Sometimes it’s nice to just sit back and be served in style. That’s exactly what happened this week when BritMums co-founder Jen and I went to Afternoon Tea at The Royal Horseguards Hotel near Embankment in central London.
We had lots to catch up on – an upcoming press trip to Aragon with the Spanish Tourist Board, speakers for BritMums Live this September, and also a general gossip session – the details of which I couldn’t possibly share on this blog.
When we arrived at The Royal Horseguards (which was the once the home of the first “chief” of MI6!) Jen looked at me and said “We were made for 5-star hotels”. I have to agree.
Our afternoon tea experience started with a glass of Tattinger champagne, which was just the perfect antidote for a busy week.
I love it when the menu is simple, but quality enough to make a difference. The only choice we *had* to make was which variety of loose leaf tea to partake. Jen ordered Darjeeling Persian Pomegranate (so her) and I opted for a strong Egyptian Mint (so me).
Then the goodies started to arrive. First the tea, in individual sterling silver pots – were put on our own personal side tables, so the main round table didn’t get too crowded. Next came three layers of goodies in a sterling cake stand; Savoury sandwiches on the bottom, freshly made scones in the middle, and desserts on the top. Each layer was made up of small but perfectly formed delectables– not too big to scare you off by the thought of calories, but yummy, bite-sized treats that beg you to try “just one more”.
I was impressed with the variety of the freshly made sandwiches. My favourite was crayfish on a rye crouton with Marie Rose sauce. Jen loved the chicken and mayo on traditional white bread. But I have to say the London smoked salmon with dill crème fraiche on granary and honey roasted ham with Dijon mustard on tomato bread were close seconds.
The cakes were amazing – Lemon drizzle, chocolate torte, Alfonso mango cheesecake with yellow butterfly meringues. I think I’ll dream about them for a long time to come. Mmmmm.
A word on the scones: Flakey served with strawberry preserve and Cornish clotted cream. Again, these were the perfect size to eat one whole (sometimes scones are the size of muffins – which is great in the morning for breakfast but not so desirable as an afternoon pick-me-up.) Turns out Jen and I are both Devon girls (cream first), but I experimented the Cornish way (jam first) just to be different.
Overall, it an Afternoon Tea at The Royal Horseguards is a very lovely experience and a great way to catch up with friends.
Cost: £39, plus £10 for a glass of Tattinger champagne.
IF YOU GO:
Royal Horseguards Hotel 2 Whitehall Ct, Westminster, London SW1A 2EJ +44 0800 330 8090 http://www.guoman.com/en/london/the-royal-horseguards.html
Disclosure: Afternoon Tea was provided by The Royal Horseguards for the purpose of this review. All opinions are my own.