December is always a busy and stressful time; University deadlines, Christmas shopping, and the days are colder and darker. With my first short film of the semester in the bag, my final wedding gallery of the year sent off, Christmas shopping done and my Christmas Eve train booked home, it was time to breathe.
When Laura Ashley Tearooms emailed me a kind invitation (*gifted) to visit their Coventry tearoom to try their festive afternoon tea, I jumped at the chance. I have been lucky enough to try their summer afternoon tea which is absolutely delicious and a real treat and so I couldn’t wait to see their Coventry tearoom, and what their festive edition had to offer – (spoiler, it’s goooood).
First of all, the excuse to visit Coventry was perfect. It’s a very quaint town only a 20 minute train ride from Birmingham, decked up with Christmas markets. The Iliffe Hotel is only a ten minute Uber from the city centre and it is unlike anything I have ever seen. From the second I arrived, I felt like I was in Kevin Mcallister’s Home Alone house. Christmas songs were playing, it was warm and toasty, I am genuinely officially feeling very very Christmassy now.
Up a grand staircase was the tearoom, filled with Laura Ashley’s gorgeous furniture that we know to expect, with Christmas tree’s and a view like this from the window. Afternoon tea is one of my favourite British things. It always feels like such a special occasion and treat, and this certainly did.
We started off with our tea selection, I chose English Breakfast and Tom chose Afternoon Darjeeling. We love our tea, I brought Tom the T2 advent calendar and he’s now probably tried 90% of the tea’s that the world has to offer, but these black teas are the perfect accompaniment (how posh do I sound??) to afternoon tea.
Next out came a carrot and coriander soup in these really sweet cups. It’s the perfect portion size. Enough to give you a taste of how yummy it is, but also not enough to make you unable to eat your afternoon tea – although it’s pretty much a given that you have to loosen your belt to do so anyway!
Then it came. The stand of dreams. A selection of sandwiches including: beef and horseradish, turkey and cranberry, cheese and chutney, salmon and cream cheese (to die for) and two little pies. As well as cranberry scones, and an incredible selection of cakes including a mince pie, and a trifle. Absolutely delicious. The standard of their presentation, as well as how tasty it is, really does blow it out of the park. It’s the perfect treat for birthdays or special occasions, and the lovely staff really do make you feel so special.
To top it off, as we were leaving, they also hand you out some little chocolates to take home. The little touches really do make it feel like perfection, and we came away having such an amazing time. It always feels like a taste of luxury.
Thank you so much to Laura Ashley the Tearoom, it was the perfect Christmas treat and we had an unforgettable afternoon!