ᵃᵈ A festive afternoon tea at The Elvetham in Hook, Hampshire, is just the ticket to get you into the seasonal spirit.
The Elvetham is absolutely enchanting and you can’t help but feel captivated by the commanding presence of the atmosphere, architecture and grounds as soon as you arrive.
Surround yourself in rich history, stunning settings and a delightfully delicious meal for an extra special, merry moment…
📍 The Elvetham, Fleet Road, Hartley Wintney, Hampshire, RG27 8AS
A short drive from the M3 will find you at this beautiful luxury hotel. It’s right at the top of Hampshire in the countryside and very close to Hartley Witney village.
The hotel has an extensive history and I found out so much from the team as we walked through the various rooms. My top tip is to have a good look around but don’t forget to look up. Not only is the artistry excellent but, the history is shown there too.
My favourite fact is that this was the location Henry VIII met Jane Seymour and where they fell in love. It’s such a well known piece of history and you can stand in the very place it happened.
The afternoon tea was just as lovely as the hotel. We were led through the stunning country house to a large glass extension with beautiful hanging foliage decorated with lights.
The table had lots of natural light and provided a nice view across the grounds to the back of the house thanks to the large glass panels.
Lots of people were having a wander and I think living their best ‘Cameron Diaz and Jude Law frolicking in the countryside The Holiday’ life.
Afternoon tea is served with a choice of mulled wine or champagne alongside tea. Unfortunately the mulled wine wasn’t available on my visit so we opted for the champagne, this is not a bad decision to have to make!
I’m not sure what it is about dainty sandwiches, cut into perfect rectangles, but, it really is such a treat. And, the selection of fillings were light and refreshing, a well balanced accompaniment to patisserie afterwards.
On the menu was…
- Goats cheese with golden beetroot carpaccio
- Smoked salmon with dill remoulade
- Hampshire turkey and cranberry jelly
- Honey glazed ham with wholegrain mustard
- Cream cheese with chive and cucumber
Normally I’m not a fan of beetroot but the carpaccio with goats cheese was my favourite of the selection. In fact, I liked it so much that I swapped with my companion and ate theirs too. Don’t worry it was my Mum who joined me. She was so shocked that I was eating beetroot that she told me to enjoy it!
Patisserie & Cakes
Next we moved on to sweets and it was a descent eclectic selection that we couldn’t wait to tuck into. I sometimes struggle when there’s lots of cakes if they are too big but these, as Goldilock would say, were just right.
- Traditional Christmas cake
- Almond mince pies
- Red velvet cake
- White chocolate Christmas truffles
My Mum accompanied me and her absolute favourite is mille-feuille. While it’s not my favourite, I’d eaten her beetroot carpaccio sandwich so I sampled a bite and gave her the rest of mine.
The cream cheese topping on top of the red velvet was just that little bit tart, just as it should be, and the cake moist and a glorious colour too.
I enjoyed the Christmas cake and mini mince pie with my cup of earl grey. There wasn’t much left over by the end, which I think speaks for itself.
What also needs to be mentioned were the little festive details like the curled autumn chocolate leaf on the Christmas cake, the golden merry Christmas in swirling writing over the chocolate garnishes and the green printed festive wishes across the chocolate truffle. Can we put tiny curled autumn chocolate leaves on everything please? It is adorable.
Wrapped up in cleverly folded origami napkin envelopes were nestled two plain scones and two fruit scones peeking out at you. They were really very good scones too.
Normally I have to ask for additional clotted cream but, this is one of the rare occasions I didn’t. A very healthy portion was brought out alongside pots of strawberry jam.
I do really love it when the scones are still warm. There’s something so tasty about that combination with cream and jam. And no, don’t worry there shall be no tedious chat about what order the toppings should go in. Eat it any way you want as long as you enjoy it I say!
Take yourself off to a charming corner of Hampshire for festive afternoon tea at The Elvetham . The setting is just *chef’s kiss*. And, I could have easily eaten a plate of those golden beetroot goats cheese sandwiches.
Service was attentive, very friendly and timely and it perhaps, not to the detriment of the experience I would add, needs a little polishing to take it from very good to exceptional.
I definitely will be returning, this is a real gem nestled in the north of Hampshire. I can tell it will be a firm favourite moving forward.
Next time, I want to go for a meal or stay and explore. The grounds looked incredible and I can’t wait to have an explore. It was the first day of exceptionally cold weather during my visit and I wasn’t dressed appropriately to be outside for very long.
The festive afternoon tea at The Elvetham is available until Christmas and is the perfect excuse for a mid-peak season break.
I had just the most incredible afternoon having festive afternoon tea at The Elvetham, a massive thank you to the team for not only the warmest welcome but, a relaxing time with delicious treats. I love spending time with my Mum and I’d been travelling a lot of work so this was the perfect excuse for us to sit for a couple of hours and catch up.
If you liked this, take a look at these other great places to explore in Hampshire…