May 22, 2011

Tea at The Royal Horseguards

There is some thing very special about the ritual of afternoon tea. The sandwiches, the scones, the cakes and most of all the tea. Also the luxury of escaping form the hustle and bustle of the world for a an hour or two.

When I found out that Suss hadn't experienced the fabulous ritual of afternoon tea I called in the experts, i.e. the ladies from the Great Rivington Lobster Massacre and the lady who knows All About London. We were going to do tea at The Royal Horseguards.

The Royal Horsegueards is one of those classical 5 stars hotels that just offers style and grace, but doesn't make a fuss about it. Their guest still knows about them... Tucked away around the corner from White Hall and Horse Guards the location is right in the middle of things, but still in a quiet area.

Suss and I arrived arrived a bit late but with plenty of shopping bags... We were showed into The Lounge were the rest of the ladies already where waiting sitting in two huge sofas. After plenty of hugs and showing some of our newly bought things it was time for tea. Since this was just two weeks before the wedding between Prince William and Kate Middleton we decided to go with a menu called Regal Wedding Afternoon Tea.

A waiter explained the "rules" of afternoon tea for us and promised that if we needed something more we should just ask. When we immediately asked for a tea menu he got rather confused and showed us the menu for the Regal Wedding Afternoon Tea. Having asked a second time and getting the same answer we realized that the tea for this menu was Royal Blend. Not a bad choice though.

The finger sandwiches were as usual delicious. I really don't understand how they do it. When I do cucumber sandwiches or smoked salmon sandwiches at home, they all just become blend and boring. Must be the setting or something... Unfortunately we ran out of sandwiches and when we asked for more we had to to wait for about 10 minutes or so which was a bit surprisingly.

Then it was time for scones. I just love scones, clotted cream and strawberry jam. It's so England for me. And one of my very first memories when visiting the UK for the first time 25 years ago is having tea and scones. A very warm and comforting memory.

Last but not least – the pastries. I immediately dug into an Eaton Mess made of white chocolate mouse, crumbles and strawberries.. Then I continued with a chocolate mousse custard and finished off with a lemon meringue thing that supposedly is Prince William's favourite. There were also miniature wedding cakes, Kir Royals and strawberry short cakes.

Again when we asked for another Eaton Mess it took a while, and when it finally arrived it was only white chocolate mousse. No crumbles and no strawberries. Very disappointing.

We also got a bit surprised over how we got less and less service as the time went on. Sure, we were chatting, eating and drinking, but having to wait each time to get the waiter's attention and then again wait another 10 minutes to get more sandwiches, tea or what ever. And the place wasn't even full. Not very good!

But all together it was a great afternoon with some very dear friends that I don't see often enough. Some of us then went off to have cocktails at The Waldorf, which turned out to be another case of bad service, but that's for another post.

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