My favourite meal, hands down, is Afternoon Tea. It’s beautiful, it’s luxurious, it is an event that requires the use of the word ‘splendid’. Not a lot of meals are worthy of that kind of vocabulary.
Sometimes I wish that had been born in a different time (early1900s England, to the kind of money that was entirely undisturbed by the Wall Street Crash) where it was perfectly appropriate and possible to enjoy a three or four course afternoon tea every day of the week. However, perhaps the reason that I adore the meal as much as I do is due to it’s special-occasion nature. I don’t know.
My first excellent tea experience was at Claridge’s Hotel, Mayfair, and it still retains the award for the best tea I have ever taken. There was champagne and strawberries, there were macaroons, there were multiple plates of sandwiches, scones with plum jam, and beautiful pastries and cakes, all accompanied by Russian Caravan tea. The surroundings were beautiful, the waitress was helpful and attentive, the meal was accompanied by a violin and pianoforte. It was basically perfect, and all other teas are now scored against it.
What follows below is a list of reviews of other teas that I have taken (some good, some less so), so if you’re ever looking for a recommendation allow me to assist you.
Other places I’ve been (and wholeheartedly recommend) but haven’t reviewed include:
- The Westcliff Hotel, Johannesburg, South Africa
- Bryson’s Tea Room, Keswick, England
- Mount Nelson Hotel, Cape Town, South Africa
- Brown’s Hotel, Mayfair, London, England
- Claridge’s Hotel, Mayfair, London, England
I’m always delighted to receive recommendations myself, so if you have any ideas about places to take tea, please let me know.