I have been to Coombe Abbey before, it was such a beautiful day when we went and everyone was buzzing from the lovely weather.
There is a huge park which most people generally go for, I went for a look inside the house and went around the grounds, to be honest after visiting a few houses I tend to get confused with which house is which. I do remember it being quite dark and medieval. Coombe Abbey was founded as a monastery in the 12th century.
I was really excited about going for afternoon, the booking has to be made in advance and this was the only Sunday that was free, although a little inconvenient as it was the weekend of Diwali and having eaten a lot I did wish another weekend was free but I just had to deal with it and have a fat weekend!
At the time of the booking I told them my dietary requirements of being a Pesicatarian and were they able to cater for us? they had to check and said yes they would. We arrived for the tea at 12.30, I didn’t have any breakfast as I wasn’t very hungry and you know how filling these Tea’s can be.
The orangery where the afternoon tea was held was really peaceful and calming, although it was a cold day it felt warm in there. It was a lovely area and I really like the ambience. They had some period features which worked well with the rest of the room. I love the fan and the gold details against the muted green/grey coloured walls. There was also this private area that was guarded with curtains it reminded me of somewhere the queen would sit!
We were seated (not where the queen would but it would do!) and where asked which drinks we wanted my mum and I, both ordered a coffee, although we did want a cappuccino and latte these were both not included in the afternoon tea and were extra, we didn’t think that was really fair. We just ended going for a normal coffee. I went for the decaffeinated coffee which I found was absolutely horrible, it came in a cafeteria and I waited a few minutes before I plunged the top down. I don’t think I have ever had worse coffee before!
I did wonder if they had remembered my dietary requirements. I mentioned this to the waitress and she said ‘could you please remind of this again’. For me this was a bad start, but this has happened to me a number of times, so don’t always expect your dietary requirements to be held.
We were getting quite hungry and realised that it was after 1pm and the food still hadn’t arrived. I have been to a few afternoon tea’s and it’s never arrived that late before, the food is usually made and need to be plated up.
When cake stand arrived, they replaced the trifle with the same piece of cake. I did notice that there was the rocky road chocolate mousse still on the plate which did look amazing as you can see from the photos but I know rocky road has marshmallows so that was a no no for me. I was shocked the chef didn’t know this! they brought the stand back with an empty space and I asked will this be replaced with something else? they said the chef can give you more sandwiches, which they did.
The sandwiches were OK, I liked the vegetarian one, the salmon needed more flavour. The cheese sandwich lacked in flavour also. I really liked the hummus wafer it was really different and it caught my eye.
As for the sweet items, I only tried the scone at Coombe Abbey as I only had room for that as we had extra sandwiches I found the scone was a bit dry. Later on I tried a bit of the coffee and walnut cake which was not that amazing but I did like the coffee icing. The apple tart could have done with slightly more flavour too.
Overall I don’t think we had the best afternoon tea experience. I wasn’t sure if it was because they didn’t catered for our diet. However the service and time for the food to come out was quite delayed too. I wouldn’t recommend it though.
Website: Coombe Abbey