The thing that strikes me straight away is the history of Northampton when entering the building. Charles Rennie MacKintosh House is a visitor attraction with a boutique restaurant, light-filled art galleries, a stylish design shop and elegant spaces that can be hired for meetings, events and functions.
Interesting fact that 78 Derngate is the only house in England designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh that still contains its original interiors! The Dining Room is a great place for afternoon tea as it is an old fashioned tea room, with an array of tea cups, tea pots and plates that mean you can almost taste Old Northampton. We went on a Sunday afternoon and the Dining Room was full. We booked in advance which we would thoroughly recommend to avoid disappointment. We had a table in the window overlooking Beckets Park, which on a sunny day would be great - we settled for the rain. The service was efficient and prompt and we enquired what was included in the afternoon tea for two and we were well informed. The first sitting included an array of sandwiches including smoked salmon and cream cheese, brie and cranberry, ham and pickle and egg. We chose to replace the egg with sun dried tomatoes. The only gripe we would have, is that there was not a choice of sandwiches but they were lovely. Accompanying the sandwiches were some coronation chicken bruschetta, cheese and seed scone and individually prepared leek and broccoli quiche.
On to the best part - the cakes and scones. The scones were served with clotted cream and jam and partnered with salted caramel macarons, chocolate cake and lemon posset profiterole. The macarons were by far my favourite as they tasted delicious. It would have been nice to be given a choice of plain or fruit scones but they were slightly warmed which pleased my wife and they tasted great.
The atmosphere inside was really good, the seven tables were full, there was a good level of room noise with some subtle background music that was in keeping with the ambience and the service was second to none.The mix of ages in the room varied from four-years-old to around 80, so if you are looking for somewhere with something to do before or after your afternoon tea then we would definitely recommend The Dining Room at 78 Derngate.
If you are looking for Mothers Day then we would suggest booking early or exploring the gift voucher option.