As the school holidays come to an end, I thought I would take advantage of our last full week together last week and take Dexter to London. We went to see Wicked, stayed in a hotel overnight, went on the London Eye and had afternoon tea. I’ll probably blog about everything we got up to at some point, but today I thought I’d talk about the afternoon tea. After all, CAKE.
(As an aside, this isn’t a review – I paid for it myself.)
Now you may have seen my other review of an afternoon tea over at my other blog, We Blog Travel, so when I saw a Groupon offer for afternoon tea at Flemings Hotel in Mayfair I thought it looked like a good deal. Plus, I follow them on social media so basically wanted to just go and have a nose around!
We were booked in for 1pm but after a lovely leisurely stroll through Green Park on our way to the hotel, we still managed to turn up 45 minutes early! I wasn’t sure if they would let us come in that early, but it wasn’t a problem at all and the staff were very welcoming. At that point, we were the only ones there mind you.
The hotel is only a very short walk away from Green Park tube station and it’s just the other side of Green Park itself – very easy to find. It’s a small boutique style hotel, with a very smart gentleman on the door to let you in … and an even smarter reception, decorated in marble, gold and beautiful orchids.
We were directed towards a downstairs dining area, which was wonderfully cosy and elegant. We were then given a menu with a selection of teas to choose from and, as per usual, I lowered the tone by asking for plain old breakfast tea. They didn’t make me feel like a peasant for doing so though, so that was good! Dexter asked for a hot chocolate and both drinks came in small teapots.
The food followed shortly with a selection of smoked salmon, ham and mustard, egg mayonnaise and cucumber, crème fraîche, and sun-dried tomato sandwiches. Most of the sandwiches were lovely, but putting crème fraîche and sun-dried tomatoes onto a cucumber sandwich was just a step too far for us – bring back the plain cucumber sandwich please!
The next layer was two warm, plain scones and two fruit scones, accompanied with obligatory strawberry and cream. A serious point of contention here though … they used whipped cream instead of clotted cream, which is the real travesty right? Yes, I’m aware it’s not a life or death situation, but it just doesn’t taste the same with normal cream.
Rant over … although I didn’t have seconds of anything, Dexter asked for an orange juice, which they were happy to bring for him, and then he asked for an extra egg sandwich after he’d eaten his scone which, again, was no trouble. I myself ended up having four pots of tea as it was so delicious – that’s the difference between using loose leaf tea and teabags I guess.
I would say the only disappointing thing was that the plate of sweet pastries and cakes was disappointing. The pastry on the mini lemon meringue and chocolate tartlets was so hard that we couldn’t even cut into them, so Dexter just ended up licking the contents out and leaving the pastry. It seemed to me that perhaps these little sweet treats had been left out for a while and gone slightly stale. I may be wrong but we couldn’t eat them.
Another point worth mentioning is that I paid £36 via Groupon for this deal for the two of us, and I didn’t expect to have to pay any more. However, when we left I was asked to pay an extra £4.50 service charge. I thought this was a bit naughty to be honest. This might be Groupon’s terms, or the hotel’s, and it may well have been in the small print, but when you buy an online deal like that, you don’t expect to have to pay anything extra. The thing is, I am happy to leave a tip, but I don’t like being made to leave one.
Overall, the afternoon tea was lovely and if they could perhaps look at the issue with the cakes and pastries, we would definitely go back. From what I saw of the dining room and reception, it looks like a beautiful hotel and a special mention must go to the staff that served us, as nothing was too much trouble. Ultimately, you just want to be made to feel special, and that’s exactly what they did.
We left feeling full and satisfied and ready to face the London Eye!