Birthdays are a special time of expressing your love for your friends and those that mean the most to you. Anyone that knows me even a little knows that an easy way to my heart is a good chatter over a great afternoon tea. Given this post is a little late.. a month late to be precise. But better late than never I suppose. A month ago.. it was the weekend of my birthday, so naturally it was girly time with the bestie who, of course, surprised me to an afternoon tea at The Lanesborough.
The Lanesborough, a hotel located in the centre Knightsbridge, a traditional, beautiful and regal hotel that is like something I can’t compare to. The afternoon tea was set at the beautiful Celeste Restaurant, which received a Michelin star in 2016.
First and foremost, I need to say something about the interior – I have never seen something so beautiful, so regal, the interior, duck egg and gold themed, took me back to something from the early English ages, it was a sight for sore eyes. My words fail me so I’ll just show you..
Onto the food and the afternoon tea started to come out in as much glory as its’ surroundings. Before I go into the depths of my amazing food experience, just a disclaimer – everything was halal but my friend called a few days in advance to make the booking and along with it, requested for halal food.
First came the sandwiches – Egg and Watercress, Salmon with Cream Cheese, Cucumber and Mint, and Coronation Chicken.
The sandwiches were good but not great, although a shout out to the Coronation Chicken which stole the sandwich show. It was tasty, but not too overpowering and did not taste like a usual coronation chicken sandwich. It was definitely unique in its own way.
Next came the pastries and the scones… my weakness!
So first and foremost, the scones. I love a good scone, for me, it’s the main factor that determines the success of an afternoon tea. Not blown away by the sandwiches, but luckily the scones were definitely good enough to make up for it. They were soft but not too crumbly, and just right in taste – slightly salty but not overly. Now, the real test was in the clotted cream – sometimes the clotted cream is so cold it can barely spread across the soft scones. But the temperature was just right and the whole experience was made worthwhile.
The pastries were next in line..
The selection of pastries – Apple Tart, Black forest, Passion-mango square, chocolate cookie, Apple and cinnamon doughnut, and Caramel vanilla choux.
I first tried the apple tart, which wasn’t to my liking but as I made my way through all the pastries, I was definitely left a little more than satisfied with them all.
At this point, we were 4 hours into our tea – there was a lot of food and had a lot of catching up to do (clearly!). We had barely touched our pastries when we heard the beautiful piano play out the happy birthday tune and a load of birthday plates went out to different tables in the restaurant. Mine was, unfortunately, a tad bit late and almost missed the whole birthday tune, much to the dismay of my friend. Elated that she remembered how I love public display of affections, I was happy enough. Although after I got an empty plate that simply said “Happy Birthday”, after she had specifically requested a cake or some kind of dessert to go with it, she was rather upset and the service didn’t respond very well to it. The duty supervisor didn’t seem to understand that a girl’s birthday afternoon tea holds a special place in her heart and that there should have shown some kind of sympathy after the whole process not going as smoothly as it could have, which was rather frustrating. In the end, the manager came out and apologised, and agreed to give us some discount from the bill.
Overall, I would definitely recommend The Lanesborough Afternoon Tea to anyone wanting to celebrate a special occasion. It is definitely a great place to go, for the setting more than anything else. The service was not as great as you would have expected, but having said that it wasn’t bad either, so no complaints there. The food was good but not the best afternoon tea I’ve had.
Food – 5 out of 10
Service – 4 out of 10
Price – 6 out of 10
Atmosphere – 8 out of 10
Experience – 6 out of 10
Overall, giving The Lanesborough Afternoon Tea a total TLH score of 6 out of 10.
Address: Hyde Park Corner, London, SW1X 7TA
Halal Status: Halal options upon request with 24 hours notice.
Closest Station: Knightsbridge or Hyde Park Corner (Piccadilly Line)