Cost – £75.00 (July 2021)
Parking and Access – This is a central London hotel. The hotel only offers valet parking – at a price! Parking in central London is at a premium. There is not a lot around and what there is, is expensive. The best way to reach the hotel is by bus, underground or taxi.
The Thames Foyer, where Afternoon Tea is served in down two short flights of steps from the main entrance.
There are toilets available on the level that is between the two sets of steps. Needless to say, the toilets are really nice, with individual towels to dry your hands on. I did not spot the location of any disabled toilets.
Options Available – We chose to have the High Tea. There is also a traditional Afternoon Tea, which contains the same items, but does not include the infused vegetables or poached salmon course. There are also vegetarian, vegan and children’s Afternoon Teas available.
Contents – 3 rectangular sandwiches (salted cucumber with pea hummus on tomato bread, coronation chicken on walnut bread and shrimps in Marie Rose sauce on wholemeal bread), salmon gravlax on a lemon brioche, a beetroot and raisin tartlette. A choice of lemongrass infused vegetables or poached salmon in fish tea. A medium sized plain scone, and a small/medium sized fruit scone. A pot of strawberry jam, a pot of apricot jam and a pot of clotted cream. A pistachio financier, a cube of Piedmont cake, a blueberry tartlette and a strawberries and cream on shortbread. Your choice of tea from a large tea menu.
Comments – When we arrived at the Thames Foyer, where Afternoon Tea is served, we first checked in at the desk.
We were then shown to a table for two in the rear half of the room. We were given a round table with comfortable chairs. The table was laid with a pale green linen table cloth with a small pattern around it, which matched the linen napkins on the plates.
The crockery was a really pretty flowered pattern in mauve and aqua blue on a white plate.
The teacups matched the plates and were accompanied by aqua blue saucers. The table also had a small pastry knife and fork each, a champagne glass and silver tea strainers.
Sugar was in packets, next to a pretty bright pink rose.
In the centre of the room, below a lovely glass dome, there was a pianist playing the grand piano in the centre of what looked a bit like a large bird cage!
We were both given menus to choose our tea from and also to choose the ‘main course’, which is the only difference between the High Tea and the Traditional Afternoon Tea. We both chose the poached salmon option for the main course, and Savoy afternoon tea blend for our tea to drink.
The tea arrived in a heavy silver teapot accompanied by a silver lidded jug of hot water. We were each poured a cup of tea. We then noticed we had not been given any milk, so we asked the waitress for some. This arrived in a little jug that matched the plates. The tea was loose leaf, but was always poured by the waiters, who would appear to pour you some more every time your cup started to get empty.
We were also poured a glass of iced water each.
The savoury arrived first on a rectangular plate with an aqua blue and white pattern around the edge that mirrored the pattern on the table linen and the colour on the other crockery.
The sandwiches were on an interesting mix of breads. Needless to say, they were all freshly made and well filled. The fillings were interesting and a little different. They were all really delicious. There was also a little tart filled with beetroot and raisins. I am not a particular fan of beetroot, but this little tart was really yummy!
In fact, when we were asked if we would like any more savoury, we asked for an extra tart each and an extra coronation chicken sandwich each, as these were our favourites. These arrived on a round plate that matched the rectangular one.
Next to arrive was the part the Savoy call the main course. It arrived in a massive bowl. We saw the bowls first and were worried there was going to be too much! Luckily, there was just a small cube of poached salmon in the bottom of the bowl, topped with Swiss chard and nori (which is, apparently, seaweed!!). The waitress then poured a little jug of fish tea over the fish.
The fish was really tasty and had a lovely texture. There was just the right amount to fit in with the Tea.
When we had finished the fish course, The cakes and scones arrived together on a three-tier cake stand. This was accompanied by a rectangular plate on which there were three pots containing strawberry and apricot jam and clotted cream. Each pot had a silver spoon in it. The plates on the cake stand, the rectangular plate and the three pots all matched the flowery plates we were eating from, which had also been replaced with clean plates.
The scones were lovely and warm. The plain scones were a little larger than the fruit scones. They were all freshly made and tasted good.
It was nice to have a second type of jam available. Both jams were delicious and not over sweet. There was plenty of both of them. However, the clotted cream was quite stiff, which made it hard to spread. There was nowhere near enough for two scones each. We asked for some more, which was provided immediately with no problem.
Finally, we reached the cakes. Needless to say, they were delicious!
Our least favourite was the blueberry and Chantilly tart. It was still delicious, but the others were even more so.
This was followed by the pistachio and lemon financier.
The strawberry and cream blob on a shortbread base was a close second favourite.
However, the Piedmont cake, which was a hazelnut sponge with raspberry praline filling and covered in chocolate won the day for both of us! It was really yummy and finished our Afternoon Tea off beautifully.
Service was, as you would expect, exemplary. It was very attentive, without being too obvious. Someone would always appear when your teacup needed refilling, and there was always someone nearby if you needed anything. They were even happy to take a photo of us at our table when we asked.
In conclusion, I would have to say – yes, this is a very expensive Afternoon Tea. But, you get what you pay for. The food was delicious and inventive, the service was excellent and the surroundings were a delight. For a special occasion it is perfect. I would happily return time and time again. If only I could!
All opinions expressed in this review are my own. The photographs are all my own.
I remain completely anonymous and always pay for my Afternoon Teas. They are never gifted to me by the businesses reviewed.
I am the legal copyright holder of the content and images on this blog.