Sometimes it’s hard to know how to keep the kids entertained during the summer holidays – I know I struggle. With my son being the grand old age of 11-years-old, he is quite particular about the things he likes – it comes with the age unfortunately, and so when the Lancaster Hotel in London asked us if we would like to try out their Afternoon Tea, I knew I would be winning top parent points if I said yes!
The hotel is easy to find – it’s only a 15 minute tube ride from London Victoria, and a two-minute walk from Lancaster Gate tube station, which can be found on the central line.
We arrived at 2pm and were warmly greeted by our waiter for the day, Kenny. Now Dexter and I have only ever had Afternoon Tea once before, so we are not exactly connoisseurs, but we really wanted to see whether Afternoon Tea in a big London hotel was that much different to having a small tea room. (Clue: it is!)
I was offered a glass of champagne upon arrival and we took five minutes to just relax and look through the menu – we then placed our order. Dexter had the choice of having a Kids Afternoon Tea or join me having the adults version. The kids tea consists of Nutella, jam and peanut butter sandwiches, fruit skewers, carrot cupcakes, raspberry and white chocolate lollipops and even ice cream at the end. But Dexter, being 11 going on 35, chose to have the adults Afternoon Tea.
One great thing about the ‘Kids Afternoon Tea’ is that during the summer holidays all children under 12 years old, when accompanied by a paying adult, can eat absolutely free! In fact, up to 2 children per adult can eat free which is a fantastic deal! (Pricing details below.) But I should point out that if they choose to join you in having the adults version, you have to pay full price for that.
We were told that the food would be ready in five minutes, but we ended up waiting nearly 30 minutes. It wasn’t a problem but we had made sure we hadn’t eaten anything beforehand so we were absolutely starving by the time the food came out.
Was it worth the wait? Definitely.
A quick note about the surroundings. The Lounge Bar is large and lounge-like – full of comfortable sofas and chairs, so you really felt like you could make yourself at home. This is especially important when you have children that may find it difficult to sit at a formal table for long periods of time. There was, however, still crisp white napkins and bespoke Lancaster silver cutlery to accompany our tea. There are plans to move the Afternoon Tea area to the room that overlooks the Italian Gardens of Hyde Park in 2017, and I think having a stunning view like that will really give a whole new ambience to the affair. Our waiter very kindly showed us where the new room would be (currently only serving breakfast there) and also took Dexter up to the 10th floor to show him the stunning views there. Dexter forgot to take a photo though I’m afraid!
The hotel is very proud of its extensive Novus tea selection, and rightly so. They have 17 different varieties of tea but I just opted for English breakfast tea, which was delicious. It was also accompanied by an egg timer and infusion chart, which shows exactly how long I should let my tea brew for before I pour it – a lovely touch.
Onto the food. Here’s a little glimpse of the menu:
You can order as much of any of the above as you like, which is great for those with a big appetite!
Everything was delicious, although a couple of the items perhaps weren’t as flavourful as I had hoped, but the scones were to die for and I especially loved the red onion & goats cheese tartlet – the pastry just melted in my mouth.
They also offer a fabulous ‘Picnic in the Park’ option where, for the same price, you can order the Afternoon Tea to take-away, and everything comes packed up in a tote bag, ready for you to take to the park with you. In fact, if you have lots of money to spare, you can even order your very own butler to go with you!
It’s excellent value if you children choose the kids’ menu, and it’s a lovely ‘grown-up’ thing to do with the children during the holidays. I’d highly recommend it – in fact, we may well go back again this summer!
Find out more: 0207 551 6000 or visit www.lancasterlondon.com
Adult Afternoon Tea – £30
Adult Afternoon Tea (with one glass of champagne) – £40
* We were kindly gifted our tea to review.