Sixty Tea Rooms and Two Wheels – Hinton Ampner & Wickham Square

The last summer UK Bank holiday has now passed, the weather this summer has been extremely good, but, unfortunately lacking in riding days at the weekends. Where have they all gone, in fact where has the year gone? I started this challenge with the easy intention of visiting 60 tea rooms by my 60th Birthday, in November. That so far has proven to be a challenge, not because of lack of tea rooms, but everything else that goes on in life. Anyway, the challenge continues, and we are aiming to complete, even if it means rainy day riding, but please don’t tell my wife.

We recently joined the National Trust again to take in a few more stately homes and English family history and tea rooms. Today we ventured into Mid-Hampshire, to Hinton Ampner House.

The house was owned by the Dutton Family and was left to the national Trust in 1985 when the last member of the family, Ralph Dutton 8th Baron Sherborne passed away at the age of 87. The house was refurbished after a major fire in 1960 and back to the Georgian style that it originally was and has remained in full since the Ralph Dutton passed away.

The house has full access to all rooms, however, at present the first floor had the floor boards up for wiring and other electrical work. So, we will be going back for another look. The house is in 1600 acres of land and the gardens are beautiful to walk around. The tea room was the standard food fayre for a National Trust site and they also had Judy’s Ice Cream. The team room has plenty of seating both in an outside and in quiet surroundings.

Note for riders, the carpark is effectively a field on a hill and difficult to park. There is a flat gravel car park at the top of the hill by the entrance and it would be worth asking if you can park in there for ease (especially if you have a heavy bike like mine).

The ride out was a familiar one, A32 and A272, so nice ride all the way and back to Wickham.

Our second visit for the day was back to Wickham Square and Lilly’s Tea and Coffee House. We have been before and always enjoyed it. Generally, it is very busy, we didn’t arrive until about 1.45pm, so it had quietened down, so we managed to get a table outside overlooking the square. The menu is great and lots to choose from, Salad, sandwiches, afternoon tea and cake etc. Prices are reasonable across all offerings and food tastes great. Today we both went for Baked Camembert Ploughman’s, effectively a baguette with salad, pickle and a full baked cheese ring, delicious.

Well that’s was todays ride out, back to work tomorrow, three days, then it’s the weekend again, hopefully for another ride out.

Safe riding people…

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Sixty Tearooms and Two Wheels – Buckler’s Hard

So the journey continues, the weather was absolutely gorgeous, so out she came, the beast that is my Indian Roadmaster ready to ride the roads of Hampshire and in to the New Forest.

I cannot remember the last time I went to Buckler’s Hard, it was probably as a child when we used to sleep under canvas in Hollands Wood.. Even my two children have slept under canvas and in a caravan at the same spot.

Sundays road trip was to Buckler’s Hard, a key place in the History of the Royal Navy, ships of Oak were built here and fought in the Battle of Trafalgar on 21 October 1805. Although HMS Victory is the most famous for Trafalgar it was not built here (it was built in Chatham). However, it is understood that Nelsons favourite Warships was HMS Agamemnon. HMS Euryalus was also built here it was she who took the news of Nelsons Death back to London.

So first stop, The Captains Cabin Tearoom, the menu was OK, but i would say it was a typical tourist tearoom. So we opted for the Admirals Tea and the Captains Tea. One being savoury and the other being a cream tea. The aim as always to have one of each scone…

The savoury tea had two medium to small sized scones, a lump of cheddar and some pickle. The Cream Tea same size sweet scones, a small pot of jam, small pot of clotted cream. The both offered up butter to go with the scones, but I must say they were a bit frugal with the jam and clotted cream 😦 . A pot of tea for two was also served, enough for about two and a bit cups each. The overall price was reasonable at under £10.

From there we proceeded to the museum (£7.50 each) to gain entry to the small but reasonably packed out museum telling the story of Henry Adams (master ship builder) of Buckler’s hard. (The image below is just the shop part, it goes quite a way to the left)

From there we walked down to the river (Beaulieu River) and watched the world go by in their expensive gin palaces and / or sailing yachts. There is also a pub in the grounds and the menu looked good; this is one to go back to.

Overall for a couple of hours of history and a good ride out and back, well worth the visit.

A note for any vehicle, the Forest is limited to 40 mph for good reason, Horses, Donkeys and Cattle roam free and this time of the year is calf and foal session. There is plenty around and they own the roads, so be careful. If you are riding, beware, cow pat on the engine really cooks well and boy does it stink…..

If you have never been, look it up, even just for the drive, the forest is great for wildlife and the views.

Safe riding people 😉

Sixty Tearooms and Two Wheels – update

What have we done so far, since we started the weather has been at its worst and at its best, therefore visits have been limited. We are halfway through May and at last the weather appears to be settling into a norm. As I write this on the day of the Royal Wedding and the FA Cup, the sun is out and their doesn’t seem to be many cars on the road, so we may use this to take a ride out later today and take in another tea shop.

Anyway, what have we achieved so far:

  • Lepe Country Park – need to go back and try the rebuild of the centre
  • Station Tea Rooms – Burley – excellent
  • Breezes – Hillhead – excellent
  • Cassandras Cup – Chawton – poor, expensive for what it is…..
  • Parade Tea Rooms – Southsea – excellent
  • Lulamae’s – Arundel – good
  • Arundel Castle – typical historical site fare
  • Swanbourne Lodge Tea Rooms – Arundel – never again….
  • Waterside Cafe – Arundel – shabby, but tasty food
  • Stansted Park Farm – Havant – good

So out of the 10 visited so far, two we would never consider again

Happy Tearoom hunting

Next ride out, Buckler’s Hard, New Forest.

😉