Since I’ve been in London, I’ve quickly become addicted to scones and clotted
cream. My perfect weekend afternoon these days would have to definitely include
an afternoon tea (high tea in the UK refers to an early dinner!).
I was very excited to go to Lanesborough for their traditional afternoon tea after I’d
visited the Berkeley Hotel for the more modern fashionista afternoon tea. I read
numerous reviews online, and my expectations were high.
My friend and I were ushered in straight away, afternoon tea at the Lanesborough
doesn’t start until 4pm. The tea was held in a atrium and was bright and airy, with
many tables. There was a grand piano in the corner and a gentleman tinkling away
on it, adding to the whole overall mood.
We both ordered the traditional tea and both ordered hot tea to start. We were
presented with a little starter. It was white chocolate and a berry dessert in a shot
glass. Delicious. Great start. Not too sweet, and definite white chocolate flavour.
The teas weren’t kept on our table, instead set aside about 2 metres away and not
easily reached. As the dining room filled up, my tea cup became empty. I wished it
was closer, so that I could refill it myself.
A traditional three tier was set before us, bottom layer of sandwiches, two of each.
The next two tiers were disappointing however. On the second their, there were
only 3 cakes, small, and all different flavours. Considering there were two of us,
I was disappointed that we’d have to cut into the cakes to allow us to each try a
The top tier was the same, 4 or so different desserts, but as some of them were so
intricate, it was difficult to share.
A separate plate was brought over with one raisin scone, and one plain scone, and
two halves of an English muffin with cinnamon butter. Lemon curd butter, jam and
clotted cream accompanied these.
The sandwiches were fine, nothing mind blowing, but fine, soft bread and crust-less.
The warm cheese quiche had great, very short crust.
The second tier was just disappointing, as mentioned, having to share, and the cakes
were nice…abeit a bit dry.
The scones were absolutely delicious, cute little dumplings with a gold yellow top,
they were moreish and not dry or crumbly. The lemon curd butter delicious on the
muffin. We had to each choose a different scone as once again, they only provided
one of each. They did provide a second serving of scones after we asked.
My friend and I attempted to share the top tier of desserts but it was impossible as
the desserts were small and delicate.
My tea cup by this stage was empty and I wanted a different type of tea. This
wasn’t offered and it was actually hard to get the attention of the waiters.
When we did get their attention, I asked them if it would be possible to get more
cakes, I had seen other tables that had receive macarons on their tiers and we didn’t
receive any. They said they would bring more and I waited in anticipation.
After 30 minutes, it became quite apparent they were never going to replenish our
cakes. They even cleared away our plates.
Well then. I guess it’s time I asked for the bill. At around £38+ per person (no
alcohol), I found the offerings very stingy considering my friend and I had to share
most of it. I found it disappointing that despite asking for more, and being promised
that more cakes would be brought, we were basically just forgotten.
I was so excited to have a traditional afternoon tea at a 5-star luxury establishment
and I was so disappointed by the end of it.