Last Christmas, I was very stuck for gift ideas for my Dad. He's the kind of person who buys anything he wants when he wants it, which makes it very difficult to come up with original ideas for Christmas presents which don't consist of a new pair of socks, a CD/DVD and some sort of chocolate; there's only so many times you can pretend to be excited about a new pair of black socks.

I hope he won't mind me saying, but a little while ago my Dad was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes, and so when, in the midst of my Christmas present panic, a colleague of mine recommended the diabetes-friendly afternoon tea at the Assembly House, I thought I was on to a winner. And so the purchase was made, or rather, was promised, as I didn't have time to buy a voucher before Christmas day.

Increasingly, it seems to be the case that life is absolutely flying by, and so it wasn't until earlier this month that my Dad and I were able to both take the time off work, and actually go for the long-awaited afternoon tea experience, which I think was assisted somewhat by the fact that Norwich City were hosting Watford at Carrow Road, and my Dad is a devoted Watford fan.

Having lived in Norwich for over 4 years now, I'd driven or walked past the Assembly House on a number of occasions, but have never had reason to go inside, and so when I finally did, I was absolutely amazed. I'd seen photos, but they paled in comparison to the actual building itself. It's a Georgian building, with, it turns out, a very varied and interesting history - I can highly recommend having a search on Google if you're remotely interested.

When we arrived, we were lead into this beautiful, pink room with marble tables, high ceilings, and a grand piano in the corner (pretty much every blogger's absolute dream!). I'm fairly annoyed with myself for not taking a photo of the menu, as there was a very impressive range of teas; I went for the elderflower tisane, and ordered the standard afternoon tea. My Dad didn't stick to the brief, and also ordered the standard afternoon tea, however this worked in Harvey's favour as most of the top plate ended up coming home with us afterwards. Unfortunately this means I'm none the wiser as to how the Assembly House manages to turn a very sugary top plate into something less so, but I can vouch for the unlimited teas, coffees, and extra sandwiches.

So there I was, having a bit of a moment, and it was everything I'd expected. Either I'm not as sophisticated as I thought, or I was having too much of a good time and got carried away, because I managed to pour myself a cup of loose leaf tea, forgetting there was a separate strainer. Needless to say that was not the most enjoyable part of the afternoon; it turns out trying to drink hot tea and having to keep your mouth tightly shut is not the easiest thing in the world. I'm not sure if it was that, or accidentally putting clotted cream on my savoury scone which was the highlight. Perhaps I ought to think about getting glasses...

HIGHLIGHT: Cheese, Colman's Mustard (of course) and Chive Scone - this was absolutely divine! I've promised my sister we'll go when she finishes university, and I'll definitely be swapping my sweet scone for another savoury one the second time around!

All in all, I can highly recommend the Assembly House; if you're ever in the area, it's definitely worth a visit, even if just for a quick drink.

Laura xx


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