Everything Stops For Tea!

September 10, 2013 · 0 comments

in London I Love You

InterContinental Afternoon Tea

InterContinental Afternoon Tea

InterContinental Afternoon Tea

InterContinental Afternoon Tea

InterContinental Afternoon Tea

InterContinental Afternoon Tea

According to tradition, “every day at half past three everything stops for tea”. Unfortunately this is no longer a practised tradition, which in my opinion is a crying shame, however if it was then I’d be jumping on the District line daily to take tea as often as I could at the InterContinental Hotel Westminster. I was recently invited to sample their afternoon tea, and as an avid fan of anything involving cake and champagne I said yes quicker than you could say “scones with clotted cream and jam”.

Set in the luxuriously grand and sumptuous surroundings of Emmeline’s Tea Lounge (named after Suffragettes-founder Emmeline Pankhurst) afternoon tea at The InterContinental Hotel is a luxurious affair. Floral displays in glass bowls, vases and vessels of all shape and size adorn every available surface and the tables are suitably attired for tea in crisp white linens and their very best silver. My lady-date and I spent our afternoon in the very capable hands of our charming tea waiter Felix, exceedingly knowledgable in all things tea he expertly explained the vast selection on offer, and to make sure we’d been paying attention (we had, avidly!) he even gave us a quick pop-quiz at the end to test our tea trivia! I shamefully got only 3 out of 5 right. Oops.

In keeping with the floral theme, I plumped for the rose-bud Jung Tea and my lady-date had the Earl Grey. Once tea was served we were then presented with a triple-tier of edible goodies to get stuck into; a plate of finger sandwiches on an array of artisan breads, a plate of mini Eccles cakes and wedges of fruit loaf, and finally a plate of exquisitely-crafted cakes and desserts all lovingly created by Head Pastry chef Ryan Thompson which included (take a deep breath) a raspberry and white chocolate macaron, a strawberry and elderflower marshmallow teacake, a cherry and milk chocolate mousse, Pimms Jelly, and finally, a frangipane, thyme and peach cake which was my favourite hands-down. Designed to compliment the qualities of the teas the cakes are undoubtedly the stars of the show, and well worth loosening a few belt notches for! When we were convinced that we couldn’t fit in another crumb we were presented with our final treat, a plate of warm mini scones served with a pot of Devonshire clotted cream and homemade strawberry jam and lemon curd. Having never tried lemon curd on scones (let’s just say that I’m something of a traditionalist when it comes to my scone/crumpet/toast toppings) and with a belly-full of cake I was initially sceptical, but after giving it a whirl I’m now hooked. Lemon curd and clotted cream on scones is superb! The zing of the lemons really cuts through the cream making for an absolute winning combo.

Afternoon tea at The InterContinental Hotel is a delight, and at £29 per person (minus the champagne) it’s an affordable treat as well. Within chiming-distance of Big Ben it’s also a lovely location to while away a few hours after having played tourist for the day, which is exactly what my lady-date and I did, enjoying the free-flowing Laurent Perrier champagne, loose-leaf Jing tea and what felt like endless courses of cake, cake and more cake. Bliss.

You can book afternoon tea at The Intercontinental through their website here and afternoon tea costs £29 per person. There is currently a special offer running until November 30th at www.aftermoontea.co.uk for afternoon tea including free-flowing champagne for only an extra £6, making it £35 per head and stonking good value! Book here.

I’d like to thank Ashleigh Fleming and the staff at The InterContinental Hotel Westminster, particularly Felix, for their invitation and ensuring that our tea-cups and glasses were never empty!

InterContinental Afternoon Tea

InterContinental Afternoon Tea

InterContinental Afternoon Tea

InterContinental Afternoon Tea

InterContinental Afternoon Tea

InterContinental Afternoon Tea

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