This weekend I went up to the Lincolnshire Wolds to visit my sister. The countryside in Lincolnshire is beautiful, acres and acres of farmland, as far as the eye can see, with a never-ending horizon. After a leisurely lunch on the Sunday, we made our way to the Five Sailed Windmill in the little village of Alford for afternoon tea.
The mill is a working flour mill, built in 1837 by Sam Oxley, the local millwright, whose business still trades today under the name R Thompson and Sons, and is the only remaining traditional millwrights in the country.
The tearoom (named “Millstones“) is housed in the former sail-shed, and their signature cake is the Victoria Sponge, made with wholewheat flour milled on site. Whilst we are mostly unfamiliar with baking with wholewheat flour, the results are surprisingly satisfying – The wholewheat flour gives the cake a beautiful dark golden colour (very different to the creamy colour produced when using white flour), and the texture of the sponge is much richer. The Millstones’ sponge was sandwiched together with generous layers of raspberry jam and feather-light buttercream. It was so rich and the portion so generous however, that I was sadly unable to finish it and had to take the remainder home in a doggy bag to be enjoyed later!
If you are ever in the area, sitting out in the tearoom’s garden under the shadow of the mill’s sails, nibbling on cakes freshly made with the mill’s very own flour makes for an idyllic afternoon.
It’s also worth mentioning that there is an on-site shop selling a range of different locally milled flours (including gluten-free mixes) and oat cereals at very reasonable prices.
Afternoon tea (pot of tea and cake): £7.50 for two
Value Barometer: 9/10
Food: home-baked cakes, soups, salads
Go if: You are in need of a sweet-pick-me-up
Don’t go: on a Monday – the Mill and tearoom are closed
Also in the area: Only a 15 minute drive from the Lincolnshire coastline at Mablethorpe