Afternoon tea is somewhat of a tradition in England, which is why on my visit to London, Jordan and I had to go. While you can get it at many places around London, none come close, or as over the top, as the afternoon tea at One Aldwych Hotel in Covent Garden. The menu is set to the theme of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. When the menu comes out there’s characters like Violet Beauregarde and Augustus Gloop to set the whimsical tone. Needless to day, this isn’t your typical tea, oh no, this is out-of-your-world kind of tea that will blow your mind. To start, I do have to say it isn’t the cheapest. Starting at 39 pounds per person (more like 49 if you add the champagne), it is a splurge for sure. But, one well worth it if splurging on a food/atmosphere/Instagramable combo is worth it to you.
When the dessert came out, how could I not smile?
So what is Afternoon Tea, other than an excuse to get dressed up and eat cute little sandwiches and sip tea with your pinky out? Well, I won’t bore you with all the details, but essentially, we have Anna the Seventh Duchess of Bedford to thank for it! Back then mornings began a lot earlier (they didn’t have the luxury of lying in their plush comfy beds till 12 like some of us) so that meant breakfast was quite early as was lunch. In Anna’s household, tea (dinner) was served at eight, which was quite late compared to other households. Anna would find herself hungry around 4, so, she had a light meal prepared, and along came afternoon tea! Does the name make sense now? It’s not called afternoon tea just because you sip on tea in the afternoon, because that’s an everyday occurrence in England anyways! Since then we’ve turned it into our own extravagant ordeal, but it all began as a snack for a duchess some 200 years ago!
So what should you expect for a traditional Afternoon Tea?
You always begin with tea.. Duh. There are so many options it’ll make your head spin, but trust me they’re all delicious!
Is the tea sandwiches with classics like cucumber sandwiches, coronation chicken, which is a sweet curry spiced chicken salad, and other classics like smoked salmon or roast beef with horseradish. Each tea will differ, especially with some of the extravagant one’s like the one we will tell you about soon!
One of my favorites, scones! There’s nothing better than a basket of warm scones in front of you. Scones are often served with clotted cream, jams, and sometimes lemon curd.
But certainly not least, SWEETS! You can’t end a meal without dessert and Afternoon Tea never fails to impress with it’s sweets. This can include macaroons, eclairs, mini cakes and anything in between and it’s the perfect thing to end an indulgent meal!
Like mentioned before, the Afternoon Tea at One Aldwych is quite extravagant. While the sandwiches were closer to traditional with a few twists and turns, the desserts were heavenly. With the likes of cotton candy (called candy floss in England), chocolate caramel milk, cheesecake served up in a golden egg (get the theme yet?), it was safe to say we left feeling satisfied, ready to be rolled out like Violet Beauregard after she turned into a giant blueberry.
Check out the menu below as well as some pictures from our deliciously good visit and if you are ever in London, definitely check this place out!
Pre food coma:
MY “GET INSIDE MY BELLY” LOOK
Post food coma: