Thornton Hall, I’m led to believe, is where Wirralians (the proper name for people from the Wirral, I’m also led to believe) go when they’re having a nice posh knees up. With its lovely grounds and quaint village setting, it’s the in place to go for weddings and afternoon tea. And not just any afternoon tea – the Great Wirral Afternoon Tea.
Between you and me, I rather think that Thornton Hall have been able to bagsy the title ‘Great Wirral Afternoon Tea’ purely on the basis that there is hardly any other competition on the Wirral. If you do your Googles, you’ll soon see that the age old British custom is scarce on the ‘Leisure Peninsula’ (posh versions of it at any rate – cute and kitsch tea rooms seem to be quite popular) and it doesn’t take long until your internet search starts suggesting Liverpool and Chester instead. So when I say it’s the place to go for afternoon tea on the Wirral – I really mean it.
That said, Thornton Hall is a nice venue. The Lawns Restaurant which acts as the tea room is exquisite. Sympathetically decorated in recent years with some really interesting original features of the fireplace and friezes on the walls. Whenever I go for afternoon tea then I do enjoy a good view or decor or both if possible. It was very quiet on the day that we went but the room is ‘busy’ enough in its appearance that you don’t feel totally devoid of ambience.
Afternoon Tea Menus
Food wise, there’s everything you’d expect from a decent Afternoon Tea: teeny cakes, finger sandwiches, and scones with jam and cream. It was all fresh, tasty, and beautifully presented.
At Thornton Hall there’s the added bonus of being able to choose from the standard sweet afternoon tea or a savoury option where instead of the little cakes there is a mini fish ‘n’ chip (yes: chip, singular) creation, a venison slider, and lovely little ideas like that. Meanwhile the plain scone is served with cheese and a fruit chutney instead of jam.
In the drinks department you can upgrade to a champagne afternoon tea for about £7 per person or stick to the extensive range of teas (I’m boring and went with the classic English Breakfast – but I knows what I likes and I likes what I knows) or choose coffee or soft drinks if you prefer.
The do offer a children’s afternoon tea apparently but we weren’t shown a menu or given any details, so when I asked if four year old Spaghetti Legs could have “just a plain ham sandwich” (as I didn’t think he fare very well with the wholegrain mustard, rocket, or some other ingredients which featured in the main sandwiches) it transpires that they charged a whopping £8 for it. Now I’ve had a lot of expensive butties in my time but eight quid for some ham in between two slices of Hovis is a bit steep. My advice to you if you’re taking younger children is to ring ahead and discuss the options and weigh up cost against what a little one is really likely to eat, and take it from there.
Who’s it suitable for?
If you can straighten out the kids menu then it’s perfect for families of all ages but I think the Great Wirral Afternoon Tea would make an especially nice outing for older relatives. The venue would be perfect for milestone birthdays or anniversaries for parents and grandparents or to give a Gift Voucher as a retirement present.
The staff are friendly and professional and although the venue is rather genteel we are not talking the Ritz here so you needn’t worry if you have a tendency to feel out of place in posh surroundings.