What a location to enjoy Afternoon Tea than at The Orangery at Delapre Abbey!
It was a wet, rainy and windy day as Storm Dennis made an appearance, but it didn’t stop us from navigating over to the Orangery at Delapre Abbey, which is the abbey’s cafe owned and run by Tom Hewer Catering, which has recently become the new home of Hibiscus Fine Dining.
Afternoon Tea is always an occasion I can’t say no to, yet I am very surprised that I had not tried the one offered at Delapre until now. So when Paul Hewer, General Manager of The Orangery, invited us down, I couldn’t refuse!
For those who may not know, Delapre Abbey is a stately home and mansion based on London Road in Northampton which was previously owned by The Cluniac Order of nuns, and even people such as Henry VIII, the Bouverie family and is most recently owned by Delapré Abbey Preservation Trust’, a registered charity.
The Orangery opened its doors back in 2017 when Delapre Abbey opened its doors after more than 900 years and now it’s a thriving tourist spot and visiting location in Northampton; which is why it makes it such a unique place to have Afternoon Tea.
Despite the weather, we made it through to the Billiard room and was about to enjoy what was about to be a pleasant experience.
But first… tea
No Afternoon Tea is complete without a pot of tea. The good thing about Delapre Abbey’s afternoon tea, is that you can have as many pots of tea and coffee as you want which is included in the price (minus things like lattes and cappuccinos)
There is a great selection of tea’s available, from classics like English, earl grey and green tea, plus a selection of tea bags provided by local tea makers, Tea Lab Company, which consisted of tea’s such as Big Apple (one of my faves!), Citrus Grey and Pink Skies which is the one I had on this occasion.
Delicate and aromatic rooibos blend with organic strawberries and vanilla notes = delicious!
Prior to that, I enjoyed a pot of English tea, whilst Josh went for a refreshing Green Tea.
But of course, we were waiting for the main event…
The Afternoon Tea
When you pre-book in advance, the staff at The Orangery will ensure you have plenty of time to sit down, relax and order your drinks before you’re presented a beautiful Afternoon Tea stand filled with an array of sweet and savoury treats.
I have always admired how beautifully presented the Afternoon Tea’s look at Delapre, as they ensure everything is neatly lined up so you can see exactly what you’re about to dig into.
They were displayed on three tiers in the traditional order of play, starting with sandwiches at the bottom, working your way up to cakes in the middle followed by two big scones and a tub of clotted cream and jam on top.
The sandwiches consisted of classic fillings that both Josh and I thoroughly enjoyed; if you have any preferences or allergies, of course, they ensure to cater, but when it comes to sandwich fillings, Josh and I are pretty easy going.
We had a moist egg and mayo on white bread, smoked salmon and cream cheese on brown bread, which will always be a firm favourite I’ll always be happy to see on a display, plus a ham and mustard sandwich on white bread – all cut into delicate finger sizes, which were easy to eat.
We found out that the bread isn’t their own homemade, but is just sliced bread. However, Paul kindly explained the reasons behind this as it keeps the delicate nature of the sandwiches intact.
For us, it worked and still tasted great – plus, I respect their honesty!
All the cakes and scones were all homemade in the kitchen, which is always a big yay! Some of the highlights for me were the simplistic but sweet as pie (ha!) treacle tart, the sweet, berry, and creamy posset and the powdery but crumbly Viennese whirl styled biscuit.
Plus, the scones were really crumbly, sweet and topped with plenty of clotted cream and strawberry jam = the pots had enough clotted cream and jam for the both of us.
There was something about enjoying Afternoon Tea inside the beautiful Billiard Room whilst the rain was pouring outside that was very peaceful and therapeutic.
I didn’t actually feel too full afterward, as usually a lot of cake and sandwiches can be too much and I am usually left with taking the rest home in a box. But not this time.
I truly think the portion sizes and amount you get between two people is perfect!
We came away feeling very satisfied with our experiences, Paul was very welcoming and ensured our tea and waters were always topped up and who couldn’t fall in love with the surroundings!?
I can’t wait to come back and book again for a special occasion as, during our visit, there was a birthday and a leaving celebration.
Afternoon Tea at The Orangery at Delapre Abbey is currently £14.95 per person and child’s afternoon tea is available from £9.95. Booking is essential by emailing email@example.com