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ESP's food reporter Kelly Jackson just loves afternoon tea, so next on her list to try was The Chalkboard next to the Key Theatre on Peterborough's Embankment...

Anyone who says they don’t like afternoon tea has obviously never been to The Chalkboard in Peterborough!

It’s been on my list of local afternoon tea venues to try for absolutely ages, but I’d just never seemed to get round to it. When a friend suggested a long overdue catch up over sandwiches, cake and scones at The Chalkboard, it was a big resounding 'yes – how soon can we go?!'

Four things really stood out to me – those who know me know how much I LOVE an afternoon tea, so these highlights made the experience even more enjoyable:

1. The stunning riverside location. I can’t think of a more picturesque setting for a tearoom.

2. The option to pick your own afternoon tea was a first for me. And what a brilliant idea it is. Two sandwich fillings, a Grasmere pork pie, two slices of rather large cake and a scone later, and I was wishing I’d worn leggings rather than jeans. What I didn’t like – trying to decide what to include in my bespoke afternoon tea. Everything on the menu sounds delicious so it was a toss up between treats I knew I’d like or a wildcard. In the end I went for a chocolate and orange slice cake and a rainbow cake – old habits die hard!

3. Bottomless hot and/or cold drinks over a two-hour period – this I wasn’t expecting. Especially being able to mix and match cold and hot drinks. My friend and I took full advantage by ordering pots of breakfast tea to wash down the sugar and sampling the delicious sounding elderflower presse and Raspberry Lemonade (recommended by our accommodating waitress). If you’re not driving, you can add bubbles, too, for a few pounds more. Our waitress frequently stopped by our table to check if we wanted refills.

4. Instead of a traditional cake tier, our afternoon teas came served on individual chalk boards – a unique and rather apt touch.

We agreed next time, we would swap one of the portions of cake for something lighter like crisps. And that we would certainly don a stretchy waistband!

The Chalkboard’s pick your own afternoon tea is from £25 per person. Gluten free and vegan options are also available.

Kelly Jackson

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