Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Afternoon Tea at Royal Garden Hotel, London

Actual date of this event: 6 August

Falene, one of my friends from Aberdeen, decided to come to London for a few days. Yay, for more visitors!! She works in Aberdeen, so rarely does she get to do the girly stuff that the housewives do during the day. Afternoon Tea sounded like the perfect activity for the day!

A couple of weeks ago, I found an afternoon tea website that, for the most part, provides you with information about afternoon tea locations in various parts of Great Britain. The website is extremely helpful for London locations, but I cant say it is great for everywhere else - sorry :-( On the website, you can specify a location in London, and then refine your search by things like nut free, day of the week, outdoor seating, etc. You can book through the website and include any special requests, so there was no hassle in calling. We were able to find exactly what we wanted!

When we arrived, there actually was only one other table occupied so it was nice and quiet. We requested gluten free options for our tea (the website stated this was available), and our server was fully of aware of our request. Awesome! Falene and I decided to go all out so we ordered The Royal Tea rather than The Kensington Tea because this was Falene's day. :-)
We started off by decided what tea to order. The server brought a tray of jars with loose tea inside for us to smell. We had fun smelling each kinda and reading the descriptions of each. The menu also gave details on what temperature to serve the tea. This was a whole new experience for me! Very British!

The server came back for our order in which I chose Pu-erh Chai and Falene went with Earl Grey. Then he brought our champagne and strawberries (that had a balsamic glaze on them) as a little teaser which was part of The Royal Tea menu.

We determined that the server was waiting for us to finish our champagne before he brought our tea, so as classy as we could, we chugged the bubbly. And sure enough our sandwiches and tea came just a few moments later. Our sandwiches included 8 different kinds. EIGHT! I have never been to a tea with so many choices. I love trying to decide which is my favorite... either the Cheddar filled or the Veggie one. But they were all good!

As for the tea, the server placed our pots on the table and said he would come back in a few minutes to pour them for us. He gave us milk and water in case we needed it. The tea comes bagged, but the restaurant bags it themselves using fresh leaves - they feel that bags are better for steeping. My Chai was soooooo stinkin' good! It smelled delicious and tasted delicious but for some reason the two were completely different. I am becoming a big big fan of Chai tea!

After "finishing" our sandwiches, we noticed that the room had filled up. Every table was full of people also enjoying the afternoon "snack"... men included! There was also a woman playing the piano which enhanced the ambiance She even played the happy birthday song for a woman at another table. It was then time for the main event!
The cakes and scones!!!! We each got 2 scones with the usual jam and clotted cream, and then 4 different types of cakes: cheesecake, brownie, fruit cake, and a random fourth. All of them were so yummy! 

This was THE BEST! Passion Fruit cheesecake. I mean, seriously, what could be better than passionfruitcheesecake? Nothing! I made sure to eat every last drop of that thing, and then was eyeing other people's plates that also had one :-) Somehow I managed a picture before scarfing it down.
It was pretty neat because every table had a different set of desserts. We were trying to determine what the others were, and jealous that we didn't get to try those too. But of course, we were unable to finish all of what we were given because it is so much food! I was always under the impression that the purpose of Afternoon Tea was for an afternoon pick me up, but it always puts me in a food coma which leads to an afternoon nap. Am I missing something here? Am I doing afternoon tea incorrectly?? Maybe I should practice some more... Who is up for practicing with me? It's super fun, super delicious, super British and super awesome!

What kind of cake would you scarf down at afternoon tea?


  1. I am SO coming back to London to do an afternoon tea with you! This looks a-ma-zing! I'm a cheesecake girl too!

    1. It IS a-ma-zing! See, more reasons for you to come back to London!!!

  2. There is a restaurant here that does Chocolate Afternoon Tea menu. All chocolate. It is sooooo good. The sandwiches etc aren't chocolate nor is there actual chocolate tea. But, all the desserts are chocolate and there is just so much food. I can't wait to go back!

    1. Wow! I am not sure I could handle all that chocolate :-( I wish the guest could break the afternoon tea into a couple of days. Day one: half a sandwich, one scone and two treats. Day two: other half of sandwich, one scone, and other two treats. I could handle that!

  3. Love afternoon tea! Can't wait to check one out over here (once I consume caffeine again *sigh*) and compare...

  4. I'm so jealous! I always wanted to do afternoon tea in Scotland complete with scones and other yummy treats, but it never happened! I might have to go back. :)

  5. This sounds so fun! I love when they serve loose leave teas. The Sheraton in Edinburgh does a great tea and they give you these fancy timers so you know how long it needs to seep. Can't wait to do a high tea in London next month!

  6. This looks soo delicious and soo fancy! How fun!!


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