Yesterday I went for afternoon tea at the Dean Street Town House Hotel for my friend’s birthday. It’s a great location for a winter afternoon tea as the low lighting and cosy furnishings are perfect for hiding away on a cold winter’s day. They were incredibly busy and we had to wait for our reserved table so we were offered a free glass of champagne at the bar which cheered us up. We were then seated at a big table by the window on low green armchairs and comfy cushions. We did have to wait quite a while before our order was taken and the afternoon tea came a lot later than our teas and coffees. However, the food was very good – the sandwiches were very fresh and tasty – egg and cucumber which was subtle and delicious, ham and mustard – again very tasty and the mustard wasn’t too overpowering and smoked salmon and cream cheese. As you can see, we gobbled the sandwiches down before I remembered to take a photo! We opted for one afternoon tea between the two of us which costs £16.75. Depending on how hungry you are, this is about the right size but you probably need to order another set of sandwiches as you only get three sarnies each time.
We then started on the plate of fancies – a cake with thin layers of choc sponge and choc coating – it tasted divine, a lemon macaron which was zingy and had the right amount of crunch and chew and then a fairy cake with cream piped on top which was average and not as adventurous. Finally, we tucked into scones which were very fresh and slightly warm, followed by homemade strawberry and raspberry jam and clotted cream. It tasted delicious and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I’d recommend the afternoon tea but the service was slow so bear that in mind.
A couple of weeks ago, my friend and I re-visited the Wallace Restaurant in the Wallace Collection for a second afternoon tea. (You can read about the first review here). This time we tried the Parisian afternoon tea priced at £24.50. Unfortunately the first time we visited we hadn’t experienced timely service and so the restaurant manager invited us back for complimentary champagne and afternoon tea. We were greeted with two very attentive waiters, one for each of us to push our chairs in! My friend is a vegeterian so I would recommend asking for the English afternoon tea rather than the Parisian one if you are too. The waiter was happy to adapt the afternoon tea though and brought my friend a small selection of cheeses with some grapes. In the meantime, I tucked into foie gras, goose pate and salmon gravalax with melba toasts. All were quite tasty but the goose rilette was rather heavy as you would expect. On to the cakes, the best bit clearly! There were six in total. I must admit I wasn’t blown away by the majority of them – there was a chocolate raspberry fancy on a lollipop, a treacle tart slice with a hint of orange, a lemon tart slice which I enjoyed the most and a couple of other cakey treats. From a cake perspective, whilst you couldn’t criticise quantity, having now sampled the English and the Parisian afternoon tea, I would actually choose the English one. The atmosphere is very serene in the Wallace Restaurant, especially on a sunny afternoon and the perfect compliment for me would be a large scone with lashings of raspberry jam. I actually think I would get just as much enjoyment from having a scone there than splashing out more cash on the full afternoon tea works. If you’ve had an afternoon tea at the Wallace Restaurant, I’d be interested to hear your verdict on it.