After my disasterous afternoon tea at the Doubletree by Hilton, I was rather wary of the fact that I had another Groupon voucher that was about to expire.
However, I had paid almost half the price for this one – £17 for two of us, and Caffe Concerto are one of the few places that serve afternoon tea pretty late (up til 7pm), so it appealed to a catch-up with my late-working friend, and our love of the naughtiness of ‘afternoon tea for dinner’!
With trepidation, I wandered into Caffe Concerto in Tottenham Court Road, one of a chain of about 13 restaurants around London I believe, even though I had never noticed them before!
These were not the sumptious surroundings like the hotels where I’ve had afternoon tea before, being more of a café / restaurant / coffee bar, but it was all sparkly, clean, bright and nicely decorated. I was immediately put at ease by the staff who were extremely warm and friendly.
When my friend turned up, we were asked for our choice of teas /coffees / hot chocolate (note that Doubletree – choice!) and pretty quickly our three tiers of loveliness were brought out.
I was so relieved when I saw it – the sandwiches looked fresh and inviting, and there was half each of three rounds, there were TWO scones each and although there were only three cakes, they looked amazing.
The sandwiches were smoked salmon, cucumber and cream cheese and egg mayonnaise – crusts cut off, bread nice and fresh and plenty of filling – nothing out of this world, but very pleasant.
The scones were seductively warm, light, extremely well risen, and we had one fruit and one plain each. Also, they were obviously aware of the size of their pots and people’s love of cream and jam as the waitress had specifically said “If you want any more cream or jam, just ask me”, and we did ask for another little pot of jam, which was brought quickly and with no fuss.
Caffe Concerto specialise in their cakes I believe, and we were given three random ones – I noticed that the people around us all got a different selection, which I actually thought was a nice touch. we had a lovely chocolate gateau, a kind of lime cheesecake mousse that was very scrummy and my favourite, a little apple & blackberry tart topped with crumble and sliced almonds.
On to of that, we had a teapot each, which we got two cups out of, and then we had another teapot each – and being the sad beast that I am, I got very excited because their little teapots were the best pourers I have come across in ages! There is something rather sublime about a well-designed teapot!
I have to say though, one of the best things about Caffe Concerto was the atmosphere, it was relaxed and perfect for the girlie catch-up we were having and the staff were absolutely fantastic. They couldn’t be more helpful, they were smiley, friendly and totally approachable.
Also, the food that was coming out for dinner looked really good for the price and the kitchen smelled amazing!
At a normal price of £42.95 for two, it isn’t the cheapest I’ve seen BUT it is good, fresh, the staff are fantastic and it’s a far more relaxed atmosphere than some. seeing as they have branches in shop-heavy areas (including Westfield!) it’s the perfect place for a shopping-day treat. And if you manage to get a deal like I did, you just can’t go wrong!