Does it get more British than afternoon tea? Clinking china, dainty finger sandwiches and copious amounts of clotted cream. Afternoon tea is a classic but in my view if you’re going to do it, you should do it well. I am yet to be won over by any of the high street variations because afternoon tea for me is an occasion to get dressed up and enjoy a little bit of luxury.
Earlier this year we visited the Langham Hotel for afternoon tea at the Palm Court. The afternoon tea was a Christmas present for Vicky and they offer a completely vegan afternoon tea. Here’s how we got on.
The Langham Hotel is one of the grandest five star hotels in London and dates back to 1865. The Palm Court is a wonderful setting for afternoon tea. You are seated in a plush armchair at a table dressed with linen. There is a pianist playing in the background and everyone is dressed to the nines. The smartly dressed waiters, who are all impeccably trained, are attentive yet discreet. We felt pampered and it was a truly luxurious experience. We really appreciated that while we were notionally booked for an hour and a half slot, we didn’t feel at all rushed.
But the real proof is in the pudding or, in this case, in the scones! Luckily we can report back that the food was as incredible as the setting. After choosing from a wide selection of teas, sandwiches were served. Despite the vegan menu (which on this occasion I had joined Vicky on), the choice of sandwiches were excellent. They were perfectly crafted and packed full of flavour. We polished them off rather quickly but to our surprise the friendly staff came around immediately to bring more of our favourites.
Next up was the main event – the scones. Served warm the scones were wonderfully fresh and served with jam, butter and clotted cream all of which were vegan. They did not disappoint and again more were brought without request. Just as we were questioning whether we could eat anything else, the waiter brought out a beautiful selection of sweet treats and patisseries.
Throughout our afternoon tea we were very well looked after by the waiting staff and constantly kept topped up with tea. We were really impressed at how well thought out the vegan options were. We find that in some high end hotels the vegan option can be a bit of an afterthought but this was not the case at the Langham Hotel.
Do you like afternoon tea? What is your favourite spot for afternoon tea in London? Let us know in the comments below.
Hero photo by The Langham, London