If you happen to be in the vicinity of Leamington Spa (Warwickshire) and fancy an afternoon tea surrounded by beautiful gardens, the Mallory Court Hotel is your best bet in Warwickshire:
The Mallory Court Hotel Setting ★★★★★
The hotel is located on the outskirts of Leamington Spa and is surrounded by several beautiful gardens, where English and French styles come together perfectly.
The hotel decoration is nice as well but I strongly recommend to ask to sit at a table with a view on the gardens, especially the gorgeous room visible in the third and fourth picture below (for groups of 5-6 people).
2017 update (good weather)
When the weather is good enough, guests can have the afternoon tea on the terrace and enjoy a magnificent view of the gardens.
Tea & Beverage Selection ★★★☆☆
The weakest part of this afternoon tea: there is a theoretical limit of 2-3 pots per guest, which is a bit strange considering the tea is not loose leaf (except for the English breakfast) but some tea bags from Twinnings and Teapigs.
Still, there is a decent choice of tea and coffee and it’s not unusual to have a limit choice wise.
The Savouries ★★★★☆
The sandwiches were fresh and tasty, though highly predictable: “cheese & chutney”, “ham & mustard”, “cucumber & butter” and “smoked salmon”.
The “bacon & eggs quiche” was most delicious and added a bit of variety to the savouries selection. Last time I went there is was a “smoked salmon quiche”, equally amazing and even more refreshing.
The Scones ★★★★★
The scones are served with clotted cream and strawberry jam, each guest gets two plain scones. These were an aboslute delight: soft and delicious as scones shoud be!
The Cakes & Pastries ★★★★★
The cakes are delicious, beautiful and varied: “Victoria Sponge with Strawberry”, “Walnut Cake with Cherry & Meringue”, “Fruit Cake”, “Raspberry Macaroon with Lime” and “Apple Crumble”. The latter (served in a shot glass) is probably the tastiest of them all along with the Victoria Sponge.
It’s unusual but not a single of these pastries disappointed me, not even slightly. Add the variety and beauty of these, that’s my well-deserved compliments to the pastry chef. The cake selection changes all the time but to my knowledge, the “apple crumble” is always served.
The Service ★★★☆☆
While being courteous and professional, the service is tad disappointing, even a bit cold if I dare say. Nothing to complain about but I’d expect a warmer welcome from a “Relais & Chateaux”.
Conclusion & Overall Mark ★★★★★
As of 2017, this is my favourite afternoon tea in Warwickshire. The Mallory Court Hotel gardens alone would make the trip worthwhile but the food is also delicious!
I especially recommend going on a sunny day, having the afternoon tea on the terrace is just perfect.
+: Beautiful gardens
+: Delicious scones & cakes
+: Good price/performance ratio
+: My favourite in Warwickshire
-: Only two pots of tea per guest
-: No loose leaf teas
-: Service is a bit shy