Hope you're having a tea-rrific day!
This weekend Lorna, our friend Becca and I treated one of our friends to her first ever afternoon tea in a London hotel. Yes, we had an afternoon tea virgin in our group of friends (hard to believe I know!) and with her Birthday fast approaching we decided it was high time she indulged in a proper afternoon tea!
After thinking long and hard about where we should take Kirsty for afternoon tea (there are so many options in London!), we plumped for an award winning tea at The Athenaeum which is located opposite Green Park in central London.
Lets start with the award.....
|The very pretty afternoon tea award|
In 2012 The Athenaeum was awarded "Top London Afternoon Tea" by the Tea Guild...a prestige award in the tea world! But the question is.....did their afternoon tea come up to our high standards!
On our table when we were seated was a lovely tea menu....
|The tea menu|
The tea menu is well presented and a nice change to seeing the teas listed in a traditional menu. Not only can you read about the teas, you can also see some of the leaves. There is a good selection of traditional black teas, green teas and fruit teas....such a good selection in fact that I couldn't make up my mind. However, the staff who serve the afternoon tea are extremely knowledgeable about the teas on offer and after a couple of questions recommended a tea that would suit my tastes.
Next came the three tiers of loveliness!
|Afternoon tea is served!|
We had a top tier of finger sandwiches, a bottom tier of warm scones and a middle tier of cream, jam and lemon curd.
Please excuse the squiffy sandwich photograph!
|Piles of afternoon tea finger sandwiches|
The sandwiches were fresh tasting and there was a good selection of fillings. However, the eagle eyed among you may notice something a bit odd about some of these delicate savouries....yes if you look carefully there is the odd crust here or there! Now this wasn't a controversial hint of crust that we have experience before - this was full on crust....and to make it worse it wasn't on every sandwich! Although this sounds like a small thing, I think it let their sandwiches down ever so slightly as presentation plays an important part of afternoon tea.
The fillings included smoked salmon, cream cheese and cucumber, egg and cress, ham and red onion jam and the most delicious chicken. The chicken was definitely my favourite filling, in fact I might of had an extra chicken sandwich just to make sure I really liked it! I also really enjoyed the sweet red onion jam which was in the ham sandwich.
We then turned our attentions to the scones which had been wrapped in linen to keep them warm.
There were two good sized scones for each of us - one plain and one orange flavour. The orange scone had small pieces of orange peel in them, they were a little crunchy but gave a delicate orange flavour. The scones had a good texture and tasted wonderful with the accompaniments.....
We had the option of strawberry jam (which was full of fruit) or delicious, creamy lemon curd and of course dollops of clotted cream!
As we were finishing our scones we were served plates of sweet treats.....
|The sweet plate full of afternoon tea treats|
Hidden at the back of this photo is two chocolate cover strawberries that were ever so juicy! We also had a rich and creamy cheesecake, mini raspberry meringues, fruit tarts and shot glasses full off champagne jelly.
My favourite things here were the small pieces of cheesecake and the jelly, which dissolved in your mouth leaving a wonderful flavour. This was a nice selection of different sweet treats and each item was a good size.
Then just as we were commenting on how full we were, we were presented with this....
|The afternoon tea cake trolley|
Yes, that is an amazing trolley full of yet more sweet treats! We were each asked to pick a piece from the wonderful selection.....
|Beautiful loaf cakes|
We could pick from lemon cake, banana cake and one other loaf cake that I can't remember! Clearly I didn't opt for the one I can't remember.....I indulged in the lemon cake, which was so full of flavour and light in texture.
|More cakes to tempt us!|
We could also pick from a chocolate caramel cake or Victoria sponge.
Both Lorna and Kirsty opted for the chocolate caramel cake and as you can see the slices were very generous!
Finally when Kirsty thought she could eat no more the staff brought her a piece of Opera cake on an iced plate.
|Kirsty's Birthday Treat|
This came with a candle and the staff member wished Kirsty a Happy Birthday, which I thought was a nice touch. The hotel also very kindly treated our party to two glasses of champagne cocktail.
All in all we had a lovely afternoon, the staff were very attentive and friendly, the food was fresh and kept coming and we were never without a cup of tea! What more could a group of ladies want on a rainy Saturday afternoon?
Do they deserve their award though? Based on our experience on Saturday I think they do.
If you would like to sample an award winning afternoon tea for yourself you can have the Evergreen Tea for £29.50 per person or if you wish to add a glass of rose petal bubbles it is £36.50 per person. Considering how full we were when we left the hotel I think this afternoon tea is great value.
Afternoon tea is served in the Garden Room, which is a very pretty space in the hotel. There are three sittings for afternoon tea at 12:30pm, 3:30pm and 5:30pm.
Incidentally, Kirsty thoroughly enjoyed her first posh afternoon tea in London and has requested that we take her on more tea adventures with us!
Thanks for popping by today,
Rachel & Lorna