Our second review from our holiday in Yorkshire found us 5 miles from Whitby in search of a tearooms. Originally built as a gamekeepers cottage in the late 1780's, it was then opened as a tea garden in the 1900's. Becoming abandoned in the 1960's it was left empty and untouched for 50 years until it was bought by the current owners Steph and Jack Newman in 2008.
Having undergone renovation works, they opened it up again as a tea garden in July 2008. Falling Foss Tea Garden is a small but enchanting tea garden set in the grounds of Midge Hall, a tiny cottage which nestles at the top of the magnificent Falling Foss Waterfall in the heart of Sneaton Forest. Being well off the beaten track there is no direct access here but you can park for free at Sneaton Forest and walk the footpath to the tea garden.
It was a pretty warm on the day of our visit so we opted for cold drinks rather than the tea and coffee on offer. However it must be noted that the coffee served is our favourite from the area from the 'Bay Town Coffee Company' of which we have purchased a lot to bring home, one such purchase being from Fallen Foss. This gives it a big thumbs up from us already!
All the food is freshly prepared and homemade cakes and scones are baked on site daily. Only quality ingredients are used which are sourced locally wherever possible.
The tea garden has an almost outdoor, camping feel with a wooden lodge to serve tea and coffee and take food orders. Seating is of a similar style with a wooden lean to and tarp tents with seating under cover providing both shade and rain cover when the weather turns. The seating is situated in the spacious garden alongside a creek and the waterfall which can be heard through the trees.
Although not having hot drinks, we did sample the food. I went for a tuna melt quesadilla whilst he chose a BLT. The service was very friendly and again prompt, something they seem to be spot on with around here, especially as the place was heaving with couples, locals and families everywhere. The staff were rushed off their feet but no one appeared to be waiting at all. Back to the food, this was amazing value for money, simple yet delicious and the portions were huge. Each came with a small salad and a handful of kettle crisps. There were also many homemade cakes and locally made ice creams on offer but unfortunately we didn't have enough space after the huge portions for lunch, all looked temptingly delicious though!
We followed our lunch with one of the suggested walks and added to the adventure in search of the base of the waterfall. This was not easy, a lot of crossing the river over rocks, climbing steep banks and fallen trees but the waterfall is worth it. It feels like you are in a completely different part of the world, not the depths of the Yorkshire Moors!
Overall this place has something for everyone. If you are a family then you can relax with a coffee and cake whilst the children go down to the creek to play on the swings and climbing frames or play pooh sticks in the stream. If alone or as a couple out exploring the woods or on a moorland walk then this is a definite must for a pit stop and refuel. Picturesque and unique in every way, if you are an outdoors type you will fall in love with the location as well as the tea gardens. The star feature is definitely the waterfall, a natural waterfall that can be heard when parking and you merely need to follow the flowing water to stumble upon the tea garden.
The Verdict? Hidden Gem
A hidden gem of the Yorkshire moors and drowning in history this little tea room at the base of a waterfall is a must visit. Definitely for outdoor types it has so much to offer. Another reminder of the many hidden gems waiting to be found and the clever, inspired couple that have created an amazing tea garden for everyone to experience.