Tuesday 5 November 2013

Afternoon Tea at The Strand Palace Hotel, London

On a recent trip to London I booked a spontaneous last minute Afternoon Tea at The Strand Palace Hotel in London. Due to only have returned from Turkey a few days prior, I didn't have time to research into recommendations so I booked this on a whim whist in our hotel for the next day.

This hotel was behind Covent Garden and upon arrival, appeared really posh, with doormen all suited and booted on the entrance. Marbled floors and big plush couches in reception, huge fish tanks with tropical fish and pretty lights that twinkled and reflected in the marble floor.

Its not until we entered The Lounge, where our afternoon tea was, were I began to feel a little disappointed. A waitress approached us and gave us the option of sitting at 2 tables. I opted for a little booth that was tucked away in a corner (even though the lounge was almost empty). I immediately knew that this wasn't going to meet my expectations. The service was very laid back, the effort that they were putting into our visit was limited. Our table looked a little on the shabby side and I knew that it was only the start of more things to come.

We were given the option of 2 Afternoon Teas, one being slightly more expensive than the latter. When our food arrived, I found the menu to be misleading, only in small ways but ways that would discourage me from visiting again.

The sandwiches were just ok.. they tasted like something I could have made at home with supermarket bought bread and filling. The scones were nice, but which scones aren't nice with a good dollop of cream and jam on? The 'cupcakes' weren't in fact cupcakes, but a small chocolate cake that had been cut in half (half each, instead of a full one like the menu led you to believe).

The cakes were pretty tasty, the sponge was really moist and Mikes not a fan of fruit and cake together, but he loved the strawberry tart.

We were given a selection of teas, but again, Twynings Tea, something original and easily accessible (I like unusual and quirky if I'm booking such things!). The variety was mostly fruity teas, with only Earl Grey or English Breakfast to choose from should you opt for a more 'normal' flavoured tea. We initially went for Early Grey, then later swapped to English Breakfast once our teapot was empty (it was free re-fills on tea).

We paid £34 for this which I was disappointed with. Not only because of the quality of the food, but because I was in London, probably the #1 place in the world to indulge in afternoon tea, and I'd chosen this place, purely because I was rushed. Due to not living near London (in fact a 3-4hr drive) it's not somewhere I get to visit often, so I felt like I had almost wasted my opportunity to indulge properly and experience a good afternoon tea.

I felt a part of me was comparing this to the Afternoon Tea that I had at The Radisson in Manchester (which you can read about here). This being my first experience having afternoon tea, its set high standards (which is only natural I guess!). Either way, I feel like I'm on a bit of an Afternoon Tea challenge now and that I want to sample it in every new city I go to!

I've been searching and there really are some unusual ones out there. I can't wait to try more!
Where is the best place you've had afternoon tea? Recommendations welcome!

1 comment

  1. I always want to go for afternoon tea, but it always seems very expensive for what it is, and I'm worried it would be a let down like your experience, I hate feeling rushed to find somewhere to eat, usually end up picking places you wouldnt normally go

    Please come check out my latest post if you have time :)

    Fragile Bird | www.fragile-bird.blogspot.co.uk




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