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Folly Tea Room, Holt, restaurant review: ‘Delightful’

PUBLISHED: 12:47 18 October 2017 | UPDATED: 16:34 18 October 2017

Mini cheese scones at Folly Tearoom. Photo: Emily Revell.

Mini cheese scones at Folly Tearoom. Photo: Emily Revell.

Emily Revell.

Folly Tearoom is a popular destination but does it live up?

Beetroot, brocooli and goats' cheese quiche at Folly Tearoom. Photo: Emily Revell. Beetroot, brocooli and goats' cheese quiche at Folly Tearoom. Photo: Emily Revell.

Tucked away in a quaint little corner of Holt, this tearoom is quintessentially English and charming.

I love it here and have frequently returned for the genius concoction of leek and potato soup served with mini, yes mini, cheese scones, one of which is always stilton.

Originally I was apprehensive but resisted asking for bread instead. Cheese scones with soup did not sound all that delightful but it turns out I could not have been more wrong - it is possibly one of the best combinations on this earth. I have even started making them at home.

On this particular visit the menu had undergone a slight revamp, with a focus on quiches. There was also no leek and potato soup. Instead there was something involving turmeric and they only had one bowl left at midday which seemed peculiar. Soup for breakfast anyone?

Side salad at  Folly Tearoom. Photo: Emily Revell. Side salad at Folly Tearoom. Photo: Emily Revell.

Between sobs, I decided to settle for ‘trying something new’ and took a plunge into the quiches. My mum and I selected beetroot, broccoli and goats’ cheese, and pea, asparagus and goats’ cheese varieties.

MORE: The White Horse, Brancaster Staithe, restaurant review: ‘Breathtaking

They appeared to have been made in a tray bake style and a generous slice was served with new potatoes and salad.

The skill they have for making soup and scones translated to quiche. They were exceptional, and I’m not a quiche fan.

I was pleasantly surprised by the soft, creamy texture of the filling, which was as light as air with no discernible ‘egg’ taste and the pastry was buttery, crumbly and just the right thickness.

Folly Tearoom, Holt.
PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY Folly Tearoom, Holt. PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY

The flavours of both were light and fresh, if slightly mild. The pea and asparagus was substituted for broccoli and broad bean, which was slightly disappointing. The beetroot and broccoli stole the show, with giant pieces of fresh vegetables throughout.

The salad was colourful and packed full of radish and strips of beetroot, a welcome addition, adding a liveliness that is missed in many side salads. A small bowl of chutney seemed out of place with the dish, and though pleasant with the potatoes would not have been my typical choice of accompaniment and something like mayonnaise might have been nicer.

There is a vast selection of cakes, all of which look and taste beautiful as well as several perfect afternoon tea options and the scrumptious scones.

MORE:Eric’s Fish and Chips, Thornham, restaurant review: ‘Once in a lifetime dishes’

Drink

There is too much tea to choose from, aptly named ‘Curiosi –teas’ - you may be there for hours to-ing and fro-ing about whether to have the Folly Violet or Rose Congou (because I was.)

The coffee is also pleasant, not too strong and there is a selection of milkshakes and wine!

Loos

Just outside of the Folly, there are male and female public toilets, the gender of which is displayed by little deer heads sporting bows. They are basic but very clean.

Service

On this particular occasion, Saturday lunchtime, the place was heaving. The staff seemed a little unprepared for how busy they were. There were delays in the time it took to have our order taken, and we had finished our drinks by the time we received our food, nearly an hour later. There normally is a wait for food because it’s all so freshly prepared, but this seemed a little extreme. Nonetheless there was a steady queue of people waiting for a table.

MORE: The Black Horse, Norwich, restaurant review: ‘This place needs to be raved about’

Atmosphere

The Folly is cute, extremely kitsch and girly, right down to the glassware. Outside is a sizeable seating area with tables nicely spread out and lots of pretty plants. If it’s nice outside it’s a wonderful place to sit. Blankets are provided and we managed to sit outside in early October. It was such a lovely place to be that it softened the wait on the food.

Price

An afternoon tea is £18.99 and quiches are from £7.99. It’s pretty good value for what you get, a healthy and hearty portion!

Location

In a beautiful courtyard in the centre of Holt, it’s easy to access and a hugely popular lunch spot. It can really make a day out in north Norfolk that little bit special.

Parking

A public pay and display is just around the corner but most Holt car parks are within easy walking distance.

Highlight

The beautiful atmosphere and decoration, and on the right day the leek and potato soup with cheese scones!

In summary

Folly Tea Room is delightful. It’s as simple as that.

This is an independent review.

To see all of our food reviews click here.

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