Today Café Dragonbat is in its original home,  the Grand Salon of Hotel Dragonbat, where it all started. Set in hundreds of acres of unspoilt countryside, the hotel was formerly Chateau Dragonbat, ancestral home of the Counts and Countesses Of Dragonbat,  most famous of whom, Countess Liliana, known simply as  Mother Lily by her grateful tenants and family, added most to the building we see now. Liliana was a firm believer in the dignity of education and sharing food and had no time for the rigid class structures in place during her lifetime.  Prince or peasant alike took tea and cake, made by her own hands, at the Chateau and her motto was 'feed body and mind'. The renowned  Mother Lily's Academy  For Girls in Lower Goatsqualour is still attended by any girl who can pass the entrance examination and bake a decent sponge cake. Her Dragonbat Boy's College operates the same policy. Academic achievement at both schools is extremely high and the baking superb. 

As the years passed the Family Dragonbat decided the Chateau was too large for a family home and built Bathaven,  overlooking Dragon's Bay, where they now live, and turned the Chateau into a magnificent hotel and rest home for retired people with shy dispositions. The Grand Salon is the jewel in the Dragonbat crown. Not enormous,  but exquisitely decorated in high Art Nouveau, the wood carving alone is considered the finest of its type on the world and the Austrian crystal chandeliers in a design of tumbling lilies are breathtaking. The paintings and stained glass work have to be seen to be believed and many guests spend hours simply appreciating these masterworks.

Today we are serving our signature Single Origin Bittersweet Chocolate Molten Centre Cakes, with homemade heavy cream coffee ice cream, the cream coming directly  from our pedigree herd of Jersey cows whose diet of rich organic grass and wildflowers,  and happy dispositions,  make our dairy products justly famous. 

The coffee today is an organic Bali Blue Moon and the tea a First Flush Tippy Assam from the Highland Estate of Giddapahar. 

The table linen is a pure white beaten linen appliquéd with guipure lace lily  motifs made by the nuns of the Little Sisters Of Heavenly Silence closed order and has matching napkins. The flower, in beaten copper stem vases created by our estate metalworkers under the aegis of Master Blacksmith Sven, is a white Calla lily. 

 

Joolz is now a Patron of the charity IDAS - a practical, grassroots organisation helping anyone who is a victim of sexual violence in the North of England. www.idas.org.uk

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