Alphabet Dating | A is for... Afternoon Tea

Afternoon Tea, Woughton House, Milton Keynes, Date,
Afternoon Tea, Woughton House, Milton Keynes, Date,
Have any of my readers ever tried alphabet dating? In one of my recent posts, I mentioned how we aim to go on a toddler-free date every month and somehow we came up with going through the letters of the alphabet. Starting with A, obviously, we went with one of my favourite pastimes: afternoon tea. I’ve been lucky enough to go to almost-hundreds of afternoon teas over the years, ranging from themed ones to traditional ones, and in some of London’s best establishments. We went a bit closer to home and visited Woughton House. We went there recently for a wedding and both the Seasons Restaurant and the afternoon tea came highly recommended.
Afternoon Tea, Woughton House, Milton Keynes, Date,
First of all, it’s amazing the difference when there isn’t a wedding or other function going on. We were one of three couples when we arrived, and the other two were close to finishing. Still it allowed me to admire the decor and also marvel at the views outside, the ‘garden’ area is really pretty. I loved the plates on the wall, the beautiful dragonfly-print blinds and super comfy chairs, with additional cushions.
Afternoon Tea, Woughton House, Milton Keynes, Date, Tea, Twinings,
Will looked after us and I instantly remembered him from behind the bar at the wedding. He was so helpful, bringing the tea caddy over to the table once we’d sat down and gave us plenty of time to look at (and smell!) the different vials of tea on offer. The loose leaf offerings were all from Twinings and there was almost too much choice. Every time I picked up a different flavour, it became my new favourite – although I eventually decided on jasmine, while Ash chose spicy rooibos. We were told we could have as many refills as we wanted, or even switch teas if we didn’t enjoy the ones we had picked... that said, we were never asked if we wanted anymore, which was actually the only negative of the experience. By the end the tea was quite stewed and nearly cold, a top-off would have been ideal.
Afternoon Tea, Woughton House, Milton Keynes, Date, Food, Cake Stand
On to the food, and as you can see, it all came out in one go, on one stand. Will went through the elements and boy was there a lot to go through. He also told us that it was a new recipe afternoon tea, but as it was our first visit, I’m not sure what had been changed and we also had nothing to compare it to.
Afternoon Tea, Woughton House, Milton Keynes, Date, Food, Sandwiches,
Having a sweet tooth, it’s very rare that the sandwiches and savouries are my favourite part of an afternoon tea – they need to have something unique of different as well as the classics to grab my attention. We had four different finger sandwiches here, which were fairly traditional: ham & mustard, smoked salmon & cream cheese, cucumber & cream cheese and coronation chicken. The coronation chicken filling was my favourite and I even surprised myself by eating white bread and not feeling ill afterwards!
Afternoon Tea, Woughton House, Milton Keynes, Date, Food, Scone
For me, the scones always signal the midway point – knowing whether or not you’ll be too full for the best part of an afternoon tea, the top tier. They are often hit and miss too; establishments either get them spot-on, or they’re done really badly. In this case, the scones were perfect and bigger is certainly better! Despite their colossal size, they weren’t dense at all, and the insides were light and fluffy – and still warm! Strangely, neither of us could decipher what flavour the jam was though.

There’s nothing worse than going for afternoon tea and not having an equal amount of sweet treats. Not a problem at Woughton House – the top tier mirrorred each other, with two of everything so there was no arguing over who had what... although I’m sure Ash was probably hoping I’d swap my lemon drizzle for his millionaire’s shortbread.

I made the mistake of eating the two cakes first and immediately hit a wall. The lemon drizzle was sweet and sticky; while the Victoria sandwich sponge was light, but the cream element too heavy. I cleansed my palate ready for round two, with the vanilla panna cotta with raspberry coulis. The coulis was quite sharp on its own, but mixed with the panna cotta, was delicious. I managed to eat the millionaire’s shortbread square in one mouthful and I definitely saved the best ‘til last with the two shortbread biscuits. Both the original and chocolate flavours were melt-in-the-mouth and so delicious – they’d be the ideal accompaniment to one of the fancy coffees on offer.

For £22.50 per person, the afternoon tea at Woughton House is reasonable, not only in terms of value, but the amount of food on offer. If tea isn’t your thing, you’re able to choose from a range of coffees, hot chocolate, or there are soft drinks available. You can even upgrade to a glass (and possibly even a bottle) of fizz. I don’t know whether we’ll return for afternoon tea (I rarely go back to the same place twice), but dinner is surely on the agenda soon?

Love, Lucy xx

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Love, Lucy xx

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