It’s been a while since I went to an afternoon tea (or posted on here either!) sometimes life just seems to take over but I’ll always come back for you guys.
It was a family affair one lovely Saturday afternoon as my BFF and I took out her niece for her first experience of afternoon tea. It had to be something she’d relate to and as she’s read the book about 5 times we thought it was only right that we take her to The Chesterfield for their Charlie and The Chocolate Factory afternoon tea. We pre-requested halal meat so we knew we could eat to our heart’s content.
The Chesterfield is a quaint little hotel in the back streets of Mayfair. The afternoon tea was set in their back patio greenhouse, which was lovely. It felt so good to be in the bright light of the sun – rare occasion in London!
We were welcomed by a tiny little drink of fizzy pop.
The afternoon tea came out and whilst we were both in initial awe of all the cakes and scones, our little 7-year old noticed there was ham in the sandwiches! We had at this point reminded them a few times that we requested halal and to put a ham sandwich in front of us was just not cool. When we told them they brought out the right sandwiches, which actually only contained one meat sandwich.
Once we got over the initial irritation, we started on the sandwiches, which were actually really nice – roast chicken with almonds, smoked salmon with cream cheese on beetroot bread, and a lovely sundried tomato with mozzarella on tomato bread. We definitely availed the refillable sandwiches and had a good few of them.
You know the the only time it’s acceptable to be judgemental is when you’re tasting a scone at an afternoon tea! They had 2 types of scones – fruit scones (with sultanas) and chocolate scones.
Firstly the scones were rock hard – you know it’s never a good sign when a scone makes a “clink” sound when you throw it on a plate (yep, this is definitely the scone version of a litmus test!) We asked them to get us new ones which came out warm and tasted much – they were actually beautifully made scones, some of the best I’ve had, the clotted cream was just the right temperature and just the way it should be.
I wasn’t a fan of the chocolate scones though – not a huge chocolate person anyways, but something just felt wrong about them, they tasted more cake-like than like scones.
The desserts – ahhh the desserts! So, they all looked great as you will agree with me..
I think my favourite of the desserts was the Bubblegum Eclair – the bubblegum flavour was definitely not overpowering yet just enough to know it was bubblegum, light and airy like an eclair should be. Beautiful!
Overall, I feel like it was a decent afternoon tea, definitely not one of my favourites but not bad either. The service unfortunately was not great by any means, but they did take off the service charge at the end (which to be honest I wouldn’t have paid anyways) and the manager was lovely once we told her all the slips with the service. Given that we were with a 7-year old at a child-friendly afternoon tea, when we tried to joke with our waiter about her nose swelling up when she had the blueberry macaroon (as in the book when Violet swells up like a blueberry) and he just did not get the joke! HA! It was quite funny because he was so clueless about what we were saying!
I felt a pang of disappointment though as the hotel is cute and quirky, and the afternoon tea has so much potential, but the execution is weak and attention to detail is barely there – small example, the chocolate bar is basically a toffee crisp bar wrapped in kitchen foil that I could have done at home – and when you’re paying £36 per person plus service it feels like a bit of a cheap option. The Charlie and the Chocolate Factory theme was barely there, there is so much they could have done with it, but failed to. Having said that, the scones were a winner and the outdoor setting is lovely, I wouldn’t not recommend it but definitely caveating the expectations here.
Food – 6 out of 10
Service – 3 out of 10
Atmosphere – 5 out of 10
Experience – 5 out of 10
Overall, giving Charlie and the Chocolate afternoon tea at The Chesterfield a total TLH score of 5 out of 10.
Address: 35 Charles Street, Mayfair, London, W1J 5EB
Halal Status: Halal options can be pre-requested, alcohol is served on the premises.
Closest Station: Green Park (Jubilee, Piccadilly and Victoria line) or Piccadilly Circus (Piccadilly line)
Oh dear, it sounds like a bit of a disaster. That’s terrible about the ham sandwiches too, especially as you’d called ahead and reminded them, it doesn’t exactly give confidence in the rest of the experience. Boo