Cambridgeshire Part Three - Poets House, Ely

40 comments
Following a lovely night at Paddocks House and a day exploring Ely, Mike and I were ready to settle down to afternoon tea at our second hotel, Poets House.

The sister hotel to Paddocks House, this one's city centre location gives it a very different feel, while its outward appearance is different too. Housed within three elegant 1900s townhouses, it has a smart and sleek exterior.

Poets House Hotel, Ely, Cambridgeshire
 
Poets House Hotel, Ely, Cambridgeshire

Also very different is The Study, where we tucked in to a delicious afternoon tea following our day spent walking around Ely and climbing to the top of the cathedral. While this one shares the comfortable soft furnishings we found at Paddocks House, it has a livelier, more modern vibe, with floor to ceiling windows and huge feature bar.

Poets House Hotel, Ely, Cambridgeshire - The Study

Poets House Hotel, Ely, Cambridgeshire - The Study
 
Poets House Hotel, Ely, Cambridgeshire - The Study

Poets House Hotel, Ely, Cambridgeshire - The Study

We loved it in here. We also loved our afternoon tea, which was without a doubt my favourite meal of the whole trip and as good as any afternoon tea I've had anywhere.

Poets House Hotel, Ely, Cambridgeshire - Afternoon Tea

I went for lemon and ginger tea, my favourite blend besides traditional English breakfast, while Mike chose Earl Grey. We started with finger sandwiches, which were soft and delicious, in classic flavours like ham and mustard mayonnaise, smoked salmon and cream cheese and egg and cress. 

Poets House Hotel, Ely, Cambridgeshire - Afternoon Tea

Funnily enough, I'm not generally a great fan of sandwiches, but there's just something about them in the context of afternoon tea that I can't get enough of. We had no difficulty in polishing this lot off in an embarrassingly short amount of time.

Poets House Hotel, Ely, Cambridgeshire - Afternoon Tea

Then we moved on to the scones. These were amazing - still warm from the oven and ever so slightly crisp on the outside. We tried both the plain and the raisin filled variety and both were equally wonderful. My preference was for the plain ones - simply because I've never been particularly keen on raisins in baked goods - but Mike's favourites were the ones with raisins, so that worked out pretty well.

Drawing on lessons learnt from past afternoon tea experiences, I resisted the temptation to eat every last crumb of the scones. This was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do in my life (OK, maybe that's a slight exaggeration), but I had to do it for the cakes! Imagine if you were too full to properly appreciate these little works of art. Life is quite simply too short for those kind of regrets.

Poets House Hotel, Ely, Cambridgeshire - Afternoon Tea

If you're thinking that the raspberry macaron with the chocolate centre looks like heaven on a plate, you'd be right. But the little rectangular chocolate sponge with the crisp coffee beans on top was even better.

After all that food, there was nothing for it but to hibernate for a little bit, and attempt to build some kind of appetite back up for dinner. Our room was decked out just as the one at Paddocks House had been, and given how much I'd loved the decor there, that suited me just fine.

Poets House Hotel, Ely, Cambridgeshire - Rooms

Poets House Hotel, Ely, Cambridgeshire - Rooms

The only feature that reminded us we were in Ely and not Newmarket was the charming view of the cathedral from our bedroom window. (The view actually made me think of the Anthony Trollope novel Barchester Towers. Bonus points to any fellow book nerds who've read it!)

Poets House Hotel, Ely, Cambridgeshire - Rooms

And yes, there was a copper bathtub in the bedroom, just like at Paddocks House. I think I started running a bath the second we got back to our room! I want one of these at home.

Poets House Hotel, Ely, Cambridgeshire - Rooms

Now, I don't know what it is about food and holidays, but despite stuffing ourselves with sandwiches, scones and cake at four o'clock, by eight o'clock we were feeling just about ready for a small three course dinner.

And it's a good thing we were, because there were some treats in store.

Poets House Hotel, Ely, Cambridgeshire - Dining Room

Poets House Hotel, Ely, Cambridgeshire - Dining Room

I began the meal with scallops and squid, which was beautifully delicate, and served with a light, lemongrass sauce. This was so good I basically inhaled it.

Poets House Hotel, Ely, Cambridgeshire - Dinner

For the main course, I went for slow cooked blade of beef with creamy mashed potato and vegetables. This was probably my least favourite of all the (many!) dishes I consumed while on this trip. I don't think that was due to it being done badly, though, I just think I made an uninformed choice from the menu. Sometimes you have an idea of what a dish is going to taste like and the reality ends up being quite different from what you expected, and that's what happened here. The potato and vegetables were lovely, especially the spinach. I just wasn't keen on the soft, crumbly texture of the beef.

Poets House Hotel, Ely, Cambridgeshire - Dinner

Dessert on the other hand.... Mmmm....

I'm a little bit rubbish at writing about restaurants because when it comes to dessert, 99 times out of 100 I am going to choose chocolate. You would think after the cakes at the afternoon tea I would go for something different, but no. I don't seem to be able to help it. I have a problem.

But this was chocolate fondant, which is probably my all-time favourite, so there was no way I was going to miss out. (Yes, I want to provide varied and interesting content on my blog, but not if it's going to interfere with dessert, OK?) I first discovered these heavenly creations when I lived in Belgium. They're called "moelleux au chocolat" over there and they basically consist of a warm, soft, rich chocolate sponge filled with hot chocolate sauce. This one, I'm happy to say, was a spectacular example, and the combination with the vanilla ice cream was out of this world.

Poets House Hotel, Ely, Cambridgeshire - Dinner

I should have photographed the dreamy sauce oozing out of the middle as I cut into it, shouldn't I?

Oops...

Poets House Hotel, Ely, Cambridgeshire - Dinner

Too late now!

Mike and I both thoroughly enjoyed our flying visit to Cambridgeshire and both hotels we stayed at were fantastic. As much as I love going abroad, there's something really nice about discovering new places closer to home. Neither of us had been to this pretty county before, unless you count driving through it on our regular journeys between Kent and South Yorkshire. Now we know it's a place we want to go back to.

Where's your favourite place you've discovered that's close to home?

Kate x
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40 comments

  1. The food looks super delicious and the Poets houses looks amazing. I can tell you liked it.

    Angie | Chocolate & Lipstick | Beauty, Fashion & Lifestyle Blog

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  2. You had me salivating here looking at all these delicious meals, haha! I love the décor of the hotel you were staying and the place for an afternoon tea, beautiful places! x

    Mummy’s Beauty Corner

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    Replies
    1. We certainly had some good food, and plenty of it! x

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  3. This place is sooo beautiful!!

    www.brooklynglam.com

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    Replies
    1. Isn't it? I could live there quite easily! x

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  4. The place is beautiful. IKR what is it about the holidays that makes us stuff the three course meal at night despite eating all day =)) One of the Beach resort near my home is love ever since I discovered it :)

    Makeup Revolution Concealer review | Curious And Confused Me

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    Replies
    1. I would love to have a beach resort near my home! x

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  5. Such an amazing post!I have a giveaway on my fb page, if you're interested :)

    GIVEAWAY♥
    blog

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  6. Loved this post, haha I loved it so much that I had to Pin some of your photos for room inspiration.

    sierra | @itsberrystylish  

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    Replies
    1. Really glad you enjoyed it! Yes the decor at this hotel was definitely Pinterest-worthy! x

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  7. i am swooning over this entire post!!!! those treats! those rooms! ugh, so in love! thank you so much for sharing. xoxo
    ohsheslovely.blogspot.com

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    Replies
    1. You're very welcome! Glad you enjoyed it. x

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  8. I adore all your photos of your adventure here! Like you, I love international travel but sometimes rediscovering a local place is so fun too! That tea time looks amazing! I'm a big fan of scones with cream!

    http://www.districthilo.com

    Love, Mary

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    Replies
    1. Me too - there's nothing nicer! x

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  9. This is so inspirational,lovely pictures

    New on www.makeartnotlove.blogspot.com

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  10. The interior of this place are INCREDIBLE <3 I've been won over by that spectacular bathtub & how amazing does all the food look! The food kind of matches the lovely interior of the place haha :D so clever if they've done that on purpose :) & You look amazing Kate!

    Serene | I Am Serene L

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Serene! I'm obsessed with the decor of this place! x

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  11. I am torn which I want more now: The afternoon tea or the copper bath tub. Maybe both?

    Linda, Libra, Loca: Beauty, Baby and Backpacking

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    Replies
    1. Afternoon tea in the copper bathtub! x

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  12. Looks like you had an amazing time. The place is absolutely stunning! The food looks so good and how beautiful is that bathtub?!

    Hana | www.hanarosella.blogspot.co.uk ♥

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    Replies
    1. I know, I really fell in love with the bath! x

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  13. Stunning photos!

    katielou99.blogspot.co.uk

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  14. Wow - the afternoon tea has me drooling! Is that lemon posset in the glasses on the cake plate?! The copper bath is stunning! Both hotels look & sound absolutely amazing! xx

    Beautylymin

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    1. I think it was, though to be honest we didn't get around to tasting it as we were too full! They were fab hotels, and yes, the copper baths were definitely a highlight! x

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  15. That afternoon tea is too cute! And the hotel that y'all stayed in looks gorgeous!

    http://thecourtneydiaries.com

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  16. This place looks fantastic! The afternoon tea looks so cute and delicious. I love the grey decor, such a great vibe.

    elainea
    toast the girl almighty

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  17. This place looks stunning <3 Lovely pics!!!

    http://www.rakhshanda-chamberofbeauty.com/

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  18. I just adore reading travel diaries and even more so when they're based in England :) The decor of the hotel looks lovely - swooning at that Chesterfield sofa! Yum to the chocolate pudding and you look wonderfully elegant in that last photo of you with the dessert, by the way :)

    Gabrielle | A Glass Of Ice
    x

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  19. WOw amazing place!

    http://beautyfollower.blogspot.gr/

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  20. Awesome post dear!
    This place looks really great. Tge picture are amazing ❤.
    XO
    Pisa 😊

    http://inlovewithmyclothes.com

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  21. This all looks absolutely delicious! And the copper bathtub is seriously perfection, I would die if I found one in a hotel like that! Lovely photos too :)
    xo Kiki
    http://colormekiki.com/

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  22. I always wanted to have an afternoon tea... And reading how much you enjoyed it makes me all the more curious about it.... And another great hotel as well! You certainly know where to go :)

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  23. What a wonderful place! And so many tasty treats.

    http://ohduckydarling.com

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