Palais Coburg does not serve afternoon tea on a regular basis so when I heard that they were serving it in January 2019, I quickly booked us a spot so we could visit this magnificent palace. I was quite impressed and I came back 2 years later to try their Champagne Brunch, both of which are review below.
The Setting ★★★★★
Palais Saxe-Coburg was built between 1840 and 1845 to served as the new residence of Cavalry General Prince Ferdinand and his wife Clémentine d’Orléans. The neoclassical building was constructed by Adolf Korompay based on plans designed by architect Karl Schelps. The peculiar design earned it the nickname of “Asparagus Castle” (Spargelburg) in reference to the many freestanding columns forming the central portico.
The construction was completed in 1848, before the demolition of the Braunbastei (or Brown Bastion), which was one of the segments of the city’s defences dating back to 1555. This is also why Palais Coburg sits on the inner part of the first district, while most palatial hotels such as the Imperial are located further out on the Ring. Some of the ruins are still visible from within the hotel and I strongly encourage you to take a stroll on the ground floor to admire the remnants of the Braunbastei.
The building was partially damaged in 1945 and was occupied by Russian troops until 1955. It was partially rented to the Austrian railway corporation (OBB) between 1955 and 1997. The Palais Coburg switched ownership a few times until it was bought by Peter Pühringer who had it extensively renovated in 2003. Now among the city’s most prestigious hotels, it houses 34 suites, a spa and two restaurants.
Palais Coburg is even more magnificent at night and we were fortunate enough to go on a short winter day. Once again, I suggest that you walk around a bit and maybe even grab a drink at the Coburg Wein Bar on the lobby’s ground floor.
The Ceremonial Rooms ★★★★★
The Champagne brunch and Afternoon tea are served in the Ceremonial Rooms, on the hotel’s upper floor. Guests may sit in the Mirror Hall, Blue Salon or the Yellow Salon, all of which can be admired in the pictures below. If possible, I recommend sitting in the Blue Salon ♥ which is the nicest of the three; it has plenty of natural light, a fireplace and feels a lot more intimate.
The view of the Stadtpark is mostly blocked by the rather unsightly Marriott Hotel but it’s still nice to have a bit of natural light, which you will enjoy if you sit in the blue salon or in the family salon.
For the afternoon tea: Guests who enjoy a bit of live music should choose the Mirror Hall or the Blue Salon for their proximity to the piano. Our pianist was a real virtuoso and his presence alone made our afternoon so much better.
Live music: Pianist
The Palais Coburg Vienna Champagne Brunch ★★★★☆
Champagne brunch at Palais Coburg is normally served on the first Sunday of the month but due to high demand, it is served a bit more often this Summer 2021.
You should always book ahead and check which days are available for brunch on their website. The video below gives you a quick glimpse of the buffet, as it is served on June 2021:
The Tea & Beverage Selection ★★★★☆
The Palais Coburg Sunday brunch includes water (still & sparkling), juices (6 sorts), Ronnefeldt tea and coffee. Those of you who chose to pay the full price of 109€ can drink free-flowing Pol Roger champagne for the duration of the brunch.
I regret the absence of a proper menu for tea and coffee, but I must admit the drink selection was very satisfying.
The Savouries Buffet ★★★★☆
The brunch offer changes according to the season. The selection is very generous with many sorts of cold dishes to choose from:
- Vitello Tomato
- Beetroot Carpaccio
- Roast beef & apricot
- Confit salmon
- Prawn rolls
- Smoked salmon
- Gazpacho ♥
However, the best part of the cold selection would the Oysters from Marennes Oléron ♥, my very home! My only qualm is that there were basically no oysters left around 1 pm so if you fancy some, do help yourself first…
For those of you who enjoy a good British style Sunday Roast, there is a nice station with plenty of choice meat-wise (Beef, lamb, pork…) as well as several Austrian classics:
- Veal goulash
- Parsley potatoes
- Corn-fed chicken
- Carrot-Ginger cream
- Mixed vegetables
I usually stay away from hot stations when having brunch, but I still had a bit of Roast with rosemary jus.
The Cakes & Sweets Buffet ★★★★☆
There are loads of cakes to chose from, for the delight of the most sweet-toothed guests:
- Creme Brûlée
- Chocolate Brownie
- Carrot Cake
- Cheese cake
- Mousse au Chocolat
Much like with the savouries, I have a clear favourite: the Crepes(aka English pancakes) station. These are made on order with your choice of jam, Nutella as well as alcohol. As a Frenchman, allow me to recommend the Grand Marnier ♥
his would’ve been perfect if they had offered to flambée these façon Crêpe Suzette but I guess the Palais Coburg wouldn’t want to risk the fire hazard…
The Palais Coburg Vienna Afternoon Tea ★★★★☆
The afternoon tea is a special event at Palais Coburg and unlike the brunch, it is not served regularly. The PC team tells me it may resume in January 2020 so stay tuned on the Specials page.
The Tea & Beverage Selection ★★★★★
There are 12 teas and infusions on offer from the Ronnefeldt company. The tea is loose-leaf and put in a tea strainer that you can remove once the cute hourglass has run out.
While the tea selection isn’t as comprehensive as Palais Hansen‘s, it’s still rather generous and offers tea refills. This means that guests will be able to sample many teas over the course of the afternoon. The tea menu is also available in English, which is always highly appreciated 🙂
This afternoon tea also includes a glass of Bollinger Champagne ♥, which needs no introduction.
12 loose-leaf teas & infusions from Ronnefeldt (black, green, white, oolong and infusions)
Brewing method: teapot brought to the table with loose-leaved placed in a removable tea strainer
The Savouries ★★★★☆
The Imperial high tea starts with four traditional sandwiches.
- Cucumber & cream cheese
- Salmon & cream
- Roast-beef & mustard
- Tuna & herbs ♥
That’s the advantage of going to an afternoon tea that’s not served daily: you’re pretty much guaranteed to have the freshest sandwiches.
This savoury selection is hardly original but the proportions are perfect and the chef added just enough seasoning to make each sandwich flavourful.
The Scones ★★★★☆
The Plain Scones are served with authentic clotted cream and a delicious homemade strawberry jam. The texture and flavour are perfect but it’s regrettable that you don’t get a raisin scone as well.
For those of us with big appetites, it is possible to order another batch at no extra charge ♥
The Cakes & Sweets ★★★☆☆
Those of you who have a sweet tooth will probably favour another afternoon tea as this is not where Palais Coburg shines brighter:
- Apple Tart
- Berry Tart
- Chocolate with red berry filling ♥
- Chocolate praliné
The Palais Coburg Vienna Matinée ★★★★★
Last but not least, the Palais Coburg sometimes organises “Matinée” events for a very reasonable price (69€ for the concert and 3-course lunch). The next matinée will be held on 29/08/2021.
If you are lucky enough to get a booking, I highly recommend you go and try it but do mind the rather expensive drinks, which are not included in the price (unlike with the brunch/afternoon tea).
Below are various pictures of the 3-course menu served at Clémentime am Glashaus. These are an example as the menu changes daily.
The quality is excellent and so is the price/performance ratio. The lunch menu is also served on weekends so you may even get to visit for a quick meal on the gorgeous terrace.
The service is excellent in every aspect: the staff is courteous, efficient and speaks good English. The brunch staff was sometimes a tad overwhelmed but that is to be expected after such a long hiatus due to the Covid19 pandemic.
Conclusion & Overall Mark ★★★★☆
Spending a few hours at Palais Coburg will make you feel like Austrian royalty during the empire’s golden age. You’d almost expect to catch a glimpse of Sissi sipping a cup of tea in one of the salons.
The Palais Coburg is the most expensive brunch/afternoon tea in Vienna and while it’s not perfect, 109€/54€ is an acceptable price for a Champagne option. It is really a pity that the afternoon tea isn’t served more often, as I’m sure it would be a hit.
If you cannot wait for the next High tea or Matinée event, Champagne brunch is served once a month in the very same ceremonial rooms.
+: Palais Coburg Residenz’s grandiose setting
+: The magnificent Ceremonial Rooms & Salons
+: The live music (Afternoon tea & Matinée)
+: The imperial atmosphere
+: The Beverage Selection
+: The Marennes Olérons Oysters (Brunch)
-: Average price-performance ratio (Brunch & Afternoon Tea)
-: Not served regularly (Afternoon tea & Matinée)
-: The most expensive hotel in Vienna
Phone: +43 151818130
Address: Coburgbastei 4, 1010 Wien