When it came to choosing my post-lockdown afternoon tea, I knew it had to be Claridges. With years of history under its belt, I knew Claridges would not be stopped by Covid-19 and it proved me right in every way.
You all know that afternoon tea is very much my passion. When coronavirus kicked in, afternoon teas stopped and of course, all hotels and restaurants closed their doors. As many of you know, I was busy being pregnant and then having a baby so I didn’t even notice. However as normality returned, I wanted to make my first afternoon tea special. Where better to go then Claridges?
So on a warm Saturday morning in September, I headed to Claridges with a good friend to celebrate our achievements and embrace their afternoon tea. We arrived early and were led into the grand foyer with their beautiful staircase. We headed to the toilets first and wash up before our tea. Everything was set up according to the guidelines, with hand sanitiser placed in the doorway of the toilet. Their attendant was on hand in the toilet but she kept her distance and wiped down the taps and surfaces before and after we used them.
We then headed to The Foyer & Reading room for our afternoon tea. They were expecting us and knew our dietary requirements, vegan and a vegetarian afternoon tea. Menus had been taken away to make the tea contactless and there were QR codes on the table for us to have access to the tea list. I ordered the Claridges tea blend for starters to accompany my tea and settled down to enjoy the beautiful classical music being played filling the room.
We were offered champagne but we both don’t drink so we give non-alcoholic champagne instead, essentially sparkling grape juice. It was a nice touch as we toasted our coming together after a rather eventful few months. First, we had a starter each, mine was a walnut and cheese mini quiche. It was really yummy and accompanied my tea incredibly well.
Next up came my sandwiches. Beautifully cut to be finger sized, each sandwich was more delicious as the last. My favourites were the Red Pepper and Hummus, Egg Mayonnaise and Cucumber and Cream Cheese. We went through them quickly and they were replaced by our waiter without even a question.
I changed up my tea to the Jasmine Green tea, just in time for the scones to arrive. The scones are freshly made at Claridges each day and they are always lovely and warm. We were given a plain scone and a raisin scone, accompanied with Roddin’s clotted cream and specially made strawberry jam. They were crumbly, easy to eat and so so delicious. I inhaled mine and immediately asked for a couple more scones.
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I then went onto having the desserts. These consisted of Pistachio choux with blueberry compote, Lemon Tart and almond frangipane, Grué de cacao sable with Araguani cremeux and Strawberries and cream with vanilla mascarpone. I have always loved the fact that Claridges desserts are not too sweet so you can actually enjoy each one with joy. By this point I had changed my tea to the mint tea so the tea balanced out the sweetness of the desserts.
I had the best time at the Claridges afternoon tea and honestly, we were in there for almost three hours. Every item of food presented to us was beautifully made and I enjoyed every bite. I can’t wait to go back to Claridges again soon.