It was an absolute pleasure to be invited to an Afternoon Tea inspired by the Duchess of Bedford in their new Repton Room at The Woburn Hotel.
If you’ve ever been to Woburn in Bedfordshire, you’ll know what a gorgeous place it is. A quaint village nestled close to the Buckinghamshire border is home to picturesque Georgian buildings and a bustling centre of shops and amenities. The Woburn Hotel sits in the heart of the village in part of the Woburn Abbey estate, and exudes luxury to match its surroundings.
On arrival at the lobby, it was clear we were in a 4 AA Star rated hotel as it was decorated and maintained beautifully. We were met warmly at the door and shown to the newly refurbished Repton Room just beyond the foyer. This room is really spectacular. Sumptuous furniture and great interior design in this small but well appointed room really made the whole experience special. We were lucky enough to be at one of the tables with sofa seating. We felt very relaxed and at home in this intimate cosy space. I was there with my husband and as soon as we were seated we both said to each other “we need to take our mums here!”. It already seemed to be the perfect place to take a loved one when you want to treat them somewhere special.
I love the story that this particular afternoon tea is inspired by the tea taken back in the 1840’s at Woburn Abbey by the Duchess of Bedford. She felt that the gap between lunch and dinner was too long and that having a tea of sandwiches, cakes, and biscuits at 5 o’ clock helped to bridge the gap! This is a lady after my own heart…
We could not fault the service from beginning to end, from the receptionist to the servers. The staff were attentive to our every need and yet never intrusive. We were asked whether we were ready to start afternoon tea or whether we wanted more time, which was lovely as we didn’t feel rushed. The afternoon tea came in good time and everyone was calm, kind, and courteous all afternoon! It didn’t seem that anything was too much to ask.
The Duchess Anna Maria Afternoon Tea comes with a pot of tea or coffee of your choice – and there was certainly plenty to choose from! All their coffee is Fairtrade certified and they had a wide selection of tea and herbal infusions, as well as the option to add some bubbly. They even had Rooibos tea (which is incredible as it’s my all time favourite yet can’t be found in many places!). Little touches like being given extra hot water with our tea set really showed attention to detail.
We each had a delicious round of different flavoured sandwiches on an array of white and multigrain bread. I was impressed that I was asked beforehand whether we had any preferences or dietary needs and my sandwich selection was changed accordingly with no fuss! Sandwich fillings included ham and wholegrain mustard, cream cheese and cucumber, and smoked salmon. All absolutely delicious and perfectly sized!
Also on our cake stand were two dishes of various tempting cakes and treats to devour (and oh boy, we did!). We began with mini scones (both fruit and plain) which came with clotted cream and strawberry preserve. They were SO tasty that my husband and I decided they were instantly our favourite! We’ve had scones at The Savoy before (yes, yes, very fancy) and yet they didn’t stand up to the sweet buttery deliciousness of these scones. They are truly the best we had ever tasted!
Alongside those were slices of lemon drizzle cake and rich spiced fruit cake. Both were divine and not too heavy, making them an ideal mid-way treat before the beautiful desserts on the top tier. On the top were lovingly made meringue nests with vanilla bean cream (yum!) and berries, a fine delicate lemon tart, and an oozy millionaires shortbread. At this point I was getting full but managed to scoff the lot as everything tasted top notch. No flavour was too strong, no dessert was too overpowering… everything tasted harmonious and carefully made. If you don’t manage to eat it all, they will offer to pack up anything remaining to take home with you! Perfect!
Best part for me:
The great service and those delectable scones!
Best part for hubby:
The tasty scones and fruit cake (he LOVES fruit cake!)
1) The hotel is able to adjust the afternoon tea to any allergies and food intolerances, mention any when booking and they will be more than willing to help.
2) Spend time in Woburn, it really is a wonderful place!
3) If you’re coming from further afield, The Woburn Hotel have stunning suites and cottage accommodation to extend your stay.
4) The Hotel also has a continental restaurant Olivier’s, which comes highly recommended by reviews on Trip Advisor… hubby and I will be looking to try there next date night!
For full information on the hotel and their afternoon tea visit www.thewoburnhotel.co.uk
I hope you enjoyed reading my review, let me know if you get a chance to visit!
*Our afternoon tea experience was gifted in return for an honest review. All opinions are my own.