Whilst visiting Selborne to see Gilbert White’s House, we cast around initially to see where we could enjoy a restorative cup of tea. With the Hound in tow, we sadly could not try out the Tea Parlour in Gilbert White’s House (http://www.gilbertwhiteshouse.org.uk/tea-parlour/). The homemade cakes, kept safely from me beneath glass cloches, looked delicious and we hear that it has been awarded the Tea Council Award of Excellence for 2010, one of only two Hampshire establishments to be honoured with this accolade.
Reluctantly walking away from the Tea Parlour, we explained our dilemma to the friendly lady in the gift shop and she suggested we try the gardens of The Queen’s, an historic Inn just across the road from the museum. It looked promising from the outside and as soon as we sat down in the gardens, friendly waitresses bade us welcome and took our order.
We have since found out that The Queen’s was formerly known as The Compasses and was the venue – so we are lead to believe – for the wild wedding party very graphically depicted by Gilbert White in his writings. Obviously a good place to be then circa mid 1700’s. It still is according to the locals and as if to prove their point, the garden soon filled up with people intent on gastronomic repasts.
Of course, when seeing other guests devouring what looked like some rather nice meals, our original tea request inevitably extended to lunch. The menu seen here is augmented by daily specials and a wide sandwich selection.
On this occasion, we decided upon Salade Nicoise (GBP7.50) and The King’s Cold Platter (GBP12.95). Good choices as it turned out. It goes without saying that we would recommend The Queen’s for a well crafted, well priced and delicious meal if you are in the area. Judging by the number of locals eating there – that’s probably recommendation enough anyway.
Contributer: Sue Lowry