What better way to start British summertime than with a quintessentially British afternoon tea at The Lanesborough. As I walk out at 6.15pm into day light, my waistband digs into me more so than it did before I filled myself with morsels of traditional English delight.
An afternoon tea with three fellow food bloggers (Mathilde’s Cuisine, Gourmet Chick and Greedy Diva) was a perfect way to end the weekend. Although my two days off work have been full of butter, sugar, flour and egg mixtures in my own kitchen, it was great to end with a bit of posh.
This was my first London hotel afternoon tea experience having previously visited Bea’s of Bloomsbury with my mum when she came to London, although you cannot really compare the two – both exquisite in their own ways.
The Lanesborough adds a touch of grandeur to the life of a girl in her early 20′s living in Wembley. The seating impeccably comfortable, the silverware petit, the napkins placed neatly on your knee by a witty and quietly enthusiastic waiter and teas expertly chosen for you after a quick ‘consultation’ with a tea sommelier. I like milk with my tea so was advised to get the’ Lanesborough Afternoon Blend’, which consists of Darjeeling, finest China Keemum and whole rose buds.
It is a treat and an experience not to be missed on a visit to London. Finger sandwiches, cakes, tea cakes, scones (with lashings of clotted cream) and as much tea as you can drink within a two hour window, I left feeling like I used to feel on a Friday evening after I had finished the whole bag full of sweets that my dad had brought home for me after work. Friday night was ‘sweetie night.’
I always imagined that afternoon tea of that calibre would be reserved for a special occasion – we knew that there were a few people celebrating their birthdays as the smell of a lit match wafted by and the waiters began to sing happy birthday along with the grand pianist that played tucked neatly in the corner of the room.
Nerves usually get the better of me when I enter an establishment like this and I don’t know whether I have recently grown out of this or there isn’t as much as pretence at The Lanesborough but I felt at ease as soon as the very softly spoken waiter pulled the napkin over my knee.
We chose a non-alcoholic afternoon tea – the idea of Champagne usually excites me but not the thought of it swilling around with the clotted cream from the scones. £35 + service may sound a lot but not for a treat every now and then. I can’t compare The Lanesborough to any other afternoon tea in London but after today’s events, I’m sure that I will be able to soon.
Hyde Park Corner