When I’m asked to organise a special occasion, you can bet your bottom dollar that I will want to do something food related and fancy. When this special occasion involves your manager’s send off before she gets married, it gets a little tricky. When my team asked me to organise something (well to be fair they didn’t ask me, just presumed that I would take over the organising as I usually love organising do’s) I was secretly hoping they’d want to go where I did, which was to the Alice in Wonderland afternoon tea at Kona in Taj 51 Buckingham Place.
I have been wanting to go here for so long as Z (my partner in all foodie ventures) had been going on about how pretty it was for so long!
We arrived ahead of time at Taj 51 Buckingham Place, the address gives it away a little but my Uber drive or tour I should say was so beautiful.. I forget how amazing London is, we passed through Leicester Square, Picadilly Circus and finally through Buckingham Palace and one of my favourite roads in the country.. You know the one that looks like Champs Elysee in Paris leading up to Buckingham Palace!
Anyways so we got to the hotel and were led through the lobby, which led to the stunning courtyard, which led to another lobby and finally were taken to the restaurant.
Our table was in a quiet tucked away corner of the restaurant, almost like a private room. The room was a bit dark and didn’t really set the tone but was still pretty. However, it was probably best as we tend to be quite loud at the best of times.
The table was laid with the prettiest crockery I have seen to date at an afternoon tea, bits of Alice memorabilia laid on the table like the clock which some of my friends desperately need(!), and some other cute things…
We were offered the tea menu and I went for the Jasmine Feng Sheng tea, which is a white tea. I don’t know what it is about Jasmine Tea but no afternoon tea is complete without it! The tea came out and it smelt divine!
It was a little awkward as I cringed inside for her as one of the staff dropped the tea and fumbled as she poured it, an easy mistake to make but not one you’d expect when you’re paying so much for it.
We were starving at this point, I had been saving myself and I was at the brink of it. They left us for what felt too long (especially as we were the only customers they had) before they brought out the first of the courses.. The sandwiches.
The sandwiches were good but didn’t set my world on fire. The sandwiches – Coronation chicken, smoked salmon, cucumber, tuna and cheese and pepper – were all good, the salmon probably my favourite. I was looking forward to the chicken as it was the only halal thing on the menu and was rather disappointed as it smelt of curry and wasn’t great in taste, I had to leave the only halal thing I could eat! I wasn’t a happy bunny!!
Next came what I had been waiting for all along.. The scones, cakes and pastries!
First and foremost, the scones! They were really yum, although a little annoyingly crumbly for my liking so we all ended up creating a bit of a mess! Oops!
Next onto the cakes and pastries which were so cute…
The variety of cakes were delicious, my favourtie was the Pocket Watch bubblegum macaroom, the consistency of the macaroon was great, plus the bubblegum flavour was amazing. Other cakes included the Caterpillar’s mushroom rasberry marshmallow, Queen of Hearts mango tart, Dodo’s Catermelon Jelly and the Tea Cup white chocolate mousse.
Overall, I have to say, I would have hoped the setting would have been in the garden part of the hotel, which was so pretty especially on a beautiful summer day like this one (this blogpost is about 2 months late!) rather than on a dark room, pretty but nevertheless dark and with little vibe. It might obviously be different when there were more people as it was daytime on a weekday! The service was a little slow and clumsy, which was annoying as I would have presumed as we were the only ones there, all their attention would be on us. The food was okay, but had so much more potential – it felt that the afternoon tea expereience in general was a bit amateur and more of a homemade effort than worth £35 per head.
Food – 6 out of 10
Service – 4 out of 10
Price -5 out of 10
Atmosphere – 4 out of 10
Experience – 5 out of 10
Overall, giving Afternoon tea at Taj 51 Buckingham Place a total TLH score of 5 out of 10.
Address: 51 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6AF
Halal Status: Chicken is halal.
Closest Station: St James Park (Circle and District Line)
Let me know whether you’ve been to Taj 51 Buckingham Place!
Lots of love