Cost – £24.95 plus 12.5% service charge (July 2021)
Parking and Access – There is some parking available at the hotel which is available on a first come, first served basis. However, it is expensive. As with most venues in the centre of London, it is best to arrive using public transport or on foot. The hotel is right next to Tower Bridge, with the Tower of London on the other side of the road, so there are plenty of bus stops nearby, and an underground station just a short walk away.
There are toilets available in the hotel which can be accessed on the flat by lift.
Background – This is the third Afternoon Tea from our London trip, and is in the restaurant and bar at the hotel we were staying in. We hadn’t originally planned to have a Tea here. However, the package we had from the hotel included a late checkout. So when I saw the hotel offered an Afternoon Tea, we had to book it, and make use of that late checkout.
The Tower Hotel is a huge, fairly ugly, large concrete hotel right next to the Tower Bridge, and overlooking the River Thames.
Immediately the other side of Tower Bridge, but on the same side of the river, is the Tower of London.
We spent the morning visiting the Tower of London, then returned to the hotel for our Afternoon Tea before leaving to go home.
Contents per person – Four rectangular sandwiches (cucumber with mint cream cheese, egg mayonnaise, smoked salmon with dill cream cheese and ham with mustard mayonnaise) and a Coronation chicken roll. One small plain scone, one small fruit scone, a small bowl of strawberry jam and a small bowl of clotted cream. A macaroon, a mini chocolate cup cake with pistachio buttercream, a mini raspberry and lime tart, a piece of Baileys cheesecake mousse and a mini dessert of panna cotta with blackberry jelly. Any tea or coffee from the menu.
Options Available – This Afternoon Tea is also available with either a glass of Prosecco or of Champagne.
Comments – Somehow, we managed to choose the weekend of the UEFA European Football Championships final (held in London, and featuring the England team) as our weekend away!! As a result, the bar and large outside areas of Vicinity were heaving with groups of football fans, as well as the usual people visiting the hotel. So, we were shown to a table in the restaurant area, next to a window looking on to Tower Bridge, and by an open door (it was a hot day). This was relatively quiet and quite pleasant. There was another table in use for Afternoon Tea nearby.
The table was laid with brown and white chunky cups and saucers, a plate, and a knife, fork and spoon wrapped in a paper napkin, each.
The waitress gave us a menu each and asked us to choose our hot drink. We both chose a pot of English Breakfast tea. We also asked for a diet coke each, as it was a very hot day. She also checked our dietary requirements and noted that we had asked for no mustard when booking our Tea.
The waitress arrived with two teapots, along with a jug of milk and a tea bag each! Very bizarre! The teapots were the type with a metal cage inside for the loose tea leaves. However, we were given a teabag each! I tried putting it in the cage, but that did not work and the tea looked like water. So, I wedged it under the cage. That worked better and resulted in a just about drinkable cup of tea. I only had a couple of teacups full, then relied on my cold drink. My companion had more of his and was offered a refill. This time, the tea came with the bag in the water already.
The main Afternoon Tea arrived on a brilliant Tower Bridge shaped cake stand
with three blue oblong plates. It was very clever, and really made the Afternoon Tea a little bit different.
The first thing I noticed was that the ham sandwiches had the mustard mayonnaise in them. As this is a dislike, rather than an allergy, we decided not to try and get them changed. However, when we ate the ham sandwiches, the ham was so gristly, neither of us could bite through it! They were really bad and we both left them.
The rest of the sandwiches were better. They were all adequately filled and tasted freshly made. The Coronation chicken rolls were particularly good. The chicken was slightly warm and there was plenty of it.
The scones were both pretty small but they had been warmed up.
There was barely enough of either jam or clotted cream. Even given the small size of the scones.
The sweet part of this Afternoon Tea was probably the best part, despite the usual bought in, cop out macaroons.
The raspberry and lime tartlette was really tasty, although the pastry was a bit soft.
The Baileys mousse thing was really good. And the panna cotta was probably the best of the cakes.
Service was ok. The waitress was generally quite helpful, and it was good to be away from all the hubbub outside, yet with plenty of fresh air. However, the rubbish ham sandwiches and the bizarre tea thing were small negative points.
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.
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