I was hoping that the Longframlington afternoon tea is the same as the Felton version and I wasn’t disappointed.
For £27 for two, you each choose a sandwich, a slice of pie or quiche (from either steak and ale, corned beef, pan haggerty or mince pie, and quiche Lorraine, bacon and brie, spinach tomato and feta or cheese and onion), cream or cheese scone and a cake from a huge selection on offer.
And youngsters don’t miss out either.
For £6, they choose a sandwich and cake, which comes with crisps and endless squash.
I went for a beef, Stilton and chutney sandwich, with a piece of spinach, feta and red pepper quiche, a cream scone and a slice of key lime pie.
Mr M opted for the sausage, cheddar and chutney sandwich with corned beef and potato pie, a cream scone and banoffee pie.
The younger diners both chose tuna sandwiches with one going for banoffee pie like his dad and the other choosing a raspberry tart (because it had cream on top!).
We also shared a big pot of Earl Grey tea and were pleased to see the use of Bari Tea instead of bog standard bags.
No sooner had our drinks arrived than the kids’ food was served.
And it was massive.
They were each given a full-sized sandwich and an adult portion of cake, as well as a bag of crisps.
And then ours was delivered, and boy it was big.
Starting with the sandwiches, we went for half and half to try each other’s.
But while the filling was delicious, the bread let it down. On previous visits at Felton, we had been served thick, fresh slices but this was thin, very dry and with the hot sausage filling, it came apart, which wasn’t the best.
The beef and Stilton combination was delicious, as was the sausage filling.
When we looked at the kids’ meals we realised their bread was almost stale and they left most of it, opting to just eat the yummy tuna filling instead.
On to the pie and quiche and these were divine. My only criticism is that they could have been warmed up a bit more.
The cream scone was also delicious. We were each given a fruit scone and a pot of cream and jam to share.
Finally the cakes. Key lime pie is a favourite of mine. My mum used to make it for family parties. It was good, but very sweet, and could have done with a bit more of the acidic lime kick. There was a lot of cream on it too, but that isn’t always a bad thing.
The banoffee pie went down well with both the boys, although Mr M would have liked a bit more banana and less toffee sauce.
Sadly, we couldn’t finish it all and took our leftovers home in boxes – there was no way we would leave it behind!
All in all it was an enjoyable visit and the staff were friendly, but it lacked something. I would like to go back to try other items from the menu, and the cakes and bakes on offer all looked incredible.
LOCAL PRODUCE IS HIGH ON AGENDA
The Running Fox in Felton has a brilliant reputation for food and afternoon tea and hopefully the Longframlington venue will follow suit.
The new venue opened in August 2016, and it’s obviously popular as when we were in there was never an empty table.
The business prides itself on homemade cakes and bread and it’s offerings are well known to be delicious.
The Running Fox is also a major supporter of local producers and uses locally-sourced products as much as possible. Everything that can be bought locally is – even down to salad dressings, honey and mustard.
SELECTION FROM THE MENU
The Foxy scone......£5.50
Breakfast in bread......£6.50
Scrambled egg w/smoked salmon......£6.50
Foxy sandwiches open/closed......£5.95/£6.50
Quiche with salad......£7
Pie with potatoes and gravy......£7.95
Afternoon tea......£27 for 2
STAR RATINGS (out of 10)
Quality of food......8
Use of local food......9
Value for money......8
Toilet for disabled......Yes
Verdict: Plenty of delicious food and lots of tastes catered for.
Contact: 01665 570760 or visit www.runningfoxbakery.co.uk