MY family and I were at a charity auction last autumn and thanks to our bid – and by “our,” I mean my father’s – we had the delight of winning vouchers for afternoon tea at Soughton Hall, Sychdyn.

This immediately made our day less stressful as there were no arguments about where to eat and saved copious amounts of time from my sister and I changing our orders every other minute.

We arrived at the impressive manor to be greeted by the manager herself who explained the hall’s history, who had inherited it and the inspiration behind the architecture.

Feeling privileged to be the sole guests in the whole restaurant, we were encouraged to take a mini tour of the entire upstairs and downstairs, which felt like similar to being on the set of Downton Abbey (which we were told in fact does have links to this Grade II* listed Flintshire building.)

The dining area itself was enough to warrant a visit, with stone lions guarding the vast bay windows which looked out onto the porcelain-like lawn.

What we believed to be the dining room even had silk wallpaper and a grand wooden floor, perfect for an unforgettable function or wedding.

The afternoon tea for two at first appeared rather on the modest side, but once halfway through the second tier, it was evident the luxury of the sandwiches, scones and pastries was enough to satisfy a hearty appetite.

A favourite of mine was the fudge portions and my family were happy to trade in theirs for my dark chocolate tartlet.

Plenty of hot tea and coffee was on hand from our smartly dressed waitress, and with plenty of iced lemon water, we were perfectly happy with our simple, elegant high tea with needs not for even a glass of wine or beer.

The ambience was perfect for a lovely afternoon, where we soaked up Christmassy family time in breath-taking building.

As for the staff, we could not have asked for a better experience. When we phoned reception to warn them we were stuck in heavy traffic, they graciously postponed our reservation.

The chef had even timed putting our homemade scones in the oven exactly to our time of arrival, and warm with clotted cream and jam, they were to die for on a cold Sunday afternoon.

The whole experience was simple, elegant, and classically British and we are fortunate to have such a venue and experience in the heart of Flintshire.

How it rated:

Soughton Hall, Sychdyn, Flintshire. Tel: 01352 840811

Ambience – 10/10

Service – 10/10

Food quality – 10/10

Children welcome – yes

Disabled access – yes