The words ‘Laura Ashley’ and ‘tea room’ belong together as naturally as ‘scones’ with ‘jam and cream’. Only a 15 minute drive from Maidenhead, the drive into the Burnham countryside was awash with autumn foliage and I was eager to visit the new Laura Ashley The Tea Room at Burnham Beeches Hotel. A delightful and discreet country-side hideaway, the Laura Ashley tea room is perfect for those looking to enjoy high tea without the crowds of the larger hotels and manor houses.
Decorated in signature Laura Ashley style, the room is bathed in sunshine from the floor-ceiling windows that look out onto the landscaped grounds and gentle shades of purple with silver accents. Everything is as you would anticipate, from the elegant green-bottomed glassware to the stylishly cosy nooks. With only one large table (to accommodate six), the room is filled with smaller tables designed to maintain a certain quietude.
The afternoon tea is as classic as the Laura Ashley brand, and includes scones with artisanal jam and clotted cream, a selection of finger sandwiches; cucumber with cream cheese and dill on granary bread, a lovely cheese and chutney filling gently spiced with curry, Wiltshire ham with grain mustard on onion bread; and egg mayonaise on a tiny, but perfectly formed brioche bun. The fancy cakes and patisserie selection changes regularly and will include modern interpretations of British classics created using seasonal produce by head pastry chef, Laura Zilio.
Among the patisserie assortment on our plate was a chocolate-covered, chocolate and hazelnut mousse ball filled with salted caramel, a gilded and dainty dome-shaped apple pie and the most incredibly soft and delicious pumpkin and rosemary cupcake topped with the lightest, pink-tinted whipped cream. With prices starting from £24 per person, guests can go for Prosecco, Champagne, or Hattingley Valley English sparkling wines and of course, tea or coffee.
The opening of The Tea Room is the first stage of Burnham Beeches Hotel’s rebranding to become part of the Laura Ashley Hotels portfolio. In Spring 2019, the 82-bedroom Burnham Beeches Hotel will be refurbished in line with Laura Ashley brand standards and will showcase the Laura Ashley Home range.
Laura Ashley The Tea Room is open from 12 noon until 6pm. To book your table call 01628 429955. Burnham Beeches Hotel, Grove Rd, Burnham, Slough SL1 8DP.