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:
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 ★★★★★
Afternoon tea is 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.
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 Afternoon Tea
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 service is excellent in every aspect: the staff is courteous, efficient and speaks good English.
Conclusion & Overall Mark ★★★★☆
Having afternoon tea 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 afternoon tea and while it’ not perfect, it’s an acceptable price for a Champagne afternoon tea (54€/person). It is really a pity that it is not served regularly as I’m sure it would be a hit. If you cannot wait for the next high tea 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 imperial atmosphere
+: The Tea Selection
+: The Sandwiches & Scones
-: Not served regularly
-: A tad frugal
-: Average cakes & sweets
-: Expensive (54€/person)
Phone: +43 151818130
Address: Coburgbastei 4, 1010 Wien