We were all afternoon tea lovers and old hands in the art of afternoon tea-ing. A special anniversary was coming up so we decided to splash out and have our tea at the Connaught hotel. Enviably positioned, in the heart of Mayfair, the Connaught is famous for comfort and excellent service.
So we booked for afternoon tea, celebrating a very special anniversary. I suspect a lot of afternoon tea goers sitting at the Connaught right now, are there celebrating something or other. All the more reason to make more of an effort and create a sense of occasion.
Smart casual, it said on the booking confirmation. That is a very broad interpretation. No cut off shorts, flip flops or torn jeans. (Torn jeans are so fashionable at the moment, but still…) Us ladies wore dresses, and got our hair professionally blow dried. I just about stopped myself from wearing a pill box hat.
The conservatory room where tea was served with aplomb. Pleasant, light space with delightful flower arrangements.
Not impressed. The girl who greeted us had a large and prominent stain on her uniform. She also appeared to be mortified at my request, ‘could we have a g&t rather than a glass of champagne with our tea?’ Come on guys, this is meant to be a 5 star London hotel. Surely you’ve heard of g&t ‘s ? There is a hotel bar, I do believe…am I asking for the moon here?
Another member of stuff, kept hovering around us the entire time asking if we were enjoying it. He must have asked us 4 times, without ever paying any real attention to what we may actually be needing! Intrusive & inefficient service- learn to read the signals people.
Presentation was good. Stage was set to perfection.
Below par- I ve had better from M&S, way better in fact. One of my guests finished theirs – to my dismay the waiter was not particularly forthcoming with replenishments. This is standard in most other hotels.
Delicious! Those were definitely made by the very best. Small and beautiful, like little works of art. We polished those of, but no extras were offered and we did not like to ask.
Ok. But why so stingy on the cream & jam front?
true tea lovers shall weep.
Good in itself, but not sufficiently chilled. Everyone knows: warm champagne is practically a form of Abuse!
They forgot to bring them! (despite the supervisor hovering around us the entire time!) Or more likely they had to hurry us out of the room to get ready for the next sitting.
Lady Sarah’s verdict: my friends were too polite to complain, but despite the shiny silverware and the impeccably crisp tablecloths, I wish I’d taken them somewhere else. Somewhere with better sandwiches, more cakes, colder champagne and less intrusive service.
A regular reader here has suggested afternoon tea at the Dorchester, which will be reviewed next. Stay tuned.