Afternoon Tea in London | London, England | The search for the ultimate Afternoon Tea experience in London continues, and each time I visit, I book a few new options. This time, during my visit for New Years Eve, I lined up two venues, both located at iconic hotels of London, as the Claridge’s in Mayfair and The Berkeley in Knightsbridge.
Perhaps I should describe first, what is that I am looking for ? So that you can all measure and understand better my final comments. What I expect on my search of the ideal Afternoon Tea Experience in London, is authenticity of the nation’s culinary heritage, ambiance, local crowd and of course great selection of teas and finger sandwiches, scones, and sweet pastries. (Afternoon Tea from £50 per person on. Our selection of Festive Champagne Tea was £75 per person )
Afternoon tea at the Claridge’s. The sole moment you get your booking confirmation, a regal feeling goes through your body. I mean, this property is considered an institution in London. I went expecting a heavy traditional afternoon tea, a very formal ambiance, a very select and upscale crowd and indeed and quintessential tea experience with ingredients painstakingly sourced, skilfully prepared and served fresh.
Claridge’s offers a lovely selection of delicious tea from small, little known producers from the four corners of the world. Working hand in hand with Executive Chef, they have carefully selected teas that will complement your food perfectly. As you arrive and throughout the seating, you will enjoy also a few glasses of Champagne. And food is constant upon your own pace and request. Tea is served at the Thierry Despont’s magnificent Foyer, inspired by the 1930s’ heyday of art deco. Live music performance.
We had a lovely time, now I felt the crowd was only tourists, which was not what I expected. The server was very attentive, but we had to keep asking for things, to have our tea served, or to try other options from the wide selection. Finally the ambiance was not as sophisticated as I expected. Call me old school, but I would have wished that their dress code to be more leaning to the formal concept than the Elegant Smart Casual. How would I rate the overall experience: A lovely afternoon tea, with a blunt experience.
Next was a more avant-garde young approach to and Afternoon Tea at The Berkeley Hotel. Their experience in inspired in Fashion, reason why they call it ” Pre a Portea ” adding a creative twist to the classic elements of the traditional English afternoon tea with cakes and pastries resembling the latest catwalk designs for the style conscious. (Afternoon Tea from £45 per person on)
The atmosphere and ambiance was more informal, young and relaxed. In this case it was a balanced mix of locals and tourists, which was nice to experience. I felt that the whole experience felt very feminine to me, which usually does not stop me from being part of it, but in this case, if it would have not been for my guest Sophie, I would have not fully enjoyed the concept and style. I feel it is an afternoon tea more oriented to women than men.
The Berkeley London designer afternoon tea, Prêt-à-Portea, is inspired by the themes and colours of the fashion world. The menu is transformed every six months to follow the changing seasons in fashion. Heavy on sweets, which are not my favorite over tea. Tea is served at the Caramel Room a cosy corner at the Berkeley’s.
I think this is a fantastic option for younger crowd, or group of ladies gathering to have a great afternoon together over glasees of Rose-Champagne, tea, pastries and fashion. The search continues, I think next time I will try the one at Hotel Cafe Royal, till next visit London. Carlos Melia Luxury Travel Curator – www.carlosmelia.com
(*) To book your own travel experience, do not hesitate to contact me either by email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone # 917.754.5515. Also check our scheduled Small Travel Groups at Coups de Coeur. I am an experienced Travel Agent with over 25 years of experience, member of LGTNetwork, VIRTUOSO, First in Service Travel, TZELL Travel Network. www.carlosmelia.com