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Chocolate Afternoon Tea at Coworth Park

For me Coworth Park is one country house hotel that has it all…from the majestic facade…
To the glorious and perfectly landscape gardens peppered with beautiful sculptures.
There’s actually 240 acres of land here so not only can you enjoy a relaxing stroll in the countryside but there’s tennis, croquet and even horse riding!! What’s even better is that it only took me an hour to get here from central London.

The inside of the house is totally interior goals too…beautifully luxurious and perfect decorated but not remotely stuffy. Everything is modern and pristine looking.
The country-cousin of The Dorchester in London, the design is inspired by nature and the beautiful surroundings of the hotel’s location in Ascot near Great Windsor Park. 
There are lots of pretty organic motifs through out the public areas and I simply fell in love with this rose gold flower table in the entrance – where can I get one? 
As well as this beautiful swan table in the Drawing Room. I’m actually returning to Coworth Park in the not to distant future so I’ll be telling you a little more about the rooms and restaurants then but for now I want to tell you about something very special. As if this hotel wasn’t perfect enough already, they are now serving a chocolate afternoon tea prepared by the hotel’s head pastry chef Lucy Jones.

I had actually popped down to Coworth Park just for the day for a special speaker event with Chef Lucy and the opportunity to try her incredible creations. Super early (as usual) I settled down in the Drawing Room to enjoy a coffee while I waited. There’s few dining options at the hotel with Restaurant Coworth Park being the signature fine dining destination, the Barn is the hotel’s rustic brasserie and at the hotel’s spa, The Spatisserie serves light bites and afternoon tea. 
It wasn’t too long before the champagne reception and bottles of Laurent-Perrier were cracked open so that we could enjoy a glass of fizz in the comfort of the hotel’s lounge.
From there we headed next door to Restaurant Coworth Park which was laid out with elegant white table clothes and stunning china. Light floods through floor to ceiling windows with views out to the meadow but perhaps what’s most striking is the stunning copper chandelier – it was difficult to get a photo but I’ll get one for you next time!
But literally how gorgeous are these cups? Once again inspired by nature and so perfectly delicate.
Afternoon tea heathen that I am, I had coffee but over 20 varieties of tea are on offer. There’s even Coworth Park’s own Meadow Blend which includes lavendar picked from the hotel’s grounds. Tea comes with another glass of Laurent-Perrier which really is the perfect accompaniment. 
As with everything at Coworth Park the tea service is utterly elegant and if you’re looking to recommend a quintessentially British experience with silver service that isn’t too starchy then this is the place to go. I just loved this silver tea stand which showcased everything on offer perfectly. 
Finger sandwiches are the afternoon tea staple and today they served cucumber and cream cheese on caraway bread and Windsor Estate beef with horseradish on onion bread. I know many of my fellow afternoon tea fans carry out a scone test but for me the sandwiches are the ultimate test. But here they are made totally fresh so there’s not a stale slice of bread in sight.
As well as the finger sandwiches, a Coronation chicken bridge roll is further evidence of this hotel’s best of British angle. While the duck egg and watercress mayonnaise on rosemary sour dough was a great twist in the regular egg mayo sandwiches served at afternoon tea.  
Some fluffy scones are served – plain and fruit – once again with accompaniments inspired by nature including strawberry preserve, apricot and elderflower compote and clotted cream.  
But what we’re all really here for is the pastries! And how gorgeous are these?   
White chocolate and passion fruit mousse with coconut and lime was light and zesty and definitely my favourite. 
Chocolate with salted caramel and cocoa bean ganache were just gorgeous especially with the beautiful adornment of gold leaf. 
A pastry that the ambassador would be proud of! The hazlenut and milk chocolate rocher. 
And the gorgeous No.9 Amedei chocolate and tonka tart with vanilla chantilly and the signature chocolate disk on the top. 
As were enjoying these Chef Lucy came out of the kitchen to give her presentation. 
At 28, Lucy has come very far already – after studying law and business at university she realised that her passions didn’t lie in a corporate career. Instead she followed her love of food and baking doing a degree in pastry, her first job was working for celebrated Chef John Williams at The Ritz. Quite a place to start!
She loved her time at The Ritz, though when the opportunity came up at the Dorchester Collection’s Coworth Park, she jumped at the chance for a new opportunity. Lucy now works closely with executive chef Adam Smith and they draw inspiration from each other’s food and style. 
Lucy uses only the finest chocolate sourced from the very best producers and everything is made in her chocolate room. Though they have machines to make the chocolate, Lucy ensures that all her team also know how to make chocolate by hand so that they fully understand the process. Lucy then went on to tell us about tempering and the complex techniques that go into creating the perfect piece of chocolate. She also went on to tell us about the hotel’s plans for Easter, including Easter egg making and egg hunts for kids.
It was such a pleasure to hear Lucy speak as her passion for her work and chocolate really came across in her words and demeanor – I can’t wait to try more of her beautiful pastries.

My flying visit to Coworth Park was over all to soon but I simply can’t wait to tell you more about this gorgeous hotel and the wonderful food served here.

Coworth Park will be running a series of speaker events throughout the year. Events start at 12 noon and cost £50 per person, including a glass of champagne reception in Drawing Room and a three-course lunch in Restaurant Coworth Park with a glass of wine, coffee and chocolates. Next up Monique Lee talks millinery, to find more check the Coworth Park website


Coworth Park
Blacknest Road

I was a guest of Coworth Park for this event