Just a stone’s throw from London, the impressive estate of Luton Hoo offers a chance to indulge in a spot of luxury. We’re talking spa, afternoon tea, fancy dinner, top notch hotel kind of luxury.
After sampling afternoon tea at Luton Hoo a couple of months ago, I was back on a sunny Sunday morning to check out the morning coffee on offer. My parents have been several times, and thoroughly enjoy the cakey feast every time, so I couldn’t wait to try it out for myself!
We enjoyed a leisurely drive on the approach to the Mansion House, parked up and made the short walk to the impressive building. Smartly dressed men welcomed us in to the huge lobby area where we met the rest of our party – 6 of us were here to tuck into what we were hoping would be a delicious brunch!
There are a couple of rooms you can enjoy morning coffee and afternoon tea in, and each time I’d been before I’d been in the first, large room. Sofas, chairs and coffee tables are strategically placed to make the most of the space, but despite the huge windows it isn’t as bright and airy as the second room. And on this occasion, I finally had a table in the light, bright and stunning second room.
Our seats came in the form of a spacious sofa, two single chairs and a dining chair. Quickly plonking ourselves down and getting comfy, our drinks orders were taken and we only had to wait a few minutes for the drinks and cakes to find their way to us.
Wrapped in a napkin, two plates piled with cakes were placed on the table, and I was sure there was just too much for 6 of us. We each had a mini croissant, with flower shaped butter (which I initially thought was white chocolate…) 3 mini pastries, a cookie and a muffin. Our teas and coffees were kept topped up constantly, and I can only say the service here is second to none – they’ve found the fine balance between making sure you have everything you could want without hovering over you. In fact, I didn’t even notice that we were low on drinks until someone politely asked if I’d like a top up. Well, now you ask, yes please!
Sometimes I find quantity can be used in the place of quality. However, the cakes we tucked into for our morning coffee were absolutely delicious. Starting off with a cookie to enjoy with our coffees, we soon moved on to the croissants before all picking our favourite pastries and muffins to tuck into. I’ve learnt my lesson from previous visits, and took home the extras in a doggy bag to enjoy in the evening.
Despite being there for a couple of hours, we weren’t made to feel as if we needed to move on so they could use the table again. Instead, we enjoyed another coffee before moving out to the grounds to take a walk to the rock gardens and enjoy a game of croquet. Or at least, some kind of golf-croquet mashup. Who even knows how to play croquet anyway?
Fresh air and a run about on the croquet pitch meant we’d earned ourselves a sit down, so headed to the terrace where we sampled some of the drinks on the menu. While they’re more in the region of central London prices, it’s nothing beyond what you would expect to pay at somewhere so nice. Plus, when you throw in the delicious cocktails, excellent service and amazing surroundings, it’s totally worth the extra pennies.
Overall, I had a lovely day with my first experience of morning coffee. I actually preferred it to the afternoon tea here, and found it was much better value for money. In fact, at £13.50* per person, it was very reasonable, especially considering the amount of food. If you’d like to sample breakfast at Luton Hoo, there are a number of other breakfast options on the menu, including a gluten free option.
*Price as of February 2018 – £18.50. I feel this is still more reasonable than the Afternoon Tea, given the location and service .
- If you’re visiting from London, take the train to Luton Airport Parkway station and jump in a taxi from there. It’s just a short 5-10 minute drive from the station.
- Book a table in advance, it’s very popular!
- Set aside a couple of hours to enjoy your morning coffee, and a bit longer if the weather is nice and you’d like to stroll around the gardens. The rock gardens are a bit hidden, so ask directions before you set off.
- If you’d really like to treat yourself, you can book a room and enjoy the spa and golf on offer too.
Hotel website: www.lutonhoo.co.uk