It is all in the name: Palm Court.
It resonates with a time when people came to Scarborough for the air and to take the waters – and when a singer stood in front of an orchestra and sang ballads like “When I Take My Sugar to Tea”.
Times have changed – fast food and relationships that are formed and end in an episode of Love Island (what a crass, crude programme that is – it makes Big Brother look like the Love Boat).
But cosseted in the warm, leather and chrome, carpeted chic of the Palm Court lounge you can almost imagine Sinatra at the microphone and hear the Tommy Dorsey band backing him.
The atmosphere in the Palm Court is restful – although the hustle and bustle of the town centre and the blips and bleeps of the amusement arcades of the seafront are only a few steps away.
Inside the lounge all is calm and sophistication.
I did not take my sugar to tea – but rubbing elbows not at the Ritz but at the Palm Court my mum and me forgot our cares and tucked into “tea”.
I suppose, to “take tea” has to be an occasion and it was - the occasion was a birthday.
Ribbon sandwiches, home-made sultana scones, jam and clotted cream, assiette of miniature desserts with a pot of Yorkshire tea were ordered and served. The afternoon tea was beautifully served on silver stands that you only see on Masterchef when the contestants are doing a tea for the Women’s Institute.
The fare was rich, extravagant, elegant and moreish: chocolate, strawberries and jellies. It cost £14.95 per person.
We could have pushed out the boat and had a champagne tea which was £5 more – next time we will.
In fact, the Palm Court does a celebration tea which includes a birthday cake. This costs £16.95 per person and with champagne £21.95.
The hotel also serves a gentlemen’s afternoon tea which is more savoury. It includes a selection of cheeses and homemade chutneys, Glaves pork pie, Palm Court pastie, mini fishcake, homemade terrine and scones and cream (£14.95).
Tea is served between noon and 5pm. We waited until 4pm and, dropping bags by our chairs, settled in for two hours of leisurely recovery from the “shop til you drop” previous few hours.
The service was discreet and impeccable. We were made to feel it was a special occasion and felt no pressure to hurry up.
The Palm Court has a restaurant and it also has a lounge and breakfast, lunch time and dinner menu. I have had more than one lunch there in the past few weeks – one a business meeting and the other a pre-theatre matinee meal.
Whether it’s breakfast, lunch, tea or a casual or formal dinner, the Palm Court has all bases covered.
There is a bar area where you can look at the menus at your leisure or go straight through to the lounge.
It is the calm, unhurried atmosphere with professional service which I appreciated as well as the tasty, well-prepared food with the touches – like the homemade crisps – which raised the meal above the ordinary.
Rating: 8 out of 10