The Nostalgia Tearooms – Lord Street – Southport
Is there anything more quintessential of English customs than the classic afternoon or high tea?
What better way to spend a couple of hours in the day than to sit down and enjoy an assortment of well prepared, tasty finger sandwiches followed by warm homemade fruit scones covered with thick Clotted Cream and Strawberry or Raspberry Jam? Perhaps add several dainty, delicate homemade cakes, washing it all down with lashings of warm tea and suddenly all is at peace in the world!
Anna Maria, the Seventh Duchess of Bedford, is credited with the invention of afternoon tea in 1840. She is said to have experienced what she called a ‘sinking feeling’ in the middle of the afternoon due to the long gap between a light lunch and her evening meal which during the early nineteenth century was served at around eight o clock. To relieve her hunger pangs, she asked her footman to bring her a pot of tea, bread, butter and cake in the late afternoon for a little light refreshment.
She began to enjoy this ritual so much she began to invite her friends over for tea and gossip about the latest scandal and the afternoon tea was born! The ritual caught on and afternoon tea became all the rage among the upper crust. The Earl of Sandwich had earlier had the idea of putting a filling between two slices of bread, hence the sandwich!
“There are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea.”Henry James
Afternoon tea continued to become a fashionable social event in which upper-class society women would change into long gowns, gloves and hats for their afternoon tea which was usually served in the drawing room between four and five o’clock.
Whilst in Southport my wife and I enjoyed a delicious Afternoon Tea at the Nostalgia Tearooms on Lord Street. The tearoom was to be found on the first floor up a flight of stairs in a beautiful building. All Covid- protocols were in place and the arrangements for our visit were explained to us as soon as we arrived. There was a one – way system around the tables and if we needed the washroom or toilets we were told where to stand and wait to be told when they were free and open. We felt very safe and comfortable with the arrangements.
We were sat in a corner seat overlooking Lord Street, a great spot from which to do a little people watching.
The tea was delivered in a very bright and cheerful authentic setting by friendly and welcoming serving staff. Our tall elegant cake stand contained a selection of luxury finger sandwiches. We had been asked to select four from a choice of nine sandwich fillings. We chose the Home Baked Ham & Red Cheddar Cheese, Prawns in a Marie Rose Sauce, Tuna Mayonnaise and Egg Mayonnaise. The sandwiches came with a small pot of salad and salad cream or mayonnaise.
We then went on to the Homemade fruit scones with a large helping of thick clotted cream & the finest sweet strawberry jam. Arguments continue to rage over the order in which the cream and Jam should be placed on the sliced scone. In a Devon Cream Tea, it is cream on the scone then the Jam; in Cornwall, the Jam is spread first followed by the cream! It is just a matter of preference – for me it is the Cornish method, cream on top of Jam. Superb!
There were four slices of sponge cake and a wonderful glass of an Eton Mess dessert topped with even more cream and a strawberry! There was also a thin slice of perfectly cooked and tasty home-made quiche. I did not need to eat again for the rest of the day.
The `Lane Farm` Staffordshire fine china tea set was just splendid! White china decorated with images of ` afternoon tea`, cakes, cherries, strawberries & even more cakes. We decided to opt for tea, but you could choose to include Prosecco for that special treat, if you wanted to.
All the sandwiches were full and tasty and very well presented. Small glass pots spread around the base were filled with the finest jam and clotted cream.
I am an afternoon tea type of girl. I come from a Russian background where we love our teas. So, between lunch and dinner after training I come home and I love a nice cup of tea with jam in it, as we drink it there. Black English Breakfast with raspberry jam is my favourite.Maria Sharapova
Our afternoon tea at the Nostalgia Tearooms was simply delightful. This is how tea should always be served! There was no need for us to eat again for the rest of the day! If you are looking to enjoy an afternoon tea in the Southport area, why not call in to the Nostalgia Tearooms on Lord Street. You will not be disappointed.
215/217 Lord St, Southport PR8 1PF