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high tea in London

 
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harpospeaking



Joined: 13 Sep 2005
Posts: 194
Location: San Diego, CA

PostPosted: Wed Oct 18, 2006 6:55 pm    Post subject: high tea in London Reply with quote

I'm sure someone on this board has made some recommendations re where to have high tea in London; I just can't track down the thread. Nonetheless, can someone recommend for me a light, airy and cozy place for high tea in London? (I don't like the dark, wood-paneled English library look of some tea salons.)

Having high tea is one of the things I've never managed to do while in London and I'm hoping to do it this time around (in early November). Wish me luck fellow tea lovers!
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Rachelh



Joined: 18 Oct 2006
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Wed Oct 18, 2006 10:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've had tea at Browns, a nice, refined but non-snooty hotel in Mayfair with a lovely high tea. After having been refused by the Ritz because my friend was in blue jeans, we walked onto the street, feeling slightly ashamed. The suprisingly kind uniformed doorman at the Ritz recommended Browns, which was a short walk away and a terrific choice. They were friendly (didn't look twice at my friend's blue jeans) and the traditional high tea was very nice, exactly what one would expect: pleasantly leisurely with lots of tea refills and the usual finger sandwiches and tea cakes. Now, it's not a stuffy english library-type room, nor is it light and airy. I do remember it being decorated in shades of cucumber and gray, very comfortable, more like your well-to-do Aunt's newly decorated sitting room. I can recommend it, though, for a lovely typical English high-tea experience.
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champ



Joined: 31 Jul 2006
Posts: 24
Location: Island of Ireland

PostPosted: Thu Oct 19, 2006 10:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Harpospeaking -

You will find the thread 'Questions about British Afternoon Tea' in 'Cooking and Eating' Page 2.

Good luck!
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pistache



Joined: 09 Oct 2006
Posts: 42
Location: Cannes, France

PostPosted: Thu Oct 19, 2006 11:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I too seem to remember Browns' being recommended over the Ritz http://www.theritzlondon.com/tea/teamenu.asp. There is another highly recommended hotel too, but I shall have to look through my folders to find it. By the way, it is referred to as afternoon tea, and not high tea Wink

High tea is a fairly robust meal eaten at 6.00 pm in some parts of the U.K.
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NoCrowds



Joined: 19 Oct 2006
Posts: 1
Location: London, UK

PostPosted: Thu Oct 19, 2006 12:34 pm    Post subject: Afternoon Tea in London Reply with quote

In addition to Browns and the Ritz, I have had lots of fun and very nice traditional high teas at both the Dorchester and Savoy hotels. Claridges and the Connaught are also good.

I haven't tried this yet but the really beautiful ( light and airy) courtyard in the Wallace Collection now serves afternoon tea in the recently opened Oliver Peyton restaurant, so it should be good. You can also have tea in the National Dining Rooms (also run by Oliver Peyton) in the National Gallery overlooking Trafalgar Square.
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bennettsleg



Joined: 11 Sep 2006
Posts: 13
Location: Stuck on the gravy train, staring across the fence at all the lovely green grass

PostPosted: Thu Oct 19, 2006 10:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Browns was the first hotel to start offering "afternoon tea". The entire hotel was closed for refurbishment last year and it is indeed very beautifully updated.

The staff are international and although silver-service trained, could do with a bit more polish.

Where Brown's fell down for me was in two areas. Firstly, my mother has a dietary requirement. I notified Browns when booking and they assured me that things would be taken care of. They were not.
Secondly, as a group of 9 ladies we were grouped around a sofa. All other seats were armchairs bar one which was a swivelling backless stool. My friend swopped it for a vacant armchair nearby. 15 minutes later she was asked to revert to the uncomfortable chair (which was also at a much higher level than all the others) so that the empty chair grouping behind us could look nice and stay empty for another half an hour.

For a hotel with Brown's reputation their behaviour was very bad form. Our Annual Ladies' Day group will not be returning.

I can heartily recommend the Savoy as an alternative; they were absolutely top notch on every aspect.

Please consider your dress before going to attend tea, the majority of establishments do have a dress code of sorts. You don't have to wear a blazer, eye patch and medals to get in but it does help!
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abricot



Joined: 10 Nov 2006
Posts: 4
Location: Jacksonville, Florida

PostPosted: Mon Nov 13, 2006 5:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would highly recommend the Dorchester and Savoy hotels. Excellent service and food, as well as the perfect atmosphere for afternoon tea!
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