REVIEW: The Eating House - Afternoon Tea

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Meet The Afternoon Tea Girls, a group of Sheffield women with cake expectations...

Once a month up to a dozen friends head off for an afternoon of chinking teacups, crustless sandwiches and cream scones - and are now amateur afternoon tea food reviewers for The Star.

Founder member Joanne Stephenson, 47, mum Diane Hartley, 67, auntie Jeanette Simpson, 53, Denise Beck, 52, Julie Baker and Dawn Capel headed out to Derbyshire for their latest teatime treat...

REVIEW: The Eating House, Calver Bridge, Hope Valley, Derbyshire S32 3XA

After arranging our next afternoon tea at the Leopold Hotel via the usual flurry of text messages, we had to change our plans at the last-minute.

Rumours a political demonstration would be taking place in the city centre that day was putting some of the Afternoon Tea Ladies off. So we decided to make alternative arrangements. The countryside called and we ended up at The Eating House cafe and restaurant in the Derbyshire village of Calver.

We always cause a bit of a stir and a laugh everywhere we go and after we had piled our table with cake stands stacked high with delights, a foreign tourist came over, intrigued to see what we had ordered. To her amazement we plunged into the history of the traditional English afternoon tea.

We ate in the sheltered garden, which had a lovely atmosphere, and had kindly been stocked with blankets as there was a chill in the breeze.

It was self-service, which was a bit of a blow, but all the cakes were home-made - and beautifully done. Many were decorated with fresh fruit.

Jeanette, with a mouthful of cake, suddenly decided to confess she’d been told her cholesterol was high and she would be starting a diet on Monday.

Presentation was 10 out of 10. The staff were friendly and so was the owner. And the cost was only £10. BARGAIN!