My First Afternoon Tea Experience in London
I’ve done a few afternoon teas back home in San Francisco, but since I’m in London now, I wanted to get the real authentic experience. There are so many places here that do afternoon teas - you can probably get it at a neighborhood corner cafe. With a few of my girlfriends I met in London, we decided to try the Hotel Cafe Royal’s afternoon tea, which is one of the more iconic places to have your full British afternoon tea experience.
The moment you walk into this place, you are greeted by its gorgeous, intricate interior design. I felt like I was walking into one of the rooms in the Palace of Versailles! There was also a pianist playing in the background while we were there too!
We’ve paid about 50 pounds per person for this experience. During the holiday season, a lot of these tea places will increase their price for the special “Christmas” edition of their afternoon tea experience. The day we went was the first day this place launched its Christmas edition this year. We got lucky and paid the original price of 50 pounds but was still able to experience the Christmas tea - we were pretty much the guinea pigs, but you know what? I don’t care! I’m paying less but still getting the special treatment, why not!
Plus, we got one free glass of champagne, YES!
A traditional afternoon tea provides you with some tea sandwiches and dessert pastries/sweets with of course, tea! The higher-end tea places will typically give you unlimited snacks and tea. But, we were already so full we couldn’t even ask for more pastries! We did get to try a variety of teas, which was great! This particular place had a chocolate tea, which tasted like hot chocolate but in a tea format. I loved it!
Also, these places usually have a time limit of 90-120 minutes, so keep that in mind. We went during the day time on a weekday, so it wasn’t that crowded, so they let us stay a bit longer. Time flies when you are drinking champagne/tea & eating cute sandwiches with good friends!
I love the christmas season, and London makes me love it even more! Every corner is decked out with pretty & festive decorations! This place had one of the most beautiful trees with sparkly crystal ornaments. I wish Christmas was year-round!
Overall, the afternoon tea experience is a must if you are in London. It’s not about the individual pastries or the tea itself, but it’s the whole experience that is so special! This particular location was great because of the ambience and the service level - if you want a more traditional experience, I highly recommend this place! I’m looking to forward to trying other afternoon tea spots while living in London!!