As my guest and I walked into The Athenaeum Hotel, we were worried our afternoon tea experience would feel too much as though it were in the middle of a hotel. Thankfully it was the complete opposite. The Garden Room is absolutely delightful; a beautiful light and airy room full of fresh flowers and plush sofas and chairs and low tables in a relaxed atmosphere. It was also blissfully quiet, and was a welcome retreat from the hustle and bustle of surrounding Mayfair.
In 2012 The Athenaeum was awarded Tea Guild’s prestigious award for “Top London Afternoon Tea 2012”, so we were expecting great things. We were seated and brought a glass of champagne each, and we then ordered our choice of tea. I sadly can’t drink tea, so ordered a freshly squeezed orange juice, while my guest ordered an English Breakfast tea.
The first round of sandwiches came out, we were allowed to choose which ones we wanted and how many. We could have as many of these as we liked, and they just kept coming until we asked for the next round of the afternoon tea! After the traditional sandwiches we then had sumptuous freshly baked scones, with homemade strawberry jam and lemon curd. The lemon curd was the best I have ever tasted, deliciously thick and full of zesty lemon flavour, just as it should be.
Finally we were brought the desserts; a selection of pastries, cakes and tarts, all in a huge display cabinet that was rolled over to us. Melt in your mouth shortbreads, rich chocolate tarts and moist banana cakes, these well and truly finished us off. Just like everything else the food was never-ending, we were allowed as many as we wished, and only when we were full to bursting and could fit in no more, did the display cabinet disappear over to the next table.
Our experience at The Athenaeum Hotel was second to none, it was possibly the best afternoon tea I have ever had, every attention to detail done to perfection. It was wonderful not being rushed, we had plenty of time to have our experience before the next sitting at 3pm, the staff were fabulous and the food was just fantastic. I’m still drooling thinking of the homemade scones, lemon curd and desserts!
Reservations for Afternoon Tea at The Athenaeum can be made via phone (020 7640 3333) or online.