A few weeks ago, my friends and I visited a lovely bistro in Ripponden for Afternoon tea with a bit of a difference. This was a Christmas gift to one of the girls from myself and the other girl that went for the afternoon tea.
The bistro we visited is called The Fox Bar and Bistro in the village of Ripponden, in between Halifax and Oldham, turning off of the M62 at junction 22. We drove up on a cold and partly snowy Sunday afternoon and from Leeds, it took about 30 -40 minutes to get to. After navigating through a few country roads we arrived, parking on the street across from the bistro. As far as I am aware there isn’t a car park, but the bistro is situated on a long road where parking is available on either side.
We pre-booked the afternoon tea as advised on the bistro’s website, and we were glad we did, as the place was busy, with a lot of the visitors having the afternoon tea. Now, I mentioned that this was an afternoon tea with a difference, and this difference was that it was served on a mini picnic bench!
The picnic bench wasn’t the only difference, as this version strayed from the traditional sandwiches and cake by including various savoury goodies and yummy sweet treats.
So, the picnic bench had a few different savoury dishes on it, as well as an added board with mini soup and ciabatta bread. I loved the savoury goodies on this, and started with the separate board, choosing the soup first.
The soup flavour was carrot and coriander and was served in these adorable little cups. I was slightly confused about how to eat it at first as there were no spoons provided, luckily you were supposed to drink the soup. It was a lovely thick soup and tasted so good, although carrot and coriander would not normally be my go-to soup by choice.
Next, I moved onto the ham ciabatta which was on the separate board to the picnic bench. This was also very tasty, the ham was hand cut, and there was a lovely mustard type dressing on the top. It was just the right size too so that you could enjoy the rest of the goodies left on the picnic bench.
So, now that the extra board was finished with it was time to tackle the savoury goodies on the picnic bench. This included some form of ratatouille veg pasta, duck spring rolls, satay chicken skewers and root vegetable crisps. The pasta was a nice edition, and I love veggie dishes, however, I would definitely have preferred an extra satay chicken skewer as they were divine. The satay sauce was so thick, and just like peanut butter, I could have eaten a full bowl of the stuff! Yum!
The duck spring rolls were really tasty too…again I would have been happy with an extra portion of these.
What a nice change from the regular four types of sandwiches! Don’t the dishes just look yummy??
As well as the abundance of savoury goodies on the afternoon tea, there was an array of sweet treats for us to try. I have to admit though that we could not eat everything and had to take a few of these goodies home with us. The waitress gave us a few bits of tinfoil to safely wrap them up!
The treats that were included on the picnic bench were; the traditional scone with cream, rice crispies squares, meringue, strawberry fondue with shortbread, cupcakes and mini milk bottles filled with hot chocolate. How scrummy do they look?
The scones were nice but missing jam, which is a definite must for a scone is it not? I am also not that fussed about cream, so I had to remove some of this as I found it too rich.
Now the strawberry fondue was heavenly, I could have eaten it over and over, and the shortbread to dip into it…mmm. The fondue tasted a lot like condensed milk, so was really sweet but not too sickly. It came in a small glass pot with a little wooden spoon, and so fit in with the picnic bench theme. I could really imagine myself eating these on a summers day on a lovely picnic.
The next thing I tried was the rice crispies square. This was really sticky and full of sweet goodness, I think there was some form of caramel in the squares which gave them their gooey texture.
To wash this down, I decided to drink the hot chocolate, which to my surprise was still warm. I found a few marshmallows on the top of the bench and placed these into the top of the mini bottle, which looked super cute. These marshmallows eventually began to melt, however, I did drink the hot chocolate fairly fast so did not give them enough time to fully melt. Delicious! How cute do the little bottles look?
After eating and drinking the goodies above, there was the meringue and the cupcake left. I really did want to try the meringue but didn’t, and only packed up the cupcake. Unfortunately, I did not get to try the cupcake either, as my niece had her eye on this as I returned home! She ate it all though, so it must have been nice!
We also finished our picnic bench feast with a nice cup of coffee, rather than tea.
All in all the afternoon tea was lovely, and I would definitely visit here again for another. Looking on the bistro’s website, it looks like they change the offerings on the afternoon tea to match the season. You can currently get the Valentines option which has slightly different goodies to the ones you see above. With a glass of prosecco, the afternoon tea cost us about £21.95 each, which I do not think is that bad a price for everything you get.
Have you visited The Fox Bar and Bistro or had a quirky style afternoon tea?
Feel free to leave a comment below!
As always, thanks for reading!