Cost – £39.95 (Dec 2017)
Background – Woburn is the home of Afternoon Tea. It is where Anna the Duchess of Bedford lived at Woburn Abbey. She is the lady who asked for sandwiches and cakes to be served during the afternoon in order to stave off hunger between lunch and diner. As a result, the Afternoon Tea was born.
Woburn is a pretty and popular village. When we visited it was prettily decorated for Christmas. It looked particularly good in the dark as we left to go home.
Just by the centre of the village is a pretty building housing the Woburn Coffee House. The Coffee House is only open at weekends, and only serves their wonderful Afternoon Teas. Booking is essential, especially at special times like Christmas.
The Woburn Coffee House consists of two rooms used for Teas joined by a small seating area
and a corridor with doors to the kitchens and toilets.
The furthest room is the conservatory where we were sat. There is also a large garden outside for the warmer days.
Contents – A glass of Christmas Prosecco. Smoked salmon on beetroot blini with lemon crème fraiche, smoked parsnip soup, drunken devils on horseback. Partridge and pear terrine, Persian rice salad with butternut squash, stilton, brussels sprout, chestnut and cranberry bonbon, brie and ham tart, curried turkey sausage roll and a smoked trout mousse and sesame tuille with sorrel. Two small stollen scones, a small dish of strawberry with whisky jam and a small dish of clotted cream. A small chestnut mousse, Bailey’s orange and chocolate opera cake, mandarin and Cointreau trifle, a piece of Christmas pudding chocolate fudge. The tea was made with loose tea.
Comments – There were four of us having this very special Christmas Afternoon Tea. We were seated in the conservatory area at the back of the building. It was beautifully laid with pretty matching china and pretty matching tablecloth and napkins.
The Tea Room was beautifully decorated for Christmas with lovely decorations hanging from the ceiling and around the large mirrors.
First of all, we were offered a glass of Christmas Prosecco. I am not a drinker so I was offered either orange juice or traditional lemonade. I chose the lemonade, which was very nice.
We were also asked which tea we wanted. Two of us chose English Breakfast tea (including me), one chose Assam tea and one chose a hot chocolate drink instead. We were told to tell the waitress when we were ready for the tea to be brought out.
We were first brought out a brass tray with the first three items on it.
The soup was served in little brass cups.
I enjoyed it, despite not being a big parsnip fan. The salmon blini was also good. However, we all agreed the drunken devils on horseback where absolutely delicious.
The rest of this magnificent Tea was served on a brass five-tier spindle type cake stand. One between two people.
We asked for the tea and drinking chocolate to be served when we were ready to move onto the main part of the Tea.
The tea arrived quickly in vintage teapots, along with a small jug of milk. The drinking chocolate was in a large hot drink glass.
The savoury items on the stand where absolutely delicious! We were constantly surprised at the way things tasted. Things that we thought we didn’t like were really good and there was nothing we didn’t really enjoy. One of our favourites was the stilton, brussels sprout, chestnut and cranberry bonbon. We thought we didn’t like any of the ingredients apart from the cranberries, but the bonbon, which was like a crispy ball, was fantastic. I would love to have the recipe for these savouries.
Two other exceptional items were the curried turkey sausage roll and the trout mousse and sesame tuille (which was a crispy round disk of flavour).
As we were eating the savouries, we were offered a cube of cheese and chive scone with butter and a kiwi and pepper conserve as an extra. This was also delicious!
The scones were on the smaller size but given there was so much on offer this was probably a good thing! The scones were Stollen flavoured, which was very festive.
The jam was really good (and a little boozy).
There was not enough clotted cream but we were given extra when we asked for it. Butter was also provided on request for the member of our party who doesn’t eat cream.
With the sweet section came the only item we were not so keen on. This was the Mont Blanc inspired chestnut mousse. One of our party couldn’t eat it at all, whilst the rest of us thought it lacked any real flavour.
The rest of the sweet items were all really good,
with the square of fudge (in a little red bag) was superb. I would have liked a lot more of this to take home!
Whilst we were eating this section, we were offered an additional mini mince pie topped with Bailey’s cream. We all accepted!
The tea was of a good strength for all of us, with the pots being refilled on request.
The service was attentive and friendly.
We managed to finish the whole of our Afternoon Tea. It took us two hours to do so. Usually we are shocked by how little other people eat and how much gets packaged up for them to take home. On this occasion, looking around the rooms, I could see very little being left, with most people eating everything that was served. I think that definitely says something about the quality of this superb Afternoon Tea.
A big thank you to my lovely sister and her partner for treating my husband and me to a wonderful Afternoon Tea. It was very special. We will be back!!!