By Kelly Gavaghan
Who doesn’t love an Afternoon Tea? And when it comes with a festive theme it’s even better! So when I was invited to sample the Christmas Afternoon Tea at the gorgeous Whittlebury Park last week I was there with reindeer bells on - and what a lovely treat it was!
What we ate:
Turkey, Cranberry Stuffing & Mayonnaise Sandwich
Classic Prawn Cocktail
Smoked Salmon, Black Pepper, Cream Cheese & Cucumber Bagel
CAKES & PASTRIES
Coconut & White Chocolate Snowball
Black Forest Yule Log
Mince Pie Custard Crumble Tart
Chocolate Brussel Sprouts
FRESHLY BAKED SCONES
Plain & White Chocolate, Citrus & Cranberry Scones
(Served with Clotted Cream & Strawberry Jam)
PRICE - £24.50pp
And how was it?
For my first festive flavour of 2021, it was just perfect! We were shown to the elegant Bentley Room, a cosy lounge with a roaring, crackling fire. We were offered a complimentary glass of champagne and our waitress talked us through the menu.
The tea selection is very good, and I chose a Russian Earl Grey. I just love the citrusy, floral taste of bergamot which is smooth and refreshing and my favourite option when it comes to afternoon tea as it seems to complement everything so well. My guest, the lovely Naseem Khan, chose the Margareth’s Hope Darjeeling which has a distinctive sweet Muscatel flavour, with hints of blackcurrant. It went very well with the soft warm scones and jam preserve.
The sandwiches from the savoury ‘Festive Bites’ selection made a nice change from the standard offering that usually comes with afternoon tea and were well thought out showcasing Christmas flavours. The fresh prawn cocktail was presented on a crisp little gem lettuce leaf and the mini quiche put me in mind of Boxing Day buffets.
Naseem and I both adored the novelty Christmas cakes and they really brought a big smile to our faces. One of our favourites had to be the Black Forest Yule Log. Christmas just isn’t Christmas without a Yule Log and the version served at Whittlebury had all the flavour features of the Black Forest that we all know and love of kirsch, cream, juicy black cherry and plain chocolate - a match made in heaven and such comfortable, familiar flavours. Our other favourite was the mince pie which was bursting with Middle Eastern flavours of nutmeg, cloves and cinnamon had the most delicious buttery crumble topping. Just yummy!
What’s it like there?
I LOVE Whittlebury Park and have been fortunate enough to visit several times. The spa experience is something else with its Fire & Ice theme and the pool is so serene with its stunning murals. I’ve attended a fantastic wedding at the beautiful venue and have also eaten in the 3 AA Rosette award-winning Murray’s Restaurant, where I’m told a new manager has been appointed in Davide Occhiuzzi who has worked in Michelin star establishments in London, Dubai, and Paris. The intimate and elegant Murray's is led by talented head chef Harvey Lockwood, who specialises in using local and in-season produce from the surrounding Northamptonshire farms and suppliers for his modern British menu.
With its stylish and elegant design, acres of parkland and excellent golf course, the 4-star hotel really is a jewel in the crown of Northants venues and is a popular choice for any event.
What you should know about Christmas at Whittlebury Park
In addition to the Christmas Afternoon Tea, there is a plant-based option as well as traditional and cream teas too. This December there is also a Santa’s Sunday Lunch taking place on Sunday the 12th of December which is a 3-course carvery buffet served in the Brooklands Suite where Santa will be visiting to distribute gifts to the children. (£38.95 per adult & £19.95 per child between 3 – 12 years old and just £5 for under 3’s.)
If you haven’t booked your company Christmas Party yet, why not book a ‘Shared Party’ from just £49.95 per person? These events take place on Thursdays Fridays and Saturdays throughout December and can also include private drinks receptions, bed and breakfast and drinks packages.
And last but certainly not least, on Boxing Day there will be a Gala Ball which promises to be a stunning black-tie event with pre-dinner drinks & canapes and a four-course feast! For £278 for two people to attend the gala and stay overnight this is the perfect way to end Christmas 2021.
To find out more about Christmas at Whittlebury please click on this link:
Whittlebury Nr. Towcester
T – 01327 850490