When it comes to people asking for recommendations, “where is the best brunch:” and “what is the best afternoon tea” are probably my most asked questions! Well, today I have a recommendation for an excellent afternoon tea in the historic town of Woburn, just on the edge of Milton Keynes. I recently paid a visit to Woburn Coffee House with my Mum. It was a Christmas treat that, thanks to extended lockdowns, ended up being cashed in August! Regardless, it was absolutely worth the wait and after the wonderful reception that my Instagram post got, I thought I’d do an in-depth blog post about our experience to add to my other afternoon tea reviews on my blog.
Woburn Coffee House
It is worth saying that Woburn has historic ties with afternoon tea. Anna Russell, the 7th Duchess of Bedford resided in Woburn Abbey. In around 1840, the Duchess requested that some ‘light food and a pot of tea’ be brought to her private living quarters after complaining of a ‘sinking feeling.’ The food likely included bread and butter and some sweet treats like biscuits.
The rest, as they say, is history. Because this ‘light food and a pot of tea’ soon became a routine and the Duchess began inviting friends to her private rooms for tea in the afternoon. And so a new social event was born that continues to this day!
Woburn Coffee House is located on Woburn high street (just by Loch Fyne) in a beautiful pastel blue house that dates back to the 16th century. There are four different rooms in the building where you can enjoy afternoon tea, which is only served Friday, Saturday and Sunday: the Old Restaurant, the White Room, The Snug and arguable the most stunning – The Orangery, which can be used for weddings and private events, overlooking the private walled garden.
The afternoon tea menus change seasonally, so if you go at different times of year you will experience seasonal treats! It’s worth noting that the afternoon tea is served on weekends and Friday afternoons only with set sittings that last two hours.
I booked ‘The White Room’ at Woburn Coffee House, a beautifully decorated space that definitely had a touch of Victorian England about it. The decor is in no way twee though, despite the vintage elements! In fact, it’s very tasteful with a modern twist.
As it was August, we had the summer menu, which features a range of delectable canapés with seasonal ingredients. Every canapé is handcrafted by a talented team of pastry chefs. As you can see, the presentation is stunning! A HUGE silver cake stand arrived that was almost too tall to take a photo of. It was packed with a variety of savoury and sweet bites to eat.
To add, there is also a full vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free menu so dietary requirements are well catered for.
We had a glass of rosé champagne which we enjoyed before our tea arrived. You get unlimited refills of your chosen tea or coffee throughout your stay. I booked the traditional afternoon tea which is £32.95 per person. There is an option to upgrade to the celebration tea (£39.95) which includes a glass of bubbles.
First, we have the savoury tiers. Everything was absolutely delicious, but the highlights for me were the wild hake, clam and sweetcorn pie topped with Duchess potatoes, the gorgonzola cheesecake and the chorizo sausage roll. The gorgonzola cheesecake in particular had such a great composition of flavour. I don’t think I’ve ever had a savoury cheesecake before! The hake and clam pie was also beautiful and I loved the creamy potatoes.
For me, this is a perfect afternoon tea because there’s not a savoury sandwich in sight! I’d much rather have a delicious array of canapés than sandwiches.
Next up was three tiers of sweet! The Lemon drizzle scones were delicious with a subtle lemon flavour that wasn’t too overpowering. The Battenburg was light, fluffy and fruity and the macaron packed a punch with raspberry and a thick chocolate ganache. My favourite was the Malibu and coconut creme brulee which also featured a spiced caramelised pineapple compote with a strawberry and butter biscuit. Totally delicious!
The Turkish delight was delicate and delicious (I took that home though, along with the Battenburg because we just couldn’t finish it!)
For me, good service at a restaurant is essential and it’s the part of the experience that makes me want to go back the most (along with the food of course!) The team at Woburn Coffee House could not have been more welcoming and made sure we were topped up with tea and enjoying our food without being too overbearing throughout our stay. Although this was a Christmas gift for my Mum, it was her birthday the day before which I’d mentioned to them, so just before we’d finished our tea, they brought over a chocolate gift which had ‘Happy Birthday Mum’ on it. There were a few others in the White Room celebrating too and they all received personalised gifts, which was just a lovely touch and something that makes it all the more memorable.
I can’t recommend Woburn Coffee House enough. It would make for a wonderful birthday celebration, location for a hen do, baby shower or anniversary. The food was outstanding with fantastic service to match. It is well worth a visit and I’m already looking for an excuse to go again!
Have you been to Woburn Coffee House?
Woburn Coffee House is located on Woburn highlight and serves afternoon tea on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays at selected sittings. It is available for hire for weddings and private events. Gift vouchers are available. Full details and current menus are available on their website: woburncoffeehouse.co.uk
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