Alright, so it’s not in Brighton. HOWEVER, we had such a lovely time, I decided to write about it on this blog anyway!
The Chewton Glen is an absolutely beautiful hotel in the New Forest. It’s in the middle of the countryside with the most beautiful grounds. It’s near Bournemouth but easily accessible by public transport.
We wanted to do something special for my mum’s 60th birthday – what better than the great English tradition of afternoon tea! Where better to enjoy it than an absolutely stunning country house hotel. When you arrive, you’re greeted by a lovely doorman who shows you to wherever you are going. The interiors are stunning – lots of flowers, plants, cosy corners with deep velvet armchairs – it’s so inviting and warm. We had a lovely big round table, which was perfect as it meant everyone could see each other and chat easily.
First up, one of the Tea Stewards joins you at the table to take you through their selection. They have loose-leaf tea from all around the world – I went for the fresh mint, which was absolutely delicious. You can also have a coffee or an indulgent hot chocolate. We also had a glass of champagne – it was a celebration after all!
Then the food arrived. Oh my god, the food. I could not fault a single thing on the plates – it was all absolutely exquisite. First up, the selection of sandwiches: smoked salmon with dill butter, flambards’ egg and mustard cress, roast beef with horseradish sauce, and somerset brie with pear chutney. Each one was so tasty and full of flavour. So good that we ordered more of them – we didn’t need the food, but we just couldn’t resist more!
Then we ate the scones and OF COURSE had the debate. Scone like cone, or scone like gone? Jam or cream first?
(The correct answers are scone like gone and cream first and no I won’t argue it with you because I KNOW I’M RIGHT.) They come with thick clotted cream and fresh strawberry jam – it’s utterly delicious.
To finish, we had the seasonal cake and pastry selection. I’m not the biggest lover of fruity puddings so I didn’t love every single thing, but for the most part, it was lovely! There was lemon drizzle cake, a little fruity cupcake (forgive me, I can’t remember what fruit it was! It had coconut shavings on top and was delicious), a lime flavoured macaroon, a profiterole with berry jam inside and, saving the best til last, a little hazelnut chocolate tart. My god, it’s tasty. It might be small but it packs a punch – super rich, chocolatey and nutty. DIVINE.
Overall the afternoon tea was the absolute perfect celebration. It’s intimate and cosy, but still feels fancy and like a real treat. The staff are fabulous and attentive, bringing more sandwiches and jam when we needed it. It was a lovely way to celebrate my mum’s 60th and I would love to go back and try the other food options there.