Wednesday 21 December 2022

Christmas afternoon tea in Grand Saloon Dury Lane theatre

 Yesterday I had a lovely Christmas afternoon tea with my friend at the Dury Lane theatre Covent Garden London. 

It is served upstairs in the very Grand Saloon restaurant with its high ceiling and pillars . The table and chairs are set around the large bar in the middle of the room. 

I booked this direct with them and it is priced at £49 each or £58 with a glass of Taittinger Champagne. We went for the Champagne one as it was Christmas ! 

Upon arrival we were shown to our small table at the side of the room with nice low velvet chairs. he table was laid with  bespoke china and matching embroidered white napkin 

It was very busy and there was some nice Christmas piano music in the background. I commented to my friend that I was surprised that there were no Christmas decorations in the room which I thought  a bit strange. 

Maybe they did not want to spoil the grand ambience of the room 

We were handed the menu and asked if we had any allergies. I informed them that I do not eat fish and could I swap the Salmon one for an extra sausage roll

Whilst sipping our Champagne we ordered some lemon grass tea which sounded nice from the tea menu and waited for the food to arrive. 

We only had to wait about 15 minutes and the food all  looked very nice. The waiter brought over the savories on a plate each and then the scones on another plate wrapped up in napkin to keep warm with pot of jam and pot of clotted cream. The cakes arrived on a tea stand and we got two of each type. 

It was nice to get different savories than just the usual sandwiches. Both the sausage roll and goats cheese one were delicious. I could taste the truffle oil mixed in the goats cheese and the sausage roll pastry was crisp and buttery. Very tasty indeed. 

Next we had the fruit scone that was still warm . We only got one each and it was rather small and flat. This was a shame as it tasted amazing with a light texture inside with a crispy outside. It will be up there with some of the best scones I have had. 

We both ordered another drink each as the waiter said the hot drinks were unlimited. This time I had a cappuccino and my friend the afternoon tea one. 

The first cake I tried was the mince pie which was not like a traditional mince pie. It had a filling of cranberries soaked in something which were very moist in a crispy pastry case. It was OK but not something I would want another one off. 
The chocolate cake looked very nice with its green frosting and gold star. It was delicious with its salted caramel and biscuit filling. Surprisingly it was not too sickly either as the frosting was not too sweet. 

I saved the sticky toffee pudding cake to last as this is one of my favorite desserts. This was very rich and sweet and had a small blob of custard in the middle with the caramel sauce . 

All the cakes were generous in size so after eating them all we felt extremely full !!!!
We still however had just a tiny space in our bellies for the ice cream which was Champagne and strawberry flavour. 
This was served by straight from the wooden trolley in a silver shell shaped bowl. It was nice but melted quickly and was very sweet. 

Before leaving we both had a  coffee each

It was a nice grand setting for an afternoon tea and our waiter looked after us very well. He explained all the food to us with such enthusiasm  and smiled throughout the service. 

Nearest Station :        Covent Garden underground station     - about 8-minute walk 

Best bits : The lovely savory food instead of sandwiches and delicious scone plus the grand surroundings   

Worst bits :  Was not offered anymore food as would of loved another scone.   Also not much of a Christmas feel about it.   
Value for money : Yes as the food was very nice and hot drinks unlimited.    
would I go back? :  Yes maybe when they change the menu.

Sunday 4 December 2022

Harvey Nichols Christmas afternoon tea

 Today I took my mum for an afternoon tea at the iconic London store Harvey Nichols or Harvey Nicks as I call it. 

My mum has never been there before, and I have only been there once a few years ago with hubby. I got a Buyagift voucher which cost me £50 for both of us which is a saving of £20 against the menu. 

The restaurant is on the top 5th floor of the store which has a small food and drink shop plus a bar and few other restaurants. It was buzzing and very busy.

We arrived half hour early and shown straight to our small table for two at the side. It was a shame we did not have a table by the window as view from there was nice. It was very busy, and tables were close together. The chairs were metal and not very comfortable, and it was very loud with people talking from all angles. I will say that it was decorated nice for Christmas and very brightly lit. 

We were handed the menu and asked if we had any allergies to which we said no fish and my mum no mayonnaise. Surprisingly there was no fish or mayonnaise on the menu which makes a change!!!!

I ordered a glass of champagne which was £10 extra and my mum ordered a cappuccino. 

We waited about 15 minutes for the tea stand to arrive and when it did it very nice and full of food. 

The sandwiches looked nice as had different colored breads. We each got a warm cheese and spinach tart along with a cheese and cucumber brown bread sandwich, cheese and pickle in black bread, turkey and cranberry in brown bread and hummus vegetable one in yellow onion bread. I liked them all and they were very fresh. 

Next, we had the scones which were still warm and crunchy on the outside. We got 2 each a fruit one and a plain one that was darker, and I think made with brown sugar as had a slight caramel taste It was very nice and great with the strawberry jam and clotted cream. They were large in size too and my mum said they were one of the best she has had.

We had to ask for more jam as only got a one mini pot between us, so the waiter brought us another two pots. 

I ordered a coffee and then we started on the top tier of little cakes. There were 5 different types of which we got 1 each consisting of below

Mini mince pie 

Chocolate black forest log slice

Cherry frangipani cake

Carrot and orange cake square 

Chocolate mousse cake

They all tasted lovely, but I think my favorite was the chocolate mousse with the crispy buttery biscuit base and creamy chocolate filling. 

The waiter asked if we wanted another hot drink and I asked if this would be extra charge and he said no so we both ordered another coffee each to finish with. 

it was a nice afternoon tea for the money with lots of good food. However, if you want a luxury and relaxing afternoon tea this is probably not the one for you. 

Nearest Station :        Kingsbridge underground station     - about 2-minute walk 

Best bits : For me it has to be the scones and Cheese and spinach tart which were freshy baked and still warm  

Worst bits :  metal chairs which were not comfortable to sit on      
Value for money : Yes as lots of good food on the stand    
would I go back? :  No probably not unless I am in the area shopping and hungry

Tuesday 1 November 2022

Very good afternoon tea at Melody restaurant - Barons Court London

 Saturday it was hubby's birthday, so I took him for an afternoon tea followed by a visit to the melody whiskey bar. 

I have been to the melody restaurant before with my mum in March and was so impressed with it that I brought another voucher to go again. I knew my husband would like it there as they have a whiskey bar. 

I think I paid just £59 for two with a glass of champagne each from Buyagift. The normal menu price is £39 each. I just purchased another voucher as Buyagift have 24% discount code so paid just £37 ...... such a bargain for lovely afternoon tea. 

The Melody restaurant is inside the small St Pauls hotel which used to be a private school. It has red brick walls and a lovely small courtyard at the front and a small outside seating area at the rear. Inside its tastefully decorated in a traditional style with a small reception area which leads to the small restaurant and Whisky bar. 

When we arrived, they were in the process of putting up the Christmas decorations which I thought was a tad bit early but the very tall Christmas tree in the courtyard looked lovely. 

 We were the first in the restaurant and later followed by a group of 4 for the afternoon tea. 

The table was nicely laid, and we were handed a menu with the different teas on and there were quite a few to choose from.  The menu did not show what types of sandwiches or cakes available just the different prices and list of teas. Its only £29 each without the champagne which for what you get is good value. 

The waitress asked if we had any allergies and then poured us a very large full to the brim glass of champagne. She could not fit anymore in the glass if she tried !!!!!! It was nice and very bubbly

We both then ordered our teas and I went for the Rosehip and Hibiscus one which was nice and fruity. 

After a short while the tea stand arrived however the waitress did not explain what was on it so it was a guessing game. I did notice that she explained the food for the other table so perhaps we should have asked her. 

My husband was happy as he got two Salmon sandwiches as I do not like fish so I had his ham one instead. 

We got a mini brioche egg mayonnaise roll, cream cheese and cucumber sandwich, Chicken mayonnaise open ciabatta, Ham and mustard sandwich and the open Salmon one. All were very tasty and fresh. 

The scones were a generous size and freshy baked as still slightly warm. We got two each plain one and cinnamon fruit one plus large pot of jam and clotted cream.  There were delicious and I remember before my mum thought they were one of the best especially the cinnamon one.  We got plenty of jam and cream and did not have to ask for any more which I normally have to do as I like a lot on my scones 

After the scones we were asked if we wanted any more tea so I ordered a cappuccino and my husband another pot of tea. It was a very nice cappuccino too and very hot which I like. 

The top plate of cakes was full, and we got one each of 5 different ones. We had to guess what they were as we tucked into them one by one. 

First, we had the mango cheesecake which was very nice with a buttery biscuit base and creamy cheese layer topped with mango pieces. 

Then we both had the green macaroon which my husband did not like as had fresh mint in it. I thought it was OK and unusual flavor like a Mojito cocktail. 

Next was the fresh cream strawberry choux bun which was good followed by the mini cupcake which my husband said was walnut flavor topped with a caramel type of cream. I think he is probably right but not 100% sure as could have been a ginger sponge. 

We saved the chocolate one to last which had a shortbread base topped with a chocolate ganache cream. This was nice and a good one to end on. 

Feeling full up now we were offered more coffee or tea which we declined as planning to go to the Whisky bar in the next room. We were not offered any more food during the service, but I think if we had asked, they would have brought us more as the service was very good. 

As a birthday treat for hubby we went into the Whiskey bar next door only to find it was fully booked and all tables reserved. I did not think to book in advance as did not think it would be that popular. Luckily, they let as stay at the table we had our afternoon tea on for drinks from the bar. 

My hubby ended up doing 2 whiskey flight which consisted of five10ml glasses of different whiskies per flight whilst I  had two glasses of a lovely blush wine. The wine was reasonable priced at £6.50 for large glass and most cocktails were around £12 which is not bad for a London hotel nowadays. 

The barman came over a few times to talk about the whiskeys and he was very informative and taught my hubby a few new things about whiskey. He had a great time and tasted 10 new whiskeys he had never tried before. 

Nearest Station :        Barons Court    - about 8 minute walk 
Best bits : The cinnamon fruit scones and large glass of champagne plus good service and variety of cakes  
Worst bits :  Nothing to mention        
Value for money : Yes I think even at full price its good    
would I go back? :  Yes I would and have got another voucher already 


Friday 21 October 2022

21 afternoon teas in 2022 and still counting

 I was chatting to my friend and she asked me how many afternoon teas I have my been too this year. 

I replied that my aim was to go to one a month so I guessed I had been to around 10 or 11

Wow how wrong was I it's 21 to date and it's not the end of the year yet !!!!! That's a lot of scones and cakes....

No wonder I have not managed to loose any weight but I have enjoyed going to them, well most  of them. 

Next one I have booked is at the Melody restaurant  that I have been to before with my mum. This time taking hubby for his birthday as the have a whiskey bar. 

I also hope to go to a few Christmas ones so probably end up going to around 24 in 12 months. 

Sunday 16 October 2022

Romeo and Juliet afternoon tea at Shakespeare globe theatre London

Friday, I went on a post birthday afternoon tea with my friend at the Swan restaurant at the Shakespeare Globe theatre bankside London. 

Once again got a great deal on a voucher from Buyagift using a discount code. It cost us £32 each with a glass of prosecco. My friend did not like the prosecco, so I got her glass as well!!!!.. 

The menu price is £38.50 each without the prosecco so I saved us some money 

The current Menu on offer is the Romeo and Juliet theme and they also do a savory afternoon tea.

The restaurant is quite modern in looks. Downstairs is the large bar with seating and upstairs is the nice light modern restaurant with windows looking out onto the Thames. This is where the afternoon tea is served so you get a lovely view. 

We choose a table for two by the window which had a great view of the Thames. Our table was nicely laid with China plates and matching cup and saucer in black and white design to go with the theme. There was also a small vase on each table with fresh flowers in. 

The waiter handed us the menu and asked if we had any allergies so we just said that we do not eat salmon so could we just swap it for another type of sandwich. They said this was fine and offered us a glass of tap water and took our drinks order. I decided to try the Wild Encounter berry fruit tea and my friend ordered a coffee. The waiter then poured us each a large glass of prosecco. 

The tea was very nice, glad I ordered it. 

After about 15 minutes the tea stand arrived and first thing I spotted was the large homemade scones that looked freshly baked. 

The bottom plate looked a bit empty as we only got 2 tiny mini chicken rolls each, a very tiny cheese quiche and an egg mayonnaise sandwich each. However, these did l taste lovely and nice and fresh. 

The scones were very nice, and we got a plain one and fruit one each with strawberry jam and clotted cream. We both like lots of cream and jam so had to ask for some more. This was brought out to us quickly. 

After the scones we ordered another coffee each and started on the top plate of mini cakes. And when I say mini, I mean bit size. We did however get one each of the 5 different ones so ended up being enough food as the scones had filled us up.  I really liked how the Romeo and Juliet theme was used on these cakes as detailed in the menu description. 

A ROSE BY ANY OTHER NAME  White chocolate mousse topped with a buttercream rose leaf, a rose and lychee pate de fruit (gf) 

MONTAGUE VERSUS CAPULET Dark chocolate salted caramel lollipop, speckled gold leaf 

SUCH SWEET SORROW Lemon scented cupcake filled with lemon curd and zesty buttercream topped with a fondant iced Juliet 

 WILD ENCOUNTER Hibiscus flower and berry scented jelly, vanilla panna cotta and berry cremeux, blackberry and meringue (ve, gf) 

MY TRUE LOVES KISS red velvet and cream cheese filled macaroon sealed with a chocolate kiss (gf

We both liked the jelly sweet cake and the panna cotta in the pot.  I also loved the macaroon which was one of the best I have ever tasted. 

Overall, a nice, themed afternoon tea in a nice venue with lovely view. 

Nearest Station :        London Bridge Station   - about 12-minute walk 
Best bits : The scones and the venue with great view of Thames 
Worst bits :  The small size of the savory section       
Value for money : Yes if you can get a Buyagift voucher but still at the menu price it's not too bad for a nice venue.   
would I go back? :  Yes I would

Wednesday 12 October 2022

5 Star birthday afternoon tea - Park room JW Marriott Grosvenor House London

 For my birthday treat my mum took me to a wonderful afternoon tea in the Park Room Marriott Grosvenor House hotel.

Being a bargain hunter, I told my mum to buy the voucher from Buyagift for champagne afternoon tea for two for £99 which saved her £45 off the hotel menu price.  I hate anyone paying full price unless they have too especially as we all need cut back on spending in order to pay the energy bills this year!!!!!

The hotel is very large and in Park Lane adjacent to Hyde Park. 

Upon arrival the smartly dressed doorman held the door open as we walked into the large long lobby. It was lovely inside and modern furnished with lovely large lights and vases of fresh flowers. There were lots of bright chairs and sofas scattered around and a lovely modern gas fireplace. 

We were a bit early so we checked out the bathroom. It was large with a seating area with dressings tables and mirrors to check your hair and makeup. They had Penhaligon's hand wash and matching cream which smelt lovely.  

The afternoon tea is served in the large side room with windows looking out to the street. It has lots of low tables and comfy armchairs plus a pianist playing in the corner. In the middle of the room is a large table with lots of different shape and size vases filled with fresh yellow flowers. We also spotted a Victoria sponge cake and chocolate cake in a glass domed stand by the flowers. Above the table are lots of white butterfly shaped lights hanging down from the ceiling. 

My mum said that the hotel just as nice as the Savoy which is her favorite. 

We sat at a table for two and my mum found the armchair a bit uncomfortable for her back, so the waitress gave her a cushion which helped. 

The menu sounded very nice, and we explained what food we did not eat so they could adapt the sandwiches for us. I had mentiond this upon booking, but they just wanted to confirm. 

Selection of Delicate Finger Sandwiche

 Cucumber, garden mint butter 

Smoked Oakham chicken, tarragon, crème fraîche 

Roast Aberdeen Angus beef, creamed horseradish

 Honey roast Yorkshire ham, Coleman’s English mustard 

North Atlantic cold-water prawn, classic Marie Rose sauce

 Open Sandwiches

 Foreman’s smoked Scottish salmon,

 cream cheese Burford Brown Clarence Court egg, mayonnaise, chive

 Plain and Raisin Buttermilk Scones 

Devonshire clotted cream accompanied with your choice of British preserves: Strawberry, rose petal, rhubarb and ginger, gooseberry, raspberry, blackcurrant 

Assortment of Tantalising Afternoon Tea Pastries

 Treacle and orange tart 

Almond and cherry Bakewell 

Lemon Posset

 Raspberry and Masala Bourbon biscuit 

Spiced fruitcake 

Fresh Home Baked Cakes Offered with your choice of:

 Exclusive Tea Selection from Newby £62.50 per person With a glass of non-alcoholic Wild Idol Sparkling Rosé £72.50 per person With a glass of Lanson Black Cuveé Champagne £72.50 per person

I choose a lemon and bergamot tea whilst my mum ordered a cappuccino.  We also got a very large full to the brim glass of champagne each. 

It was lovely and relaxing sipping our champagne whilst listening to the piano music.

The waitress brought over an aperitif which was a small glass of pear flavor drink which had foam on top and then the glass was topped with some candy floss. It was nice and unexpected. 

After about 30 minutes the waitress apologized for the delay in our food and explained that as we made changes to original sandwiches, they were making them especially for us . They kindly offered us a complimentary glass of champagne which was very nice of them.  The manager even came over to say he was sorry and that we could have another glass later if we wanted. 

We did not mind the wait as it was very relaxing, and the music was nice.

When the tea stand arrived, it looked lovely and worth the wait....

We also got a separate plate with the open sandwiches which was an egg mayonnaise mini bagel for me plus 3 cream cheese and artichoke ones. Then the waitress brought me over 2 chicken tarragon sandwiches and my mum got just plain chicken ones without the mayonnaise. As well as these we got a cucumber one, plain ham without the mustard and beef one with no horseradish. 

They tasted nice and very fresh however a bit too plain for me but that is just because my mum is a bit fussy and just likes everything plain !!!!  My favorite was the chicken with tarragon mayonnaise and the  little egg mayonnaise bagel. 

Next we had the scones and did get offered another glass of champagne which I sadly had to refuse as needed to drive home from the station. 

The scones were very big and we got two each a plain one and fruit one along with the jams we choose from the 5 different ones offered on the menu plus a pot of thick clotted cream. We choose the raspberry jam, strawberry jam and rose jam as this was an unusual flavor. 


The scones were extremely nice and very night and fluffy inside. I tried all 3 jams and liked the rose one as not too strong a rose taste. My mum said they were one of the best scones she had for a while. 

After these large scones I was feeling a bit full but still had some room left for the little cakes. 

 We got 5 different ones to share so cut them all in half which was fine as would not have been able to eat a whole one each. I must say they did not look as nice as what they tasted. 

My mum liked the mini fruit cake best as it tasted like Christmas cake but had buttercream inside. The chocolate raspberry slice was my favorite along with the orange treacle tart. 

Just as we finished these cakes the waitress asked us if we wanted anything else and offered more sandwiches or scones, so we just ordered a coffee each.  

Whilst waiting for the coffees the manager came over to us and asked if we would like a slice of the large cakes on the display table. We felt so full but could not resist as they looked lovely. I had the Victoria sponge cake and my mum the chocolate fudge cake. They were quite big slices as well. We had a taste of each other's, the chocolate cake was very rich and extremely chocolaty. 

Just as I finished the Victoria sponge a slice of the Chocolate fudge cake was placed in front of me with a candle in and Happy Birthday wrote on the plate in chocolate. The waiters all sang happy birthday to me and another lady on a table nearby which was really nice and made the perfect ending for my birthday afternoon tea.  


Nearest Station :        Marble Arch Station   - about 10-minute walk 
Best bits : The service which was fantastic as they made us feel welcomed and special. Also, the scones were very good plus got a choice of 5 different jams. 
Worst bits :  Nothing to mention       
Value for money : Yes if you can get a Buyagift voucher like i did otherwise priced as you would expect for a lovely 5 star hotel.  
would I go back? :  Yes I would