Eastwell Manor is an historic country house that sits in 62 acres of private grounds and was the home to Prince Alfred during the 19th century. Fast-forward 200 years and the manor now houses a destination spa, a golf course and two restaurants. The manor estate was one of the first to serve afternoon tea to aristocratic guests.
Many a time have I frequented the spa and restaurant prior to the Champneys take over in 2017. Since 2017 the house and grounds have been renovated to a high standard but slightly lost their true Elizabethan style. That being said, the standard of the rooms and spa today are very high with luxury at the forefront.
The main manor house restaurant has gone from fine dining to more gastro pub feel, yet in a time when fine dining is on its way out they are definitely moving with the times. The spa restaurant is smaller yet stylish and offers a healthier menu to suit the spa goers.
Afternoon tea is served daily (pre-book only) in the manor house, of which, is always much preferred. Bone China next to a pool would never work.
Starting at £30pp voyaging up to £65pp Eastwell Manor definitely have standards to live up to. For £30 per person you can expect a Classic Afternoon tea with a selection of teas to choose from. For £42 per person you will be given a 125ml glass of Laurent-Perrier La Cuvée Champagne with your afternoon tea, however, for an extra £3per person you can opt for Laurent-Perrier Cuvée Rosé Champagne. For a large £65 per person Eastwell Manor will serve free-flowing Laurent-Perrier La Cuvée Champagne by the glass for 90 minutes. Yes that is unlimited champagne- at £65pp it's got to be worth it though right?
On this occasion I opted for Classic Afternoon Tea.
Tea in a china cup, somehow, tastes different to tea in a mug. Maybe its phycological, but either way, Eastwell manor's china is one to admire for sure. The tea is loose so remember to use the tea strainer.
The three tired cake stand is completely full to the brim with exquisite sandwiches, savories and cakes. All items are made in house right down to the jam.
The delicate sandwiches were tasty and fresh and accompanied by slices of homemade sausage roll. The middle tier offered the usual two scones, however, you will receive one fruit and one plane scone, which is always a lovely addition.
I can never choose between the cake tier or the scone tier being my favourite when having afternoon tea. In places like Eastwell, the cakes are always so delicate making it always hard to choose what to eat first. Needless to say it all was eaten regardless.
The scones were beautifully made with ample cream and jam available. The jam was homemade and very flavoursome to note. However, as a scone lover I was a little disappointed they weren't warm. The scones itself was not too dense, relatively moist and felt exceedingly fresh.
As far as afternoon tea goes, I think on this occasion, the savoury items were tastier than the sweet with a lot more flavour. That being said the cakes and scones were still very good. Maybe because of houses grandeur I expected a little more.
Would I go back? Yes I would but probably only for the bottomless Champagne afternoon tea. Everything is better with Champagne.