[dropcap]I[/dropcap] think I inherited a love of afternoon tea from my Mum. When I was little, she’d take my sisters and me along to a high tea at a hotel and we’d spend hours nibbling on treats. I don’t remember when Afternoon Tea suddenly became popular again- but it’s so much fun and you can’t help but feel so lady like over a spot of tea and little sandwiches. There have been so many quirky offerings for tea around London, but sometimes it’s just nice to have a classic afternoon tea. I accepted an invitation to the Lancaster London to while away a couple of pinkie-in-the-air hours…
The day I went happened to be the most blustery, rainy day in ages- I actually contemplated if showing up in Hunter wellies would be acceptable. Instead, I threw on my thickest parka, put the hood up and arrived at the hotel with the biggest, frizziest, most Braveheart-like hair in the world. If they noticed, they didn’t show it as everyone we encountered were very nice. So nice, I got a glass of Laurent Perrier champagne as I sank into a plush sofa.
I ordered my favourite tea from the menu- Earl Grey for me and Green tea for Sarah- and soon after pots of steaming tea arrived at our little table. Each pot was labelled and came with a sand timer so you could time how long it took to brew your cup; 3 minutes for weak, or 5 minutes for strong. I awkwardly went for something in between.
After sipping on my brew, defrosting and defrizzing slightly, the glorious tier of treats arrived at our table. One tier for me, and one vegetarian friendly one for Sarah.
Cucumber sandwiches! It sounds like the most bland sandwich you could think of, but with a little seasoning and good quality bread and butter, this is probably my favourite accompaniment to an afternoon tea. You can’t beat the classics.
Cucumber sarnies aside, there was also an egg and wild cress and smoked salmon and cream cheese too. There was a mini Yorkshire pudding with roast beef and horseradish and a mushroom, chicken and tarragon tartlet for some extra savoury bites.
For the veggie option, these were replaced with a mini Yorkshire pudding with cream cheese and sun dried tomato, and a roasted pepper and courgette sandwich (I nicked one from Sarah, it was tasty)
This being a fairly traditional afternoon tea, of course scones were involved…
I’m not even going to step into the cream-or-jam-first debate, since I can’t eat cream- but I couldn’t resist putting a smidge onto my scone (I paid for this later 😦 ) The scones were delicate, not at all dry, and so good we had another plate of them.
Grateful to be out of the nasty weather, sitting in the foyer warming up with my teacup, chatting to a friend, I can totally see why afternoon tea is such a tradition.
Saving the best for last, we tucked into the top tier of pastry and cakes…
There were white chocolate and raspberry lollypops planted in a glass of pastel sugar, a caramel and hazelnut tranche, an apple and honey cupcake each, and a sharp lemon fruit tart, with of course- a raspberry macaron with a passionfruit filling.
Don’t do as I did and accept the challenge of eating the pastel sugar…it looks prettier than it tastes! I loved the combination of macaron flavours; the passionfruit and raspberry worked well together. I couldn’t finish my cupcake as I was so full of scones, but everything was just lovely. The little lemon tart packed a very citrusy punch!
Our stint as ladies that lunch lasted nearly three hours; it was leisurely and relaxing. I used to walk past the Lancaster London all the time when I lived in the area, and it is a lovely hotel. They’re refurbishing parts of the hotel (to upgrade its rating to a 5 star) and the restaurants on the first floor overlook Hyde Park, which is a good enough reason to return! If you want something classic, relaxing and quintessentially London, the Lancaster London ticks all the boxes.
Afternoon tea is served daily from 2:30-5:30 in the Lounge Bar on the first floor, and the hotel is just around the corner from Lancaster Gate tube station, opposite Hyde Park. Priced at £30 per person or £40 per person for an Afternoon Tea with a glass of champagne ( go ooooon, get the champagne!)
Because the hotel is awesome, they have given The Awkward Blog readers a free glass of bubbly when you book either an Afternoon Tea, lunch at Nipa (their in house Thai restaurant) or dinner at Island Grill by quoting ‘Luxe’ when you book or arrive.
^^our Afternoon Tea was complimentary, but all opinions in this post are my own^^