Ok, not many things are more British than afternoon tea. Little finger sandwiches and cakes, scones and warm, aromatic tea? Count me in.
Recently I was invited to taste the afternoon tea at The Guardsman hotel in London, which is a stone’s throw from Buckingham Palace (6 minutes walking, to be precise), so the perfect spot for a tea break from touristing, even for a London resident.
We started with a glass of Perrier-Jouët champagne and the beautiful Royal Parks themed afternoon tea that followed really lived up to the pretty pictures – and surpassed my high expectations.
On the menu, the savoury side presented itself as well served finger sandwiches: Burford brown egg mimosa, rocket, mayonnaise and turmeric loaf, Goldstein Scottish salmon with cream cheese and lemon butter (which is so tasty) on sourdough, roast beef with cream of horseradish and watercress on a tomato loaf and truffled chicken mayonnaise on a tin loaf (I asked for seconds of this one, it was scrumptious!)
Charming pastries galore: a feast for the eyes and tastebuds.
The Black Rose, a rich chocolate ganache with black cherry compôte (a la black forest) was the biggest surprise as chocolate deserts are usually not my favourites but the lightness of the delicious ganache with the tartness of the cherry really did it for me.
The Raspberry Posy, a cream tart with fresh raspberry, pistachio and chantilly was also delightful and not too sweet, how I like my deserts.
Flower Pot is a carrot cake with orange cream top, and carrot cake being my fave, there was no way I wouldn’t love it.
Finally, the cutest Toadstool. The delicate strawberry, yoghurt mousse (the red cup) was so tasty and light, although I did find the lemon sponge slightly on the sweet side for my liking – maybe it was the white chocolate casing!
Because we have no chill and were having a great time, we ordered a bottle of Perrier Jouet (£80) which washed the afternoon tea too well.
The service deserves a full article, let me tell you. If you visit the hotel’s site, you’ll notice they go on about the service as a boutique hotel with members’ club feels and it’s not just verbatim: the service was indeed second to none. Very friendly and personal, but extremely professional, attentive and caring.
I feel I must mention the lovely Svetlin who went well above and beyond for our visit and the lovely waitress (I didn’t get her name, bad Dani!) who was just perfect.
In fact, every single member of staff I interacted with on the day were nothing short from perfect. Thank you!
Our tea was served in the main Dining Room but you can also have it on the Drawing Room or the Library, all beautiful, that also makes the experience more accessible. I’d definitely give the Library a go!
The Guardsman has a very discreet exterior. The have over 50 rooms and some residential apartments for rent, with terrace. In Central London, that’s gold dust.
The restaurant, previously only for guests, is now open to the public on a pre-booked basis (just email: firstname.lastname@example.org), for breakfast, all-day dining and of course, delicious afternoon tea.
The Guardsman’s Afternoon Tea is priced at £45 pp, inclusive of a glass of Perrier-Jouët Grand Brut champagne, served Wednesday to Sunday from midday to 5pm. They also offer gluten free, vegetarian and vegan versions of the tea, which is a great plus.
The Guardsman Hotel is locate at 1 Vandon Street, SW1H 0AH and you can find all info on the afternoon tea, as well as hotel bookings (it’s GORGEOUS!) on their website.
You know the drill, but I’ll say anyway: I was invited to afternoon tea at The Guardsman, with no obligation to promote.
Opinions are honest and my own, based on what I experienced on the day.