Beccy Tarling and her family enjoy a Christmas tea at the Pump Rooms, Bath

It had never crossed my mind to take children to the Pump Rooms in Bath, with the elegance of the venue and the liveliness of small children not really seeming like an obvious fit. However, the allure of the special festive afternoon tea and the welcome of the staff made the whole event a wonderful part of the build-up to Christmas.

We were warmly greeted on arrival and shown to our table in the middle of the beautiful dining room and beneath a glittering chandelier, and encouraged to take a look at the children’s afternoon tea menu. This was met with delighted smiles as our girls were asked to choose what they’d like in their sandwiches (cheese or ham) and whether they would like berry squash or hot chocolate to drink, complete with marshmallows and plenty of cream. These smiles grew even bigger when the food arrived. Attractively laid out on a three tier plate stand, the full children’s tea, priced at £7.95, included a marshmallow meringue snowman, a Christmas tree shortbread biscuit, Christmas chocolate muffin plus the aforementioned sandwiches and drinks.

The ingenious marshmallow snowman was a big hit with everyone – a mini meringue base topped with marshmallows to create his body and head, mini marshmallows for his arms, a strawberry lace scarf and an orange icing nose. He was so cute, my youngest couldn’t bring herself to eat him and he came home with us in a foil basket that one of the waiters kindly made specially for him.

While the children demolished their tea and admired their surroundings, the adults enjoyed a Traditional Pump Room tea; three tiers of sandwiches, salmon mousse, scones with clotted cream and damson jam and elegant cakes and accompanied by a hot drink of our choice. This nearly defeated us but we valiantly scoffed everything as it was all too tasty to leave anything behind.

The Pump Rooms restaurant offers children’s afternoon tea each school holidays with the food creatively tailored to the time of year. We genuinely felt like we’d had a real Christmas treat: the children enjoyed being in such sophisticated surroundings and sampling the delicious food, whilst we adults also appreciated the relaxed and welcoming atmosphere that made it such a lovely experience.

The Pump Room Restaurant will be serving kids’ festive afternoon tea from Saturday 17 December to Monday 2 January.