3) Headcorn Village Tearooms – Kent
On Sunday the 17th of February my Bandicoot and I celebrated a belated Valentines together since we were separated by 193miles of road on the actual day of love. We made plans to have cream teas, watch Wreck it Ralph and slow cook an entire chicken soaked in tandori sauce; it was going to be an enchanting day.
But then I woke up.
I’ll have to give you a quick back story. My Dad for some reason doesn’t like heat except from a wood burning fire; he’s an avid energy saver and a thick-blooded Scot… so our house is constantly on cold. When I go to my Boyfriends house, however, it’s a whole different story; it’s warm and welcoming and they offer me baths every day! The most I can hope for at home is a 2 minute ‘shower’.
So I woke up and for some reason his house was unusually boiling. It was beyond comfortable. It was a heat-wave. A distressing sauna. All I wanted to do was run outside, escape to a cooler climate, hug a penguin, but I couldn’t because I was in my PJ’s and I had to get ready for our day of romance. So I was trapped, rushing to get ready, getting hotter and grumpier as the morning wore on, just the kind of lass you want to take on a date, right? THEN my eyes went googly. My body couldn’t adjust to the sudden change of heat, all those months spent comatose in an ice kingdom had rendered my blood incapable of adapting and so, I got dizzy. I spent the morning feeling as if I was on the brink of fainting or was dodging objects that were in fact a metre away. I hated it. It ruined my whole mood and even as the day progressed I couldn’t shift it, even with the AC in the car set to freezing. I had hoped that by the time we had a cream tea it would be gone… but it wasn’t.
So, bearing this ill feeling in mind, I shall finally get on with this review.
The tearoom is deceptively small when you walk in. The roof is low and you immediately wonder how long you are going to have to stand there, cramped, waiting for a table. That is until you notice an archway leading to another room. That’s when you commit and hurriedly run in to see if you can snag a seat. The next room makes your eyes widen; the roof stretches up, welcoming you in and you suddenly feel less of a hunchback. Winning! Now all you have to do is choose from the abundance of free tables where to sit.
So yes, don’t worry, we found a table sure enough but that’s as far as the excitement goes.
The kitchen was right next to this room and it was relentlessly belting out heat and cooking smells with such force that it made my dizziness even worse. Superb. So I tried to fob it off and pretend that it wasn’t there but all I could focus on then was how sticky the vinyl tablecloths were. Each table was covered with this perspiring yellow and white chequered plastic, it made me feel as if I was back in pre-school blowing bubbles into paint and playing with glue; unclean and childish. Our order was taken promptly though, while my Lamb was in the loo, and it wasn’t long before our food had escaped the sweltering kitchen and was nestling onto our table. We got one plain and one fruit scone each… you can imagine how quickly I switched my fruity one for my Bandicoots plain, but don’t worry, he wasn’t duped, he was well aware of my theft and he didn’t mind (for he’s weird and actually likes fruit scones… Why I am I with him I hear you ask? Why am I with this disgusting fruit scone eater? Well, because he saves me from this exact situation and I get an even trade, that’s why!)
Moving on… the scones appeared decent, they were plump and glossy but once I bit into them I realised the exterior had no bonds with its innards. They were strangely moist, not disgustingly so for it still tasted amazing, but it was as if the sweat from the kitchen had soaked into the scone. Yum. The two things that really saved this cream tea were the portions of cream and jam; they were colossal! We both had plenty to spare. The cream calmly melted on top and the sweetness of the jam disguised the peculiar muggy texture; they obviously knew we’d need it… sneaky buggers… So yes, not the best, but not entirely unsatisfactory either. It was more the cutlery and the menus that put me off; they had obviously not been washed properly, they were covered in bits and residue… Yuk. I’m hoping that it was just a onetime accident on that particular day; they all did seem rather stressed and I can’t imagine them getting away with being that careless all the time. All the old biddies would be up in arms otherwise and they are the ones that write the best angry letters after all. So make sure you go on a quiet day and try not to sit too near the kitchen if you can, they do have lovely gifts for sale and I saw some yummy fried food passing by our table.
So, asides from the gross cutlery and in spite of my constant need to crack open a window, I believe I judged fairly. The day wasn’t as triumphant as I had hoped but, hey, there is always next Valentine’s and with any luck we’ll be able to do it on the actual day itself!