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Review: Stanmer Tea Rooms

Stanmer Tea Rooms nestled at the foot of the South Downs is literally Muddy’s idea of heaven. In the heart of the village this quaint traditional café hides a quirky Alice In Wonderland surprise.

As Lewis Carroll once said – would you like an adventure now or shall we have tea first? Well, Muddy is a cake first kind of person, but either way if you like to reward a good walk with a large slice of Victoria Sponge then this is the place for you!

LOCATION

The sleepy village of Stanmer at the foot of the South Downs National Park, is just outside Brighton but feels like a million miles away. With a quaint church at it’s heart and chocolate box pretty flint houses its a lovely spot to wander after a long walk through the 400 acre+ park.

Hidden in this idyllic spot is the Stanmer Tea Rooms which is not all it seems. Much like Doctor Who’s Tardis, the unimposing coffee shop on the edge of the park hides a hidden back space which houses a themed Alice In Wonderland party room. Intrigued?

VIBE

Out back through a plain door giving no hint of the hidden treasure, lies the Wonderland room in which you can reserve a special themed Afternoon Tea with immersive theatre available. Inspired by the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party in the Lewis Carroll classic, the space has been designed by local artist and star in his own right, Dave Pop! and makes the perfect Insta-opp for you and your friends. The room can be booked for private parties and events making it the perfect venue for fancy dress, hens and birthdays.

SCOFF AND QUAFF

If you book an Afternoon Tea you’ll be treated to a selection of finger sandwiches, exquisite home baked cakes and pastries all prepared on site using locally sourced ingredients. We can particularly rate the lemon sponge and marvellously moist carrot cake decorated with the prettiest of pansies. You can also enjoy a glass of fizz, as well as the perfect pot of tea of course. They can also cater for vegan and dietary requirements (just let them know when you book).

The café itself also serves quiches and artisan pizza and choose from delicious barista coffee by Tigermoth, luxury hot chocolate with all the trimmings, speciality teas and ice creams.

KID-FRIENDLY?

Absolutely. The perfect place to book for an Alice inspired birthday girl (or boy!), and let them go all out Mad Hatter.

DOG- FRIENDLY?

The staff love dogs and when we visited it was packed outside with ramblers and their muddy mutts. Fido can even come into the Alice In Wonderland room (well as long as he doesn’t scare the Cheshire Cat!).

OUT AND ABOUT

Stanmer sits just west of the village of Falmer and north-east of the city of Brighton and Hove, East Sussex, close to the vast Sussex Uni campus. The park is prime position for nature walks, dog walks and cycle rides or simply a quiet retreat in the country, yet close to the bustle of the city.

A short stroll away you’ll find Stanmer House, a Grade I listed manor house constructed by the French architect Nicholas Dubois in 1722 in Palladian style for the Pelham family, it incorporates the remains of an earlier house, and was again altered in 1860.

THE MUDDY VERDICT

Well, that was a surprise! We’re always happy to find a new place to get a seriously good sponge and the Stanmer Tea Room is a quirky gem and the ideal pit-stop after a country amble.

Good for

Brilliant for kids parties or hen do’s, the Alice in Wonderland tea room is a unique space that would make an Afternoon Tea really memorable.

Not for

This isn’t a swanky place, it’s friendly and fun. So if you want silver service and more grandiose surroundings perhaps head to a 5 star hotel or a National Trust property instead.

The Damage

Afternoon Tea classic service starts from £17.95 pp, and with fizz £24.95.
The room can be hired for private events, group teas with or without characters and entertainment. Prices on request.

Stanmer Tea Rooms, Stanmer Park, Brighton, BN1 9PZ, open 7 days a week. Bookings for the Alice In Wonderland Tea Room are essential. Tel: (01273) 604041.

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