Eat | Afternoon Tea at The Lanesborough Hotel

Milla's London: Afternoon Tea at The Lanesborough Hotel Milla's London: Afternoon Tea at The Lanesborough Hotel Milla's London: Afternoon Tea at The Lanesborough Hotel Milla's London: Afternoon Tea at The Lanesborough Hotel Milla's London: Afternoon Tea at The Lanesborough Hotel Milla's London: Afternoon Tea at The Lanesborough Hotel Milla's London: Afternoon Tea at The Lanesborough Hotel Milla's London: Afternoon Tea at The Lanesborough Hotel Milla's London: Afternoon Tea at The Lanesborough Hotel Milla's London: Afternoon Tea at The Lanesborough Hotel Milla's London: Afternoon Tea at The Lanesborough Hotel Milla's London: Afternoon Tea at The Lanesborough Hotel Milla's London: Afternoon Tea at The Lanesborough HotelThough I rather enjoy the Library Bar at The Lanesborough, one of London’s 5-star hotels, this was my first experience at Apsleys, where one takes Afternoon Tea at the hotel. As it turns out, there were to be quite a few firsts that day.

I’m all about the details so seeing a menu which clearly states ‘Afternoon Tea’ pleases me greatly. I don’t quite understand why so many high-end hotels list this delightful tradition as “High Tea” because it’s a different meal. Slight digression… We both opted for the ‘Belgravia tea’ which includes a selection of finger sandwiches, delicious cakes and pastries and scones, but the real draw was the strawberries and cream. Enjoyed with a glass of Laurent Perrier rosé champagne, an afternoon of perfection commenced…

Warm mini-tarts of Stilton and red onion welcomed us to the savoury part of the menu. The finger sandwiches included cucumber and cream cheese, an unusual but delicious combination of ham and celeriac on cranberry bread and good ole smoked salmon. Moving on to the sweets, we feasted on blueberry cake covered in white chocolate, dark chocolate sponge and red velvet cake with a cream cheese icing. The cakes were so light! This was the first time I was served tea cakes, one of my favourite treats, with afternoon tea. It’s all in the name, right? They were served warm along with fluffy home-made scones. I try to eat dairy-free most of the time but when it comes to clotted cream, it’s simply not going to happen. Complimenting the cream was strawberry jam and my personal favourite – lemon curd. Yet another first with Afternoon Tea. The tartness of the lemon curd paired with the luscious clotted cream is something everybody needs to try. If you’ve never tried lemon curd before, please don’t buy it. Make it at home – it’s so simple, quick and tastes nothing like the ready-made version.

Now, it’s no secret that I’m a major tea snob enthusiast so imagine my excitement at meeting Karl Kessab, the tea sommelier at The Lanesborough. That’s right people, they have a tea sommelier! The first ever one in the UK to be exact. Sticking with my own traditions, I ordered green tea but Karl was having none of this! He asked me what type of taste I like and suggested I live on the edge by trying The Lanesborough’s signature Afternoon Tea Blend, Silver Needle and Rose Congou. One type of tea to go with each course. Now that’s a lot of tea, right? Just enough if you ask me and yes, they were all delightful. The very idea of floral-scented tea makes me shudder but the Rose Congou worked wonderfully with the chocolate French-style desserts.

There are no words for the service. No words at all! Okay, maybe one: perfection! It seems so simple but those little unique touches – starting with strawberries and cream, proper lemon curd and Karl the tea sommelier (I can’t get over this!) – add to the appeal of Afternoon Tea at The Lanesborough. What’s the point of following the crowd when you can carve your own path, right? You shouldn’t mess with tradition and this for me was a very British Afternoon Tea.

Apsleys at The Lanesborough
Hyde Park Corner
London
SW1X 7TA
+44 (0) 20 7333 7524

Not Just Another Milla was a guest of The Laneborough.

31 Comments

  1. 14 May 2012 / 11:38

    A tea sommelier? I have never heard of that before but it makes perfect sense! Sounds lovely.

    • Not Just Another Milla
      6 June 2012 / 10:53

      Could anything be better! What a great job – I wish I could spend all day trying tea with cake, obviously!

  2. Sarah T (@auscanucksarah)
    14 May 2012 / 12:20

    Where do I start?! I demand we go here when I’m there! Completely and utterly INSIST upon it! A tea sommelier-AMAZING! I want to meet this man and get his delicious suggestions!
    The whole post had me captivated-the very first picture grabbed me (that amazing silver cream holder, the gorgeous champagne glass!) then the shot glass of goodness, the tea trolley, the scones and that gorgeous bracelet in your last picture….loved it all!!!
    I love, love, LOVE the idea of a different tea for each course! It works for wine so why not for tea?!
    I wish I was in London right now to go! Looks amazing and I’m so glad you discovered it!

    • Not Just Another Milla
      6 June 2012 / 11:07

      I’m not one for demands but you’ll have no surprise in hearing that this one will be met! He was so passionate about tea, which is odd because that’s usually me.

      Warm scones with the clotted cream and lemon curd – I cannot get this combination out of my mind. Hurry and get here!

  3. 14 May 2012 / 14:11

    This sounds like perfection. I need an afternoon tea date with you ASAP!

    • Not Just Another Milla
      6 June 2012 / 11:11

      Come back soon and we’ll do that. How are the tea salons in Korea?

  4. 14 May 2012 / 17:03

    I also adore tea so i’m sure that I’d also enjoy it with all these delicious mini-tarts! What a sophisticated tea moment!

    • Not Just Another Milla
      6 June 2012 / 11:12

      The art of afternoon tea!

  5. 14 May 2012 / 17:11

    How positively proper and delightful, Milla! Tea is all about the DETAILS and it looks as if they pulled it off perfectly! Have a lovely week, sweets!

    Sandy M ~ Ooh La Frou Frou
    http://oohlafroufrou.blogspot.com
    This Week: PINK, with limited edition
    blank notes featuring my Pretty Pink Perfume
    & I Speak Chanel Handbag illustrations.

    • Not Just Another Milla
      6 June 2012 / 11:13

      Thanks Sandy. You’re got it right, The Lanesborough got it spot on!

  6. 14 May 2012 / 20:09

    Wow it all looks amazing – great photos!

    • Not Just Another Milla
      6 June 2012 / 11:14

      Thank you Laura; it tasted amazing as well!

    • Not Just Another Milla
      6 June 2012 / 11:14

      Yes, seriously! There are so many different types of tea to try as well – absolutely delicious! xx

  7. 14 May 2012 / 20:25

    Milla this looks delicious. I wish I could join you for high tea. PS your photos are amazing!

    • Not Just Another Milla
      6 June 2012 / 14:06

      Thanks Michelle. Afternoon tea will be enjoyed by both of us when you come to visit for sure. I’ll book somewhere lovely for us.

  8. 15 May 2012 / 07:31

    OMggggggggg…..this place looks yum, esp the clotted cream and jam with the scones. and that choco mousse thingie. I can imagine the strawberry and cream being the high light, hehehe ….and Laurent Perrier rosé champagne??? omg x 100000….

    so high tea and afternoon tea is different? Wow, i never knew because we all call it high tea in Hong Kong,hahaha…..but i went to the parolour for mothers day and i do recall the menu saying “Afternoon Tea”, lol…think i picked up the habit of saying high tea.

    To answer your question, that afternoon tea set i had at ritz was for two:) But honestl, i did not think it was that great! such a bummer as i was having such high expectations on it.

    Cinz
    http://cinzee.wordpress.com

  9. 15 May 2012 / 08:54

    milla, i want to dine w. you – you are always at the best looking places + i love your red nails!!
    xx

    • Not Just Another Milla
      6 June 2012 / 15:21

      Come to London; we’ll get our nails done and go for tea 🙂

      xx

  10. 15 May 2012 / 14:43

    Love this! You’re so classy. I’m glad you took Karl’s advice, that guy seems to know what he’s talking about!

    • Not Just Another Milla
      6 June 2012 / 15:20

      What a compliment coming from you Lisa – thank you so much!! Yes, I let the tea master guide me and I was far from disappointed.

      xx

    • Not Just Another Milla
      6 June 2012 / 15:19

      Oh Lou, the desserts were divine as were the sandwiches. Yum all around!

  11. 21 May 2012 / 02:33

    Looks lovely Milla! Can not wait to meet you in London to try all these fabulous places you blog about 😉

    • Not Just Another Milla
      6 June 2012 / 14:25

      Likewise Anne, there’s so much to discover in London. I cannot wait to introduce you to a proper British Afternoon tea! 🙂

  12. 23 May 2012 / 11:46

    Fabulous photographs, and what a lovely treat – looks divine!

    • Not Just Another Milla
      6 June 2012 / 14:21

      Thanks Caroline. We all need a treat every now and then.

  13. 18 June 2012 / 17:38

    Hello,
    These are seriously FABULOUS photos! I am very pleased you have enjoyed your afternoon tea. Karl is indeed the first and finest Tea Sommelier in London, I will make sure to pass on this lovely blog on to him.

    http://www.lanesborough.com/en/london-afternoon-tea

    Best Regards,
    Yasmeen I El Ajou
    Online Marketing

    • Not Just Another Milla
      25 June 2012 / 18:00

      Thanks so much for your comment Yasmeen. Karl is so talented and it was an honour to meet it. I’ll be back soon!

  14. 27 June 2012 / 20:35

    Gosh! That looks amazing! 2 years in London and I’ve never tried an afternoon tea! Can’t believe it. I’ve seen that you reviewed several places, which one would you recommend for a first afternoon tea? 🙂

    • Not Just Another Milla
      19 July 2012 / 18:45

      Never!? Oh my, you must change this immediately. So far, I haven’t had a bad afternoon tea in London. Stick to the 5* hotels and you won’t go wrong. Let me know where you choose and how you like it.

      PS – make sure you try clotted cream (with scones) as it’s very rare to find it in any other country.

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