Afternoon High Tea

18:25 Alyson Tart 0 Comments

I am alive. I know you were worried about my long hiatus, but I survived our first set of visitors to London and what seems to now be my annual spring cold, which happened to overlap with our second set of visitors. While I may have spent the better part of a week moving from the bed to the couch, sleeping and watching marathons of Law and Order between naps, there’s a lot to catch-up on the blog!

Among our two groups of visitors, we had first time Londoners and veteran travelers, making them very different to entertain. We hit some tried and true tourist spots, some new spots for the first time, however, we managed to find one common ground for all to enjoy.

Afternoon High Tea.

My first British tea experience had been in Thornbury. I had been introduced to true tea in Turkey and it slowly grew on me, but here in the UK, it’s down to a fine art, an art which includes scones. Yes, scones and clotted cream have made me a tea fan for life.

Sure, there’s many other little delicacies like small cucumber and cream cheese sandwiches and mini desserts, but the scones are what have raised English Afternoon Tea to the institution that it is.

For each group, we tried a new tea place to see what different hotels, cafes and eateries offer around the city.

First was the Brown's Hotel in posh Mayfair. It was the perfect first London tea experience - the ambiance with the wood paneled walls, with music drifting through the rooms as you sip on tea out of your cup decorated with florals and munch on endless sandwiches, scones and pastries. The staff are attentive, giving you information on your teas, replenishing your scones and being overall, quite friendly. We were the last tea time of the day, giving us the advantage of having no one to follow us. 

Photo courtesy of the Brown's as I was so busy with scones,
I couldn't be bothered with the camera

Next try was the Kensington Hotel.  It is a bit more modern than the offerings at Brown's and more casual. No piano, no fancy room, just comfy chairs and small tables pushed together to make it a cozy affair. We went crazy this time and opted for the Champagne Afternoon High Tea where we indulged in a glass of Monet before kicking off our tea.

The offerings were similar to Brown's, and I may have been disappointed by the experience if it was scone free. But, the scones were delicious, as was their special treat of Gin & Tonic sherbert. While they weren't as attentive as the Brown's (and the price was still comparable), it's still a good option for someone who wants a less fuss tea time.

Tea time pictures from Kensington Hotel - again, whoops on
the camera!

I know there will be many more tea times in my future, or at least as many as my waist line will allow!

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