I know it’s greedy, but I want to have Afternoon Tea at as many places as possible. There’s something about the combination of delicate little sandwiches, scones, cakes and pastries, washed down with a never-ending supply of tea that is delightful. Bring it back full time I say. It’s certainly a weekend institution for me.
In any case, being back in London, I thought I’d try out the Langham, a hotel near Oxford Circus. The hotel was beautifully decorated for Christmas, : the masterpiece being a huge and colourful gingerbread house shown below, covered in all kinds of sweet treats.
The Palm Court where tea is served is calm and serene, with some tinkling in the background from the piano. First off was an amuse bouche: an egg noggy custard with a slice of stollen on top, strange, but delicious.
Next came the sandwiches, which were really good: a lamb sausage roll, a tiny mushroom tartlet, topped with half a quail’s egg, a turkey sandwich with mustard and mayonnaise, a foie gras dome, covered in a strange gloopy substance, which looked stunning, but didn’t taste great. There was also a prawn sandwich in a little white bun, an egg salad sandwich and a cream cheese and cucumber scone.
Next came the scones: the plain and raisin scones were a delight to eat, soft, fluffy and buttery, served with clotted cream and jam (don’t skimp please, there’s really no point!). However, there were also some chocolate and orange scones, which I didn’t love.
The sweet course was just that unfortunately: sweet, sweet and sweet. It looked stunning but unfortunately did not taste as good. There was a glittery gingerbread biscuit with thick fondant icing stuck in a glass of sugar, a white chocolate mini pudding, a chocolate brownie and a peppermint macaron in purple and white. The least worse was a little berry cake which provided some tartness from the berries.
The service was excellent, with constant offers of more sandwiches, cakes and scones. Overall, the sandwiches were the best course and the sweets were a disappointment; the search for the perfect Afternoon Tea goes on…