Although the majority of our holiday activites were based around what the girls might enjoy, I did try to plan things for the grown-ups as well. Booking an afternoon tea at the beautiful Midland Hotel in Morecambe Bay, turned out to be a great way to please all of us. The girls had been desperate to get near the seaside on this holiday and Mr Mess loves Art Deco architecture and design. It couldn’t have been more perfect.
As this was a special treat for Mr Mess I thought it might be nice for him to write the review. Over to you, Mr M:
I love Art Deco. I love the style of the 1920s and 1930s. I love “Poirot” and “Jeeves and Wooster”. The Midland Hotel is used as a location in the “Poirot” episode “Double Sin”. Google it if you don’t believe me. The building was designed by Oliver Hill. There are design flourishes by Eric Gill, such as the charming seahorses.We’d booked our afternoon tea weeks before our holiday and had even checked that we were ok to take the girls. Now, I know some people don’t like kids in restaurants, especially fancy ones. Our kids, however, can be relied upon to behave impeccably. They’ve been attending Afternoon Tea at Chatsworth House for years. They know the drill.
When we arrived, I was a little overwhelmed. I love Art Deco so much that I was a little dazed. It felt like I was stepping into a dream. We were early so we had a quick look round. I was delighted with the decor – the mosaic, the monochrome photos and the sheer style.Our waitress, Ruth, led us through when the time came. She was fabulous. I’ve rarely had such a friendly, welcoming and bright hostess. She was exceptionally quick-witted and soon had all four of us thinking she should join the family. I’m not kidding, the smallest of us actually said, “I love you.” I hope that Ruth is running the hotel by now. She knows hospitality.Our afternoon tea was served on the Sun Terrace. The day was overcast, but the feeling of light and space was exceptional. There’s no tea-room claustrophobia here.
LOOK AT THAT TABLE! A choice of teas. I had Darjeeling. I know I’m usually a Lapsang or an Oolong, but today was Darjeeling. Mrs Viper was on the Earl Grey and the little ones opted for apple juice (that was served with stylish slices of dried apple). Any fears we had that the girls might not be welcome were quickly proven unfounded. There was even a Children’s Afternoon Tea menu, but on this occasion we decided they would just share ours.
The sandwiches were fresh, the cake was moist and the scones were still warm. Eclairs and panna cotta too. Why, Midland Hotel, you’re really spoiling us. This was plenty of food for the family. I sometimes have my doubts when I see an afternoon tea, but it’s amazing how filling it is when you take your time and enjoy your surroundings. I did my best to really appreciate the moment. It’s not often that you get to enjoy a meal in such a setting. I can’t really capture the atmosphere but I was in my element. A loving family, beautiful surroundings and great food, it’s bliss.We were not rushed away. We chatted to Ruth and she was kind enough to give me an extra menu to take home (it was full of pictures of the hotel). On the way out, I got a late birthday present of a print of the hotel and a fantastic tin mug.
We spent the rest of the afternoon in Happymount Park in Morecambe. They had trampolines. They had old-fashioned swing boats. By now, the weather was glorius so we had ice-cream. The kids loved it and I was pretty jealous. They weren’t even too bothered that they couldn’t go on the beach, due to the tide.
We’re hoping to return to the Midland Hotel in December 2018 (sans children) as it’s our ten year wedding anniversary. We’re planning a vintage weekend away in art deco splendour. Can anybody lend me a small two-seater sports car?
And now, let me hand back over to Stacey for another fabulous holiday blog (what can I say, I’m biased?)