A champagne afternoon tea visit to Rufflets Hotel was greatly enjoyed …..
(Article by India Alexandra, courtesy of visitstandrews.com)
Rufflets is a mere 8 minute car drive from the centre of St Andrews and is surrounded by 10 acres of beautiful grounds. Bliss.
When we walked through the door we were introduced to Janette, the sales and marketing manager, and then the restaurant manager who showed us to our table in front of the window overlooking the gardens. Utterly beautiful.
Unfortunately the sun was not shining but our seats overlooking the beautifully manicured lawns more then made up for it, they were also extremely comfortable and squishy.
When sat down we were immediately poured a glass of perfectly chilled bubbly, whilst the waitress brought through our afternoon tea and a little while later a big pot of green tea for two. I think it is a very good idea to first enjoy the fizz and then tea, much more relaxed.
But time for the important part, the food … !
Having had my dairy and egg allergies since Christmas I know that I can eat extremely well at home but have learned to not have such high expectations when dining out. This has been a little difficult for someone who loves food and has always enjoyed going out, but the Rufflets completely took me by surprise. This entire cake stand was just for me! Imagine my surprise.
The waitress pointed out all our various goodies (mother had her own vegetarian stand complete with fresh clotted cream, cucumber and cream cheese sandwiches, cheese and tomato and egg mayonnaise).
I enjoyed a selection of plain and fruit scones (I badly want the recipe *hint hint*) with soya butter and home-made jam, upside down rhubarb muffins, chocolate fondant (which was to die for), smoked Scottish salmon, vegan cheese and tomato and prawn with salad dairy free rolls.
You could have knocked me over with a feather! I was stunned with my delicious selection of treats.
This was the first time in a restaurant setting I had experienced such great food suited to a vegan/ dairy-egg free guest.
Very, very impressed.
Although I did have slight food envy when my mother enjoyed her clotted cream, but the scones I enjoyed were utterly superb so I was one very happy bunny. To be honest I would never have been able to tell the difference between my dairy-egg free scone and a ‘normal’ one. They were just so incredibly light and fluffy and well, they just simply melted and crumbled in my mouth.
I think what I enjoyed the most was the relaxed manner with which we were looked after. Nothing seemed to be an issue with our dietary requirements, and that for me as well as their attention to detail really made it a special occasion.
Not normally a huge sweet fan, (or should I say, I try not to be one) I thoroughly enjoyed all my afternoon cakes!
The only criticism I would have, is that they didn’t have loose leaf tea, but for once we were given an extra pot of boiling water to add to our green tea which made up for it! So often places don’t do that, which is always quite annoying.
The family who still own the house also, as previously mentioned, own 10 acres of land and boy, are the gardens beautiful to take a walk out in. Also much needed to walk off our sugar rush from our afternoon tea!
Details for Rufflets Hotel can be found HERE. Afternoon Tea is £18.50 and £27.50 with Champagne, and is served from 3.00 until 5.00pm.
We enjoyed ours at 4 pm which was also perfect to take a walk out into the gardens, highly recommended and remember to bring a camera!