On a sunny afternoon in May, my boyfriend and I had our first experience of going out for afternoon tea. Not usually ones to spend our Saturdays sipping tea in Mayfair hotels, we eased ourselves in gently by going for a more relaxed experience at the restaurant in the Mandeville Hotel in Marylebone. They had a special deal for champagne afternoon tea, plus much to my other half’s delight they also offered a “gentleman’s” afternoon tea where finger sandwiches are replaced with more manly mini-treats including a Welsh wagyu burger and a miniature steak topped with snail. I opted for the “vintage” afternoon tea which came with reassuringly classic sandwiches including ham and piccalilli, and egg and watercress.
The selection of mini cakes was impressive: battenburg, a rich dark flourless chocolate and orange cake, pistachio meringue… but without doubt my favourites were the delicious scones with jam and cream. The Moutard champagne was free-flowing to the extent that we were both a bit giddy on entering the world again in the late afternoon sun. My one future request would be for the tea and cakes to be served in vintage china but you can’t have everything I guess!
Much to my surprise and delight, a friend who I hadn’t seen in over a year had booked a table at the same time as us. Just goes to show that sometimes even London can be a small world…or maybe it’s just that my friends and I are all lured by champagne specials!
I’m looking forward to expanding our afternoon tea experience. The difficulty will be where to go next…? There are lots of online guides so maybe I’ll pick from one of these. I’d welcome any suggestions!