Knowing we only had a short window to get a lot done in London, we made the ambitious choice to book an Afternoon Tea hours after landing. This was a great decision.
We attended the 5:30pm Afternoon Tea at the Anthenaum Hotel, at 116 Piccadilly right on Green Park. It was a beautiful London night in the low 60’s, so we walked from Soho about 30 minutes, taking in the sights of Piccadilly Square and The Ritz along the way.
The wind was gusty and the air was full of a million floaty things i thought were dandelions and Jen thought were pigeon feathers. Either way it looked cool.
We got semi-dressy for the night, figuring we may grab dinner later in the night. The Anthenaeum made sure we did not leave hungry, however.
Jen found this gem online before the trip, and I was instantly sold on the fact that they offer a Gentleman’s Tea. only available 24 hours in advance! Also exciting was that I did not have to provide any proof in advance that I was in fact gentlemanly in any way. Londoners are very trusting. Jen was also very excited that they offer a Champagne Tea, so everybody won.
We were taken after a short wait into a beautiful room downstairs, seated on a great couch with a wall garden behind us. Everything was very quiet, almost awkwardly at times sooooo awkward!, and there was only one other patron, so we had about 6 people watching us at all times for any hint that we needed something. Luckily there was one thing that happened towards the end that only Jen saw me do, but we’ll get to that. hehe
The traditional Champagne Tea that Jen enjoyed came with 3 courses. Some finger sandwiches that was decent, I liked the cucumber best, and the salmon. Some scones with butters and jams and creams, these were awesome. And some great little desserts, tarts, and chocolate covered strawberries. She chose a white label champagne as well, and for a modest fee (less than a Vespa), they will even bring you more! It also came with tea, believe it or not. Jen chose a Niagara Peach Green Tea that she liked, just not as much as she liked the champagne.
The Gentleman’s Tea also included a great spread to start, which I mistakenly thought included all three of my courses. There was a sausage roll, a meat pie, some bread sticks with a fondue type thingy, and a raw beefy block situation. There was also a great dram of Whisky (which they also brought more of for less than the price of your average hot tub). Oh yeah, and I got tea too I think. Earl Gray or Grey. Either way he was cool.
My second course included some bacon and cheese scones, which were as amazing as they sound.
And then came the dessert cart, and a lemon cake that I had no room left to try, but Jen took a bite and dug it. The chocolate covered strawberries were the hit, so we got a few more of those as we finished the champagne.
The highlight for me was trying to sip my classy tea in this classy joint, and pouring it all down my shirt. Especially fun because I have to make these nice shirts last for the next month and I thought I had ruined this one on day 1. The staff put together some magic mix of water and salt and secret royal ingredients to blot on my shirt, and the crisis was averted.
That was when we decided it was a good time to take the party elsewhere. Off we went into the still bright London night, bellies full, shirt wet, and spirits high.