The Coombe Abbey Hotel serves one of the most popular afternoon tea in the Midlands, which requires to book up to two months in advance on weekends.
February 2020 update: price and booking links
The Coombe Abbey Hotel Setting ★★★★★
The Hotel & Garden Room Restaurant ★★★★★
Coombe Abbey is a gorgeous hotel, which is located on the outskirts of Coventry. Everything is luxurious, beautiful and impeccably decorated. Due to the popularity of the place, the parks are always crowded in the summer and afternoon tea on week-ends is always fully booked. There is also a small fee for parking, even for hotel guests (£2/day).
Afternoon tea is served in the Garden Room restaurant, a large conservatory with plenty of light and offering direct access to the gardens.
The Gardens & Coombe Country Park ★★★★★
Coombe Abbey Hotel’s gardens are lovely and surrounded by the equally beautiful Coombe Country Park. I strongly recommend taking a stroll through the parks, especially during the best days of summer.
The Tea & Beverage Selection ★★★★☆
The tea selection is quite nice and the tea is brewed properly. I strongly recommend tasting the “Green Sencha” as it is the best of the lot, though it’s a pity that there is no white tea or oolong tea to choose from (fair enough at such a good price).
The hot chocolate is delicious and just sweet enough. There are also several “grands crus cafés” for the delight of coffee enthusiasts.
Guests who opt for the Knight’s Afternoon tea are served with a pint of “Ale of Coombe” which is brewed by MerriMen Brewing Ltd. Even though it’s included with the Knight’s tea, it wasn’t brought to me spontaneously so make sure to check/ask for it.
The Savouries ★★★★☆
The Abbot’s Afternoon Tea Savouries ★★★★★
Four sandwiches: “Cheddar, tomato & chutney”, “Smoked salmon, spring onions & Cream cheese”, “Humus & Piqquillio pepper” and “Chicken & Herb mayonnaise”. These are all delicious and made with fresh bread but they cannot be called adventurous.
The chicken & herb mayonnaise and cheddar & chutney sandwiches are especially tasty.
The Knight’s Afternoon Tea Savouries ★★★★☆
The Knight’s Afternoon tea savouries selection is a lot more unique but also less tasty: “Venison sausage roll”, “Black truffle mac & cheese pasta with breadcrumbs”, Scotch duck egg”, “Pancetta & smoked olive tartlet”, “Real ale chutney verrine” and Pickled balsamic onions”.
The venison roll, the pancetta & smoked olive tartlet and the verrine are the best of the lot. The Black truffle mac & cheese is really unusual and the addition of breadcrumbs adds a very pleasant crunchiness to this creamy mess!
The Real ale chutney is a bit odd when eaten on its own and the Scottish egg is quite disappointing.
The Scones ★★★☆☆
The traditional afternoon tea comes with a plain sweet scone served with jam and clotted cream. The Knight’s Afternoon’s savoury scone comes with a number of salted toppings.
Both scones are nice and big, perhaps a bit too big since the bigger ones tend to be a bit dry. It is also a pity that they were not served warm.
As what happened with the Coombe Ale, the afternoon tea initially came without the savoury scone! Do keep your eyes peeled as it’d be a pity to miss out.
The Sweets ★★★★★
The sweets are the best part of the Coombe Abbey afternoon tea, hence my preference for the cakes and sweet oriented Abbot’s option which includes all the following cakes: “Chocolate truffle & Garden herb Ganache Lollipop”, “Bakes Damson & Frangipane tart”, “Matcha Green Tart Cornetto with Stem Ginger & Lime Butter Cream”, “Belgian Chocolate & Fudge Brownie” and “Crushed Oreo Cookie Cheesecake Shot”.
The sweets are the best part of this afternoon tea: the Brownie, the Cruched Oreo cheesecake (the only two sweets served with the Knight’s afternoon tea) and the Damson & frangipane tart are just perfect.
The Lollipop’s chocolate outer later is crunchy and delicious but the filling (garden herb ganache) feels very odd, it just doesn’t really fit with the chocolate.
The Service ★★★★☆
The staff is efficient and courteous, as expected from a four star hotel. Weekends are almost always fully booked and quite hectic so do make sure that everything gets delivered with your afternoon tea.
Conclusion & Overall Mark ★★★★☆
The Coombe Abbey afternoon tea is worthy of its excellent reputation in the Coventry & Warwickshire area: It is ideal if you also enjoy taking a stroll through the gorgeous gardens and parks and will also satisfy those who just want to spend a relaxing afternoon drinking tea and eating delicious sweets.
The price/performance ratio is excellent (from £23/person) and the possibility to choose between several kinds of afternoon tea ensure that all palates will be satisfied, whether you have a preference for savouries or sweets.
+: Gorgeous hotel & surroundings
+: The tea & beverages
+: Delicious sweets
+: Good service
-: The scones
-: Requires to book ahead on weekend (1-2 months)
-: Parking fee