Going for Afternoon Tea is fast becoming a favourite pastime of mine, nothing is more tempting than scones, cakes and a good cuppa, or even a cheeky prosecco now and again!

I was invited to St Mary's Inn & B&B near Morpeth in Northumberland to sample their Afternoon Tea and I really couldn't have picked a better day for it.
After driving through the cute little village of Stannington and winding through a few country lanes we arrived at the beautiful venue; set in a redbrick 1900's former hospital building, it's really grand.

We were greeted at the bar area as we entered the building and seated in a small area of the restaurant at our table which was already set for us overlooking the courtyard . The high, oak beamed ceilings make the room feel really light and airy, which was perfect on such a warm day and the simple modern yet rustic furnishings made the place feel very homely.

On the menu there was a choice of full Afternoon Tea or Cream Tea with just the scones, we opted for the Afternoon Tea (I can't resist cake!) at £14.95 per person. I chose a pot of breakfast tea to go with mine and Robbie had a coffee.
Afternoon tea came served on a two tier wooden stand with the sandwiches and scones displayed on the bottom and the most aesthetically pleasing mini desserts on the top tier.

The sandwiches were made with freshly made white bread and filled with really fresh and some locally sourced ingredients.
Two of each sandwich filling were provided, some were cut into fingers, the others cut into a triangle with the crusts removed; Roast Beef and Horseradish, Arlington Egg Mayonnaise, Ham & Pease Pudding and Tuna Mayonnaise. My personal favourites were the Ham & Pease Pudding; the ham was thick and so tasty - I could have eaten them for days!
The scones all looked and sounded delicious, we had two of each flavour; Plain, Spiced Fruit & Blackberry and Keens Cheddar which were served with clotted cream, homemade strawberry jam and salted butter.

I started with the cheese and butter which was really, really nice, my boyfriend even said that this was the best scone he had ever eaten (and we eat a lot, so it really is a compliment).
I thought the plain scone would be my favourite and loaded on the cream and jam to find that mine was quite hard and tasted a little stale, although Robbie's was soft so I'm not too sure what happened there. 
I ended with the Spiced Fruit and Blackberry flavour with a generous portion of cream and jam and this was much better, soft, crumbly and really delicious.
For me the star of the show were the desserts. I started with the Lemon Balm and Mango Pannacotta which was not only creamy and smooth, but really fruity and fresh and a great way to cleanse the palette followed by the mint green coloured Pineapple Mint and Milk Chocolate Macaroon, which were perfectly crumbly, chewy and flavoursome - I didn't actually know how much I would like the combination of pineapple and mint (although I do like both flavours), but it really worked.

I loved the Raspberry Red Velvet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting, the cake was so moist and the frosting was deliciously sweet which was complimented really well with the sharp flavour from the fresh raspberry which sat on top.
Lastly, and most definitely saving the best until last was the Chocolate and Vanilla Marshmallow Truffle, as a self confessed chocoholic this was really heavenly... moist chocolate cake, topped with a chocolate mousse and marshmallow encased in chocolate, this really was as good as it sounds.

The staff were consistently great, always polite and offering extra drinks. We left St Mary's feeling very happy (and very full)!

If you're in the area, I'd definitely recommend a visit to St Mary's Inn, and if Afternoon Tea isn't your thing, take a look at their restaurant menu or even stay over for the night, the rooms look amazing!
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