ᵃᵈ A festive afternoon tea at Hillier Garden Centres is a lovely addition to some Christmas or plant shopping or decoration hunting.
Take a break in the middle of the seasonal rush with this hearty feast…
📍 Woodhouse Lane, Botley, Near. Southampton, Hampshire, SO30 2EZ.
The original store was established in Winchester in 1864 and there are now 19 across the south of England. It’s a bit of a Hampshire institution having been around for more than 155 years. I’ve been going here since I was a child so it has a strong sense of nostalgia for me too.
On this visit for festive afternoon tea at Hillier Garden Centres I headed to the Botley store.
You’ll find the address above, or head to the Hillier Garden Centres website to discover your nearest location.
Make sure you’ve built up your appetite for festive afternoon tea at Hillier Garden Centres as a feast awaits you.
The garden centre’s cafe in Botley is nice and big. During December it is dressed for the season with trees, lights and lots of poinsettias.
The team were so friendly and welcoming and not long after we sat down a cute mini bottle of Prosecco, enough for two glasses arrived. This was shortly followed by either tea or coffee and a mini picnic bench laden with treats.
Sandwiches & Cakes
There was chicken, stuffing and cranberry sauce sandwiches to enjoy or an egg mayonnaise and cress. My favourite is usually egg mayo however, it was the delicious chicken that took the top title for me.
Then it was onto a plentiful selection of cakes, patisserie and scones. This included a mincemeat shortbread, vanilla sponge with miniature gingerbread, yogurt topped cranberry flapjack, chocolate cream eclair. There were also cranberry fruit scones with clotted cream, cranberry compote with apricot preserve.
The scones were really different to any I’ve had before, between the fruits added and the slightly less sweet cranberry compote it was a lovely addition to the range of cakes.
Also, a personal favourite was the chocolate eclair, it’s been so long since I’ve had one and it definitely hit that sugary spot.
Hillier Garden Centres
A festive afternoon tea at Hillier Garden Centres is a great way to combine a bit of light relief in amongst the seasonal madness.
At £40 for two people it is a really solid offering, especially if you’ve got a sweet tooth. I’d have perhaps liked a bit more of a balance between the sweet and savoury. It’s quite a big cake selection, but thankfully, the team let me package the remaining ones up to take home for later.
The Christmas shopping at Hillier’s is always good too so definitely make sure you leave enough time to look around. I bought some themed Jelly Cat toys, Christmas tree marshmallows, fancy crisps and a beautiful decoration.
A big thank you to the team at Hillier Garden Centres for the invitation and for making me feel so welcome.
If you liked this, take a look at these other great places to explore in Hampshire…