The last few months have flown by and Christmas is almost here – and Christmas means mince pies and yule log and mulled wine and much feasting. So when we spotted a Festive Tea on offer at the Headland Hotel in Newquay Mo and I decided it would be rude not to. The Headland Hotel is perched on a headland (unsurprisingly) overlooking the beautiful surfing beach of Fistral on the north coast of Cornwall. The building of the hotel over a century ago, on land used by local farmers for grazing and by fisherman to dry their nets, met with angry opposition by locals. During the ensuing Newquay Riots the unfortunate foreman’s hut was flung into the sea. We however, went in peace.
The red brick Gothic building was the perfect setting for the filming of Roald Dahl’s ‘The Witches’ (1990) with Anjelica Huston and Rowan Atkinson. Although very intimidating from the outside, once you are inside the hotel its old-fashioned charm takes over. Walking through the revolving wooden door feels like stepping back into a time of Victorian splendour with log fires burning in huge fireplaces. Tea was served in the Terrace and we were lucky to sit overlooking the beach. Mo spotted a seal amongst the surfers but try as I might I couldn’t see it. If only I had had the sense to ask the couple on the next table for a quick peek through their binoculars…
Our feasting began with a selection of sandwiches – cucumber, salmon with cream cheese and egg (thank you Mo for eating the egg ones!) and a nice pot of Earl Grey tea. We washed the remaining sandwiches down with a mini bottle each of delicious pink Prosecco, having conveniently ‘forgotten’ that our mulled wine was about to arrive. As luck would have it and with great timing, the mulled wine was a little late and it did go very well with our cream tea – scones the Cornish way of course, jam first, cream on top. We pulled our Christmas crackers but didn’t wear the paper crowns for fear of ‘hat hair’ (and committing a style crime..).
By the time darkness fell all that remained were some little Christmas fancies but we were almost defeated. The waiter kindly provided us with a doggy bag which we gave to our chauffeur. Thank you Mr Me for driving two happy people to and from an old-fashioned afternoon of tea and talk and laughs. A lovely way to spend a winter afternoon.
Happy Christmas from the Tealeaflets!