For my first afternoon tea experience I had the pleasure of being taken to the world-renowned Dorchester Hotel in Park Lane by a very good friend. We were completely spoilt as he treated myself and another friend to an afternoon of absolute luxury. Seeing a McLaren P1 parked between Bentley’s outside the hotel, we were in awe at the car park before we’d even entered.
We were greeted by smiley reception staff; a lady took our reservation name and our coats, and led us to our table. Stunned at the beautiful bouquets of flowers, we took our seats and were each given pillows – the softest, plumpest pillows I’ve ever felt.
Our waiter, Daniel, introduced himself to us and presented us with the menus. He was very polite and friendly and made us feel at home instantly. There was a few choices of Afternoon Tea; traditional afternoon tea (£49), Laurent-Perrier Champagne afternoon tea (£65) or the Dom Perignon afternoon tea (£75). All are served with a selection of sandwiches, scones, cakes and pastries, and of course a choice of a variety of teas. All three of us opted for the Laurent-Perrier afternoon tea with a glass of rose champagne – my favourite bubbly! As I only drink herbal teas I opted for the Jasmine Pearl tea (beautifully scented and tasted lovely) while my friends chose the Dorchester Blend tea at the waiters suggestion, as it is a unique blend only available at that hotel.
Once our champagne and tea had arrived we were given an amuse-bouche of blue cheese and tomato topped croutons; this was then followed by a selection of sandwiches which included salmon, chicken, cucumber and cream cheese, and egg. Then came the scones (both plain and with sultanas) with clotted cream and two home-made jams (strawberry and, my favourite, blueberry and cherry). Following this course came a small chocolate mousse with a caramel centre inside a chocolate crisp case which tasted like a Ferrero Rocher – it was amazing! Then came the cakes and pastries; a beautiful selection to satisfy anyone’s taste buds. The waiter brought round a plate with slices of red velvet and lemon drizzle cake; not being the biggest fan of red velvet I didn’t take much of a liking to it, but the lemon drizzle was sensational! To make the experience even better, everything was served on such beautiful china!
It must be noted that before I went to have afternoon tea I always wondered how people came back with boxes of ‘leftovers’ as surely you can’t be so stuffed from a few sandwiches and a bit of cake. Oh how I was so so wrong. We got to take home a box with some scones and delicious jams. I’m not sure if all afternoon tea’s have an unlimited service, but at The Dorchester you can eat however much you like, of everything! (except those Ferrero Rocher tasting things, damn it). None of us went too overboard but it was nice to know you could have a couple of extra sandwiches or another slice of cake if you felt like it; a very nice touch!
There was a pianist at the back of the impressively decorated room, which added to the beautiful atmosphere. We were there for around 3 hours and not once did we feel we’d outstayed our welcome. The waiter was checking if we wanted anything else as we continued to chat and sip tea, while relishing the ambiance of the stunning surroundings.
If you ever feel like spoiling yourself, or someone special, with an afternoon of pure luxury and indulgence then head to The Dorchester Hotel for a beautiful afternoon; you will never look at afternoon tea the same way again!