Ages ago, I bought a couple of Groupon vouchers to get afternoon tea at The Howard Swissotel in Temple – £19 each instead of £39, a bargain!
So, me and my mate (who is also an afternoon tea lover) decided to have ‘tea for dinner’ one night a couple of weeks ago, and sed teh vouchers.
The Howard is just behind Temple station, but unfortunately The Mauve Lounge where the tea is served is on the ground floor of the hotel, which means you don’t get a view across the river. However, the room IS very nice, contemporary and stylish without being too over done.
So out came our ‘starters’. the sandwiches were, well, sandwiches. I have to admit, they weren’t particularly special – unlike the ones I’d had at Claridges. In fact, they felt a little heavy which isn’t the way that you want to start off what is going to be quite a large meal.
The fruit tartlets were gorgeous – thin, buttery pastry filled with yumminess. the macaroons were also extremely nice, light and flavourful – there was one chocolate and one vanilla.
We then got our scones, clotted cream and jam – one fruit and one plain scone each. Again, they were unfortunately a little on the heavy side, which meant that we found it all rather difficult to get through. in fact, by the time we finished them, we had really had our fill!
This part is what makes the TLSee Afternoon tea unique – all the little 3D chocolates and biscuits. But we really were too stuffed and too full of tea to even attempt to make a dent in these OR the two cupcakes (one lemon, one chocolate) and two slices of almond, walnut and chocolate cake!
However, The Howard are obvioulsy very used to this happening, as the waitress came over to us and asked if we would like our leftovers packaged up.
How cute are these?! They just split the leftovers between the two of us, and The Man and The Girl chomped their way through all the goodies over that night and the next day! Very happily!
It was a lovely evening – had fun with my mate, nice surroundings, lovely tea (the waitress noticed when I was idiot enough to forget to use my strainer and replaced my cup and brewed me another pot!), and very yummy sweet things. However, there wasn’t the delicacy to it all as you would hope for from an ‘elegant’ afternoon tea, so it was often rather too heavy and filling. the doggy bags kind of made up for that though!
I’ve just looked at their website, and it looks like they have reduced their price to £32 now. I was happy paying £19, but I don’t think I’d have been thrilled to pay over £30 for it.
The staff were lovely though, and it was a good experience!
It’s a shame that the tea was a bit stodgy, because those biscuits and the take home bags are so cute. I’ve got some visitors coming from the USA soon and I’m on the look out for a destination for a posh English afternoon tea.
It was lovely – but nowhere near as lovely as the ‘posh’ ones. I think you have to decide whether you want to go all out or not. Claridges was better than the Ritz (IMO), but it really depends whether you want to spend that much on it!
There are LOADS of places that do afternoon teas now, including gorgeous little tea shops.
My mate went to Fortnums, and didn’t think it was as good as others.
I love those doggy bags. When I visit London (and I hope to someday very much!) I hope to stop somewhere for tea. We have nothing like that in the U.S.A.
Oh you will HAVE to have afternoon tea – it is positively decadent 🙂