- definitely recommended and worth the trip to Egham in Surrey
- great food and service, as well as several options to choose from, from £15 to £30 per person for afternoon tea
- better to make reservations as they can prepare your table for you in advance
- an option not listed online is the Pimms tea at £27 per person, which replaces tea with traditional Pimms
- for parking, the lot is free but remember to grab the exit barrier code at the reception before you leave!
- probably not good for large groups (i.e. >10 people) or perhaps another room would have sufficed for this
My husband and I were looking for a nice way to spend the late afternoon somewhere in the Surrey countryside without spending too much time outside as it was a chilly Sunday, and found Great Fosters hotel online.
The information from their website was promising as it described a large landscaped area (which would have probably looked a bit greener in spring/summer but of course no fault of theirs) in a nice location in Egham, Surrey.
We saw they offered afternoon tea, and called them to make reservations that day. Unsure of what traffic would be like, we allowed ourselves time to make any stops along the way but arrived there about 45 minutes early. This was fortunate as we had ample time to walk the grounds in advance of our reservation. Beautiful, even in February! They had an orangery, conservatory, private function rooms, and several statues among their garden, which we took great pleasure in visiting and exploring. It was nice to experience the sights of the water fountains, beautifully landscaped garden, and to walk across a wonderfully built wooden bridge, the whole area making for some very pretty photo stops.
Closer to our booked time, we went through a large wooden door, in which a much smaller wooden door serves as the entrance. It's hard to describe this but there was one large door with a smaller door which was part of it, and you must lower your head and watch your step as you enter.
Once inside, we went to reception where the receptionist walked us personally to our table which had been set with linens and silverware awaiting us. We sat next to each other in front of a large window, on a sofa that seemed antique, in a large room with high ceilings and an open fireplace. My impression is that the ideal location would have been in the center of the room, directly across the fireplace, and this is where another party (of 6 people spread over 2 sofas facing each other) happened to be enjoying afternoon tea.
I have rated them 4/5 due to the sitting conditions, which became increasingly cold as the evening wore on, and since we sat in front a larger window that was only single-glazed. I also would have enjoyed it better if I say across my husband instead of next to him. Finally, the sofa being quite old, was not the most comfortable and was a bit slanted so that it felt I was sliding down slightly. These are really the only negatives.
Something we didn't realize when seeing the menu is that the tea menu they have online which offers 3 options is excluding the Pimms option, at £27 per person.
The service and the quality of the 3-tier tray was very good. After taking our tea order, we were presented with the usual tray, and the server identified each item after setting them down. We were each given one large pot of tea, as well as a smaller pot of hot water, which was a nice touch.
We then proceeded to enjoy the finger sandwiches (cucumber, ham/mustard, salmon, and egg/mayo), scones (very fresh and the two of us were given two each) with clotted cream and fresh jam, and a misture of desserts (carrot cake, fruit cake, chocolate brownie, vanilla cake, almond cake, and a meringue puff, perhaps?), all delicious.
They came by once asking how everything was, and another to ask whether we were finished with different portions.
Afterwards, we went to reception to ask for the bill, and the man there was able to take payment there. A discretionary gratuity of 12.5% is added to the bill, but we were more than happy to pay this. At the reception desk is a small basket with the code required to exit the car park, which worked fine upon leaving. The car park is free and if there is not an event, more than ample for a visit for afternoon tea.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Probably built as a Royal Hunting lodge and very much a stately home since the 16th century, Great Fosters is now a prestigious hotel. Set amongst 50 acres of gardens and parkland, the hotel is a Grade One listed building blessed with the grandeur of 16th century England and luxurious modern facilities. Its past is evident in the mullioned windows, tall chimneys, fireplaces and brick finials, while the Saxon moat, crossed by a Japanese bridge, surrounds three sides of the formal garden. All the suites and bedrooms are individually decorated. The bedrooms in the Main House are adorned with tapestries and antiques, whilst the bedrooms in The Cloisters are more contemporary in style. The Coach House, refurbished in 2008, offers luxurious accommodation with the latest plasma screens, i-pod docking stations and fabulous bathrooms. The hotel's restaurant The Estate Grill is less formal and serves a simple and seasonal menu with many of the dishes using produce grown on the estate and cooked on a Josper grill. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Great Fosters Egham, Surrey, UK
- Great Fosters Hotel Egham