Date visited: Monday 24th October 2022
The March Hare Tea Rooms on The Oxebode in Gloucester has an unassuming frontage, with a takeaway counter and carousels of gift cards prominent in its window. However, appearances can be deceptive.
The March Hare Tea Rooms has a single room with nine tables for those taking tea, as well as four tables outside on the pavement. Unlike many tearooms, the tables inside are quite well spaced out – this isn’t one of those places where there are so many tables in a small space that it’s difficult to get around.
A breakfast menu is served until 11.30 am, with full English breakfast, porridge, sandwiches, and many other options. A slightly less extensive lunch menu is available thereafter, with hot and cold snacks such as sandwiches and jacket potatoes. However, the timings of the menus are approximate – effectively orders are taken from either menu throughout the day if available, with breakfast items available until they run out. Beverages include soft drinks, coffees and hot chocolate. On the menu only a basic selection of teas are listed, but a wide range of teas are available, and on display behind the counter. Five cakes were on display at the counter, with ten on the cake menu – a small blackboard that one of the staff of three carried to each table when ready to order.
I opted for A March Hare Ploughmans, apple pie with cream, and a pot of Newby jasmine blossom tea which all together came to just £9.95, and ordered a few minutes before the lunch menu it was part of was officially available. There were numerous options – brie or stilton, white or granary bread for the Ploughmans; hot or cold, pouring cream or clotted cream for the apple pie. The pot of tea was quickly served, followed shortly by the Ploughmans which so filled the plate it was served on that the proprietor soon offered a side plate for the bread to make some space. The butter was warm and soft enough to spread on the soft granary bread – a serving detail often overlooked. After finishing the Ploughmans there was a slightly long wait (it was a busy lunchtime for the tearoom) before the apple pie was served. The pie didn’t have the tastiest apples and the pot of tea wasn’t quite sufficient to last two courses, but at a price rarely seen in the last few years one can’t complain – and the Ploughmans was a glorious hit of savoury flavours. It’s a long time since I’ve been so well filled for less than a tenner when eating out at lunchtime.
The March Hare is open six days a week (closed Sundays) from early morning to mid-afternoon, and is well worth a visit by those in search of a simple, filling meal at a venue with welcoming staff.