If you are looking for a touch of elegant opulence, with a side of amazing afternoon tea, then the Dorchester Hotel in London is the place for you! The Dorchester’s afternoon tea is served in the Promenade area of the hotel and as you enter, you just know that you’re in for a fabulous experience… The décor is golden and gorgeous, with their beautiful (and HUGE!) floral bouquets perfuming the air.
We were initially sat near a couple who were celebrating a special occasion and, as we were worried about my big camera and flash disrupting their date, we asked to be moved. Nothing was too much trouble for the very attentive staff. We were immediately moved to a more private area of the Promenade, and then the impeccable afternoon service commenced. We requested the traditional afternoon tea but, at the Dorchester, traditional does not mean “boring.”
The Dorchester does offer a variety of savoury sandwich options, and we weren’t shy about asking for vegetarian and even Halal options. The very fresh and generously-filled sandwiches were served separately, and often! The wonderful servers kept asking if we wanted more but really, after the second (or maybe third) helping of sandwiches, we had to finally decline. I must give their chicken sandwiches a special shout out as THE BEST chicken sandwich I’ve had in London.
The traditional afternoon tea menu consists of the following:
Cucumber with cream cheese on caraway seed bread
Egg mayonnaise with shiso cress on white bread
Chicken with wholegrain mustard mayonnaise on basil bread
Smoked salmon on granary bread
Warm raisin and plain scones from our bakery, served with homemade strawberryjam with Cornish clotted cream AND we had just the most stunning blackcurrant jam!
A selection of French pastries – for us this included: a filled coffee mouse/pannacotta, a mango macaron, chocolate and raspberry cake, passion fruit slice, lemon drizzle slice and red velvet cake. Now, these “petite” patisserie really packed a punch! Though small in size, they were so beautifully presented, and even my overly-critical-of-red-velvet-cake self was impressed with their version. Again, the staff were VERY generous with additional portions – I mean, if you could even squeeze any more in. And then, when you can’t eat any more, they kindly pack up the rest for you (and then some) in a fantastic Dorchester “doggy bag.”
Of course you are also offered a selection of fine teas to enjoy; I opted for the Assam, which was fragrant and deep, and a perfect accompaniment to my afternoon tea.
Really, there are plenty of options for “traditional afternoon tea” in and around London, but sometimes you just want or NEED a special experience, a bit of luxury, and to indulge. I looked around at the other afternoon tea guests and EVERYONE was enjoying themselves (and taking MANY photos of the stunning cake stand and cake selection). Although the décor is fancy, and staff formally dressed, this is not a stuffy venue. We didn’t feel rushed to accommodate the next seating and the atmosphere was very relaxed, and surprisingly “buzzing.” What really stood out for me during our visit was the gorgeous setting, the outstanding service (and special thanks to Kinnesh), as well as the delectable patisserie and cake slices. The Dorchester also offers champagne afternoon tea, and their “Vintage Afternoon Tea on the Balcony” will be something I look forward to sampling in the future!
Park Lane, London
W1K 1QA UK
+44 (0)207 629 8888