It’s finally starting to feel like Fall in the West Coast, and these chills have me wanting to curl up with a warm cup of tea! Growing up, my grandmother and I used to have afternoon tea with sweet toast and milk tea. I like to think that this early intake of caffeine contributed to my petite sub-5′ height, but there’s probably more to that. Anyway, whenever we find ourselves across the pond in London town, it’s always a special experience for me to have afternoon tea. We’ve been to a couple popular tea rooms, but Claridge’s epitomizes classic afternoon tea.
Located in Claridge’s luxury hotel in the West End, the Foyer and Reading Room create a beautiful backdrop for any occasion. The art deco of the Foyer is highlighted by a Chihuly light sculpture (yes, the same Chihuly known to many Americans for his glass garden in Seattle). To keep things simple, it’s beautiful!
On to the dining experience… we opted for the traditional tea experience, but there is an option to upgrade for a glass of Laurent-Perrier brut or rosé. Either choice comes with a classic display of finger sandwiches, pastries, and scones accompanied with Marco Polo jelly and Cornish Clotted cream. Everything is baked fresh daily in-house with every ingredient having been well thought out. It doesn’t sound like much, but you definitely won’t leave hungry. At some point, we were begging them to stop bringing us food! We even received boxes of treats to take home. Now the highlight of the experience, of course, is the tea. You can choose from about 24 teas selected from all around the world. The menu explains where each tea is sourced, and the staff is more than helpful in helping you decide on drink pairings with your food. The service is attentive but still warm and friendly. Our tea cups were never empty and they were very generous with the food servings. No need to raise a finger (especially your pinky!). This was such a fun experience that I would highly recommend in London.
Pro tip: Reservations can be made up to 90 days in advance, so you can plan ahead.
You can also check out a sample menu here