Bayberry Hollow is a gift shop and tea room snuggled away in the village of Tanfield and, if I'm being completely honest, I was in love before I'd even stepped through the door. I mean just look at it!
Bayberry Hollow is an absolute dream destination for a Sunday mooch if you love cute country gifts. The shop is full to the brim with amazing smelling candles, adorable greeting cards and plenty of beautiful bits and bobs for your house. With my wedding planning hat now firmly on my head I had to stop myself buying the entire stock of candle holders and don't even get me started on the cute signs I suddenly needed for the kitchen.
Luckily we managed to drag ourselves away before we did any damage to our purses and found our way to the tea room part of the shop. There are three eating areas at Bayberry Hollow, the main tea room, a cosy snug and a lovely airy loft - each lovingly furnished with gorgeous wooden furniture that make you feel like your dining in a beautiful country kitchen.
We were a little early for food so decided to leisurely peruse the menu over a hot drink. I couldn't believe the amount of coffee syrups on offer - caramel, gingerbread, butterscotch, chai - you name it they had it. It was the Black Forest Hot Chocolate that caught my eye so I ordered it, with cream of course!
Lunch at Bayberry Hollow is a dream with a chunky menu of delicious dishes as well as loads of specials displayed on blackboards around the room. I don't think I've ever had such a tough decision trying to choose what to have, everything sounded so good.
Eventually I settled on the Salmon and Creme Fraiche Quiche served with salad (although I seriously regretted not ordering a side portion of wedges after spotting our neighbours were devouring the largest chips I've ever seen!) The Quiche was delicious with a buttery pastry crust and the perfect creamy filling.
I had a really tough time choosing what to have but in the end decided on the Strawberry and Rhubarb Cheesecake from the specials board. I greedily asked for it with clotted cream, completely unnecessary but I still managed to eat the entire pot. I particularly enjoyed scooping it out with my strawberry.
Lisa opted for a slice of Victoria Sponge which looked really good. I've definitely added it to my list for next time, along with everything else I spotted on the menu and (no surprise here) afternoon tea.
I returned home declaring to Simon that we now officially HAVE to buy a car, the thought of not being able to get ourselves to Bayberry Hollow to try out more of the menu makes me feel so sad.
Let me know what other great tea rooms there are out in the countryside - I'm always looking for more reasons to justify the need for a car!