Afternoon tea at The Parish Oven, Thorpe Salvin

I don’t much care for rugby. I’m sorry. It’s just not a sport I grew up watching and, save for dating a rugby fan in my early 20’s, it’s not something I’ve had much exposure to. I know the Six Nations tournament is on, I know which six nations are involved but, beyond that, nada. I couldn’t tell you how it’s going, when or what the next fixtures are, what controversies have arisen in the tournament so far, nothing.

However, talk to me about a Six Nations-themed afternoon tea, and you’ve got my attention. So when I received an invitation to check out this month’s afternoon tea picnic bench at The Parish Oven over in Thorpe Salvin, near Worksop, I immediately said yes.

The menu sounded incredible, the pub itself looked lovely from what I gleaned online and, well, I’m a sucker for some gimmicky presentation sometimes. Not to a “serve me soup in a glass shoe” extent, but a little picnic table laden with goodies, I can get on board with.

Our first thought when the little picnic table arrived was that it looked like way too much food for just two of us (spoiler alert: we ate it all and groaned with contentment all the way home).

On the seats, we had all the savoury bits: a little leek and potato soup, mini fish and chips, smoked salmon blini, ham and asparagus spirals, goats cheese and tomato salad and a mini spaghetti bolognese. It was all delicious!My wife is now adamant we will be returning to The Parish Oven soon for fish & chips based on the mini version we had here. The soup was delicious and comforting, just the ticket for day 1 of Storm Dennis. Each item was a really nice size and we did not miss the sandwiches we would normally have as the savoury part of afternoon tea!I can’t choose a favourite here because they were genuinely all very good and there were lots of ingredients I’m partial to (goats cheese, asparagus, smoked salmon… yes, yes and yes).

On the bench, the sweet things. Oh my god, it was like eating 3 normal sized desserts plus a few other bits. Still, I did it 🤷‍♀️. A lovely little Welsh cake, a creamy raspberry cranachan, a good wedge of apple cake, a tiramisu, a crème caramel and a mini bottle of ginger beer. The latter was too fiery for my palate (wuss!) but otherwise I devoured this lot.

I did some sharing though: seven-month-old Iris got her first taste of raspberries (verdict: delicious but stain everything 😂) and I accidentally dropped a really good bit of that apple cake on the floor, where it was swiftly hoovered up by our dog. I could have cried at that, it was the best bit of the whole cake, a really good apple-y bit. Lucky bastard.

Raspberries were shared. That caramel sauce, however, I was giving to no one!

Ooof. We were done. Wobbling more than that crème caramel, it was back out into Dennis for us.The 25 minute journey home was spent trying to choose our favourite parts of the afternoon tea, which was impossible, and when we might go back to The Parish Oven.The afternoon tea theme changes monthly, so I’m intrigued to see what else they do over the year! At £14.95 per person, it is really good value, but you do need to pre-book.

** While I was invited for afternoon tea as a guest of The Parish Oven in exchange for a review, all views here and editorial control are my own **