Welcome back to Tea With Me and Friends, where today we're sharing with you a not so tea-riffic afternoon tea adventure we recently had.
On a trip into London with mum I decided to treat her to an afternoon tea before the show we were seeing. I looked around and discovered the Jungle Afternoon tea at Le Meridien Piccadilly via the Bookable Table website. The tea was launched in March to celebrate the release of Disney’s new film interpretation of Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book. The tea looked rather cool, with tiger bread sandwiches, fruit kebabs and animal print cookies, we were both looking forward to it.
On arrival at The Terrace, where the afternoon tea is served, there was no one at the front desk to greet us, in fact it took about five minutes of looking around for someone to finally show us to our table. When we were seated I showed the waiter our reservation and he told me that the Jungle Tea is for children and therefore we couldn't have it - we would have to have the (more expensive) traditional afternoon tea. I challenged that the Bookable Table website did not mention this, but this didn't seem to matter.
We weren't asked whether we had any dietary requirements and on reflection no one asked my name, so I'm not sure what happened to our actual reservation. Eventually our afternoon tea was brought over to our table on a modern stand, along with our tea, but I can't tell you what was on the stand as this was not explained to us....it looked pretty though....
|Afternoon tea - Le Meridien Piccadilly|
As the waitress disappeared off it soon became apparent that there was no extras with this tea - what you see is what you get (including the pot of tea).
Let's start at the bottom of the stand with the sandwiches....
|Afternoon tea sandwiches - Le Meridien Piccadilly|
As the sandwich fillings were not described to us we had to guess....one was an egg sandwich on tomato bread which I enjoyed, there was also an average poached salmon sandwich and a chicken and mushroom sandwich (which I didn't like). Finally there was a pepper and olive sandwich which neither mum nor I touched.
The sandwiches were cold as if they had just come from a fridge, and the texture wasn't particularly fresh. They were cut into finger sandwiches, but not all the crusts were removed.....
|Controversial crust left on!|
Moving on from the sandwiches we moved up to the scones - we had two each, one fruit and one plain. Served with cream and jam in little pots.
The scones were claggy, the plain one being a little better than the fruit one.
|Scones - Le Meridien Piccadilly|
Although the cream and jam were served in these cute little glass jars, there were no spoons on the table to serve them. I had to find a waitress and request the spoons!
From here we moved to the top tier of the stand, the cakes and pastries, which all looked wonderful......
|Afternoon tea pastries - Le Meridien Piccadilly|
Again, we had no idea what each cake was and therefore had to guess.
On the far left we had a fairly tasteless macaroon - the texture was good, but it tasted of nothing. Next to that we had an almond pastry ball, filled with pink mousse- the pastry was very tasty. At the end we had some kind of pistachio and strawberry cake - possibly an Opera Cake.....this had a rather lovely coconut marshmallow attached to side (probably the best bit of all the sweets!)....
Finally, and just out of sight in the photo, we had two chocolate domes which sat on sable biscuits.
At no point during the tea did anyone come and ask us whether we were enjoying our afternoon tea. In fact there seemed to be a shortage of staff during our whole experience.
When we finally got the bill, we were told that the price of the Jungle afternoon tea had been honoured and we weren't expected to pay the price of the traditional afternoon tea which was more expensive. However, it wasn't until we were leaving that someone actually apologised for the confusion in our reservation.
To say we were disappointed with the whole experience is a bit of an understatement really. The Terrace itself lacked any atmosphere, there was no service to speak of and the food wasn't brilliant either.
It's not often that we experience such a poor overall afternoon tea. If anyone has tried the Jungle Afternoon tea we'd love to know what it was like!
Thank you for popping by today,