Walking into the Claridges hotel lobby is overwhelming to say the least and I was there for afternoon tea. Claridges is steeped in tradition and heritage so walked into such a historical hotel meant I felt rather intimidated, trying to take in the surroundings whilst praying that I wouldn’t slip on the shiny polished chequered floor. I was guided to the toilet/cloakroom where I got myself together and waited for my allotted time slot for afternoon tea. Getting a reservation for afternoon tea at Claridges is notoriously difficult, I booked almost two months in advance so keep that in mind if you are planning to go here.
I sat in the lobby whilst waiting for my friend Dawn and as soon as she arrived, we were guided to our table in one of the most opulent dining rooms I have ever seen. With mirrored walls and doors and the gorgeous chandelier at its centre, the room was really one to take in and admire.
We were handed a menu and were asked if we would like something sparkling to start off our afternoon tea. I don’t drink but to my delight, they had a non-alcoholic sparking grape juice for me to sip through – it was delicious and definitely worth trying. The menu was beautifully housed in a leather bound book and it was so lovely to flick through. I decided on the Jasmine Pearl tea to start with and sat sipping my drink whilst I waited. Claridges definitely cater for vegetarians as soon as after, my sandwiches arrived and I definitely did not feel like I was feeling left out by not eating meat or fish.
The sandwiches were really yummy, a mixture of traditional (egg mayonnaise) and non-traditional (butternut squash) fillings which all went together well and were the perfect size to eat like a lady. I got through mine and the waitress was happy to quickly refill my plate so I didn’t feel like I was waiting.
The scones were simply perfect, some of the best I have ever tried actually. They were the perfect size, slightly warm and easy to slice so we could fill it with whatever our hearts wanted. I went for the traditional strawberry jam and clotted cream which were the perfect accompaniments to these scones. I got through my two so quickly and even went on to ask them to bring us some more. They were too good to miss out on a second helping!
The desserts were the icing on the cake literally. Every pastry was made with such care and finesse, from the textures to the way they were crafted to be pleasing to the eye too. I loved the chocolate mousse cakes and the custard tarts and they tasted so good that I even took them home to consume on another day. We had teas changed over throughout the afternoon tea and the waitress was more than happy to accommodate us and advise us on the teas and which tea would go with which dessert, which I thought was a nice touch.
I had a lovely time and honestly, this is a tea that I definitely won’t forget in a hurry. Whilst the Ritz is more formal, Claridges is a lot more laid back and that is evident in the friendly staff and the whole service. You are made to feel like one of the family and you instantly relaxed into the sugary heaven that only afternoon tea can create.
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