Brand new to the Laura Ashley range of hotels is The Iliffe in Coventry, which also houses an award winning Laura Ashley Tea Room. I was invited for an overnight stay to experience the hotel and afternoon tea.
Arriving at this boutique Laura Ashley Hotel, which is only the second Laura Ashley branded hotel, I loved it’s Victorian architecture which has interiors nodding to its heritage and decked out in the lust worthy Laura Ashley range, and I loved the plush furnishings, decor and colour scheme. Handily they had catalogues dotted around the hotel so I could swoon further and mentally add things to my wish list!
The hotel has had an illustrious past which dates back to 1257 and the property was once owned by King Henry VIII. Laura Ashley Hotel The Iliffe, Coventry is named after the family the property was constructed for in the late 1890s, Dr Charles Webb Iliffe, a well-respected figure in the local medical community, and his wife, a young debutante, Mary Ann Soden. Their portraits can be seen in the hotel.
When we arrived check in was smooth, and our rooms happened to be ready! The hotel has 17 deluxe bedrooms in total. In the main area there are lots of cosy corners with couches to relax on, and you can have coffees, teas, G&Ts, wines or Prosecco.
The room was fabulous and I absolutely loved the way it was furnished, with light, airy colours, elegant Laura Ashley décor, and luxury furnishings, and a really comfortable double bed, which I had an excellent night’s sleep on.
I also loved the retro touches like the radio, telephone, and the very thoughtful trays for jewellery.
The bathroom was also really spacious and the shower strength was excellent. It had toiletries, a fab mirror and everything you needed for the perfect night in.
The intimate nature of the hotel would be so perfect for a short break, an escapade or even a venue for a girl’s night in, where you can indulge in Afternoon Tea, a scrumptious dinner in really comfortable and lush surroundings.
We had a wonderful dinner in the Willows Restaurant (which is also where breakfast is served). I opted for Vegetarian dishes such as Warm Goats Cheese Tart and Tempura spiced cauliflower with Aubergine humus and coriander. For desserts we shared Vanilla Crème Brûlée with English strawberry & micro basil and a A Selection of British Cheeses. If you know me well I always love Cheese after my mains!
The Afternoon Tea was also superb, which we indulged in during the afternoon in lieu of lunch and I can totally see why its acclaimed and commended. It is also fantastic value at £20 per person! It takes place in the Tea Room, which is capacious and perfect for private hire, private parties and special occasions.
The vibrant tiered stand hosted a delicious selection of sandwiches that included Cucumber and cream cheese, Egg mayonnaise and watercress, Honey roast ham, English mustard and Scottish Smoked Salmon with chive crème fraiche.
The highlight for me was the Welsh rarebit! I think every afternoon tea should have this going forward as it was just so delicious!
Scones are everyone’s favourite and we had a choice of plain and raisin buttermilk scones served with
Devonshire clotted cream and a choice of British preserves from Strawberry, Blackcurrant and another revelation for me, Lemon curd!
The pastries are based on seasonal produce and change regularly, but the chocolate eclair was mind blowing, and the macaron was divine!
I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and £26 you can have it with Prosecco.
The grounds of the hotel are gorgeous too, and so if you are blessed with good weather they are lovely for a stroll, or enjoy the swing.
I had a wonderful time staying at The Iliffe and experiencing the Laura Ashley Afternoon Tea, as well as the excellent cuisine at the hotel. I would definitely recommend it for a break combined with the afternoon tea, especially as the afternoon tea has just been commended in the most recent Afternoon Tea awards!
Find out more here: https://www.lauraashleyhotels.com