Carrying on my series of favourite tearooms in the UK, I turn to a hotel which according to Wikipedia has hosted people of historical significance. Located in Mayfair in the centre of London, my husband treated me to Afternoon Tea on our last UK visit and it was a truly exquisite experience. Greeted by a wonderful host we were shown to our table and greeted with a great list of teas. I opted for Cornwall tea whilst my husband chose Darjeeling 2nd Flush. What impressed me was how the teas were presented. A tea sommelier placed the teapots swiftly on the table, with all the spouts facing the same direction. I know that he’s probably placed teapots on the table a gazillion times before but it was impressive nevertheless. Here is a picture of the teapots with my ineffectual attempt of trying to avoid the camera 😮
The tea service was impeccable with the sommeliers enquiring as to whether we wanted the tea to be poured or if we wanted it to be steeped a little longer.
They say that the devil is in the detail and whilst I don’t take sweetener with tea, can you see how the sweetener is presented on the table? Protruding out of the sugar bowl (behind the sugar tongues) is one pink sweetener wrapper encased in its own wallet like a hotel key card, as opposed to an overfilled sweetener/sugar bowl: a typical sight in restaurants. Absolutely tea-lightful!
The teas were accompanied by a 3 tiered cake stand. On the bottom were the traditional sandwiches, warm scones with clotted cream and strawberry preserve on the next with the top tier containing an assortment of pastries. Just when I thought I couldn’t possibly have another bite, along came the cake trolley. The carrot cake and Victorian sponge caught our eyes.
After the Cornish tea (much better with milk I thought), I ordered the Organic Bohea Lapsang which is said to be the original lapsang tea made by the same family for 400 years. The smoky aroma filled the air but was much more subtle on the palate. Tea-licious! So there we are: impeccable service, exquisite afternoon tea, a warm and inviting interior, all accompanied by the pianist and his baby piano. Tea-lectable.
See more articles by our tea gal in Australia, May King Tsang!
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