Afternoon Tea in London is a big deal!
There are plenty of afternoon tea spots in London to choose from. For those seeking gaudy atmosphere, with fancy tableware to boot, The Wolseley provides in spades. Chandeliers adorn the wood and stone interior with gold trim on a lot of moldings. Felt a little 1920’s ‘Great Gatsby’ -ish! Our coats were taken into the cloak room as we checked in for our reservation.
Afternoon Tea prices can ranges from 20-100 pounds from what I’ve researched, but this one comes at about 40 pounds per person. A steep price for tea one might argue, but considering what you get for it, I believe the value is there.
Each person is served their own tea in their own large shiny kettle. To that point, there are a moderate variety of teas to choose from! My wife chose a house blend, while I stuck to my reliable Earl Grey. A small boat of cream was provided as well. Bear in mind that these teas are steeped free-leaf, meaning there are no bags. Fortunately, they provide a small sieve to catch large pieces, but chances are that you will get a few small flecks in your tea. We were also provided with plenty of tea leaves in our kettles. As a result, we were offered more hot water for a second steeping halfway through our stay. By the end of the Afternoon Tea, I had about 6 cups worth!
Afternoon Tea would not be complete without snacks, of course. A fancy stack of three plates contained some savory sandwich bites on the bottom, a few small desserts in the middle, and a few warm, fresh biscuits on top (think scone, not cookie). In the picture, you see enough for two people as we were indeed two people.
The sandwich slices were soft and delicious! Each slice had its own flavor ranging from salmon, cucumber, and one that was reminiscent of tomato soup.
We went for the scones next, and a small handle of strawberry jam and clotted cream (i.e. butter) was provided as a spread. I felt the scones were buttery enough, so I went for the Jam.
Each of the desserts are different, as you might expect. The highlight for me was the soft custard filled pastry (left of the chocolate cake). It tasted like passion fruit to me and was very delicious! I do have one small nit though – the cheesecake was a bit too cheesy-tasting for my liking. Perhaps this is my American palate setting my cheesecake expectations, but I was not a fan of this one.
It is easy to spend 2 hours here enjoying your teas here at The Wolseley like we did. While it may not seem like it, this Afternoon Tea does come with a lot of food. You may find yourself deciding whether to have a small dinner instead, if at all! It is certainly a popular spot. Make sure to get a reservation in advance which can be done online through their website. I wouldn’t say the food or the tea was all that revelatory, but the quality of the food and tea was excellent. In all, I thought the Afternoon Tea at The Wolseley was delicious, and certainly an experience to try at least once!