This is The Orchard, just across the road and down the way from the Cambridge American Cemetery where my brother, George Bowler Tullidge III is buried. There is a small restaurtant but sitting in lawn chairs under the apple trees and having tea is very popular. The traditional fare is a scone and tea, cake and tea , or the full High Tea. When I first was there in the 90s, it was not so popular in the United States for afternoon tea and this was really an English treat for me.
High tea or Cream Tea is a light supper to tide you over until dinner with crust-less sandwiches, scones with preserves and clotted cream, and sweets.
This is the proper way to eat the scones, a type of biscuit, jam and clotted cream which is similar to whipped cream.
Back to the story about The Orchard. The beginning of the story of this unusual tea room was in 1897 when students asked the landlady in a boarding house in the orchard, if they could be served tea in the orchard instead of on the front lawn of the house. This was the beginning of the tradition of tea in the orchard.
In 1909, Rupert Brooke, a graduate student of English at the college and quite popular brought some of his gang, the Grantchester Group to The Orchard. Included in this group were some well know people today: John Keynes, E. M. Forster, Bertrand Russell, Augustus John, Ludwig Wittgenstein, and Virginia Wolf.
Students could walk to the Orchard for tea or the popular punting on the Cam directly from the university to refreshment.
Boats are available complete with a punter who stands and rows. Along the way, you hear stories of the college, the students, and historical events and gossip!
The indoor tea room can be used on days with poor weather.
Now, I need to make a caveat to The Orchard. . . . . It is very popular mostly with tourists and has been the two times I visited for tea, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. You might have to wait to be seated, but that doesn’t bother me and you serve yourself and take your food outside. You are not hurried unless you , like I hate to hold other people in line. David always says there is a reason why lovely places are crowded. . . . “because they are lovely!”