Kiplin Hall Vector

Flavours of Herriot County Awards

Finalists - Tea Room of the Year

We are delighted to be finalists in the Flavours of Herriot Country Awards, in the category of Tea Room of the Year!

We feel our staff, our homegrown produce, beloved recipes, our setting, and our customers, all contribute to making the Tea Room so wonderful. As part of the awards process Flavours has teamed up with the Darlington and Stockton Times for the Readers Choice Award. You can find the voting coupon inside recent issues of the Darlington and Stockton Times. Please take a moment to cut it out, give Kiplin Hall a tick and pop it in the post to the D&S as instructed on the coupon. You will not be asked to join a mailing list or give any information. If you’d simply like to drop your slip off at Kiplin we will post it for you.

This system encourages people to buy this treasured local paper. The D&S is a wonderful source of news, highlighting important local matters and promoting regional services and attractions. We at Kiplin are especially thankful for the work of the journalists and staff at our local papers, please buy a paper and show your support.

Here is what Director, James Etherington, had to say about the Tea Room in his nomination.

Kiplin saw an increase in visitors of 65% in 2021, going from 18,700 to 30,900. Despite having to spend over half the year serving takeaway only from a makeshift serving hatch in a different building, the Kiplin tearoom delivered amazing customer service and wonderful locally sourced and prepared food for everyone, making a visit to Kiplin a taste sensation.

With the nine week lockdown at the start of the year and subsequent restrictions on eating indoors, we made the decision to set up our tearoom as a takeaway only offer. We didn’t have a venue, but thanks to the kindness of the University of Maryland, who agreed to loan us a building they use on site, we were able to set up a temporary kitchen and service hatch in the old farm building right near the entrance. The team undertook the herculean task of relocating their entire operation into a new site including design and construction of a service window to fit into the door of the building. They were able to source compostable cups, boxes and other utensils to ensure that the offer was as environmentally friendly as possible. Initially expecting 20,000 visitors, the site saw 30,912 this year. With almost frantic baking, supply ordering and jam making, the team delivered a takeaway only service until September. Then the changing rules made a move back indoors feasible, but despite having 44 indoor seats they still delivered a huge takeaway offer on top of table service within the tearoom. This went on until the end of our Christmas event in mid-December.

Kiplin’s tearoom thrives on homegrown produce and is well known for quality. All our meals have something that comes from the kitchen garden. Tended by over 40 volunteers, the kitchen gardens constantly produce salads, vegetables, fruits and edible flowers for our foods. The produce we can’t grow all comes from Yorkshire based suppliers, and we get the meat from the local butcher, the bread from the baker down the road, the honey from the next village over etc. The food miles of our products are incredibly limited.

All our foods are freshly made and home cooked. We use traditional recipes where possible, favouring the secret knowledge of our Tearoom Manager (Sharon’s) family recipes for scones, cakes and more. We make all our own chutney and jam on site using berries picked in the gardens and have regular customers who come for their monthly fix.

As well as our normal faire, this year we celebrated our 50th anniversary of the hall coming into charity ownership. As part of this, we held a 1970s themed Christmas event, and the tearoom delivered hugely on this theme, with 70s inspired sandwich fillings, cheese and cocktails sausages and onions on sticks garnishing every meal, and a wide range of 1970s inspired cakes and deserts that had visitors flocking back for more. Though we did take the liberty of upgrading some of the recipes to make them slightly less dependent on lard and aspic!”

A huge thank you to Team Tea Room! Sharon, Margaret, Evie, Alice, Mark, Helen, Gina, James, Chloe, Lily, Maggie – you are awesome.

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