A Decadent Afternoon at Lanes of London
I consider afternoon tea a very decadent treat, normally reserved for special occasions. So when I was asked to review tea at Lanes of London to commemorate the Queen’s 90th birthday, that felt like just the excuse I needed!
Lanes is situated just off of Park Lane, opposite Marble Arch tube. It is also very close to Oxford Street and should you want to make your day extra decadent, you could partake in some serious retail therapy before immersing yourself in the lovely wood panelled dining room for some sweet treats. Unlike some hotels in this vicinity, there are no stuffy dress codes and you can dress up or down as much as you feel comfortable with.
Upon arrival we were greeted by the very friendly waiting team and taken to a nice little table by the window. We were offered Champagne to start with (which we happily accepted) but given this tea mark’s the Queen’s birthday, you can instead opt for her favourite tipple, a Gin & Dubonnet cocktail!
We were then talked through the tea menu, which came in the form of a box containing a sample of each of the teas on offer. As we were educated on each tea’s origin and blend, we were presented with little samples in glass jars to smell. This was very interesting but I’m a traditionalist when it comes to my tea and I stuck with my favourite Earl Grey. My companion however went for a fruity raspberry variety.
Then came the feast (and I mean a feast!) To begin we had an assortment of very pretty sandwiches. There was a toasted poppy seed bread with coronation chicken variety, basil bread with cucumber and mint, egg mayonnaise with a quail’s egg on top but our favourite were the beetroot bread with smoked salmon and cream cheese. These were all so delicious we could have consumed a second plate but when the sweet course was presented we were glad we had held back.
A selection of gorgeous sweet delights were brought to us on a silver cake stand. We were told to work from the bottom upwards and this meant starting with the home made scones. In fact, they were still warm from the oven. After pondering the age old question of whether to spread the Devon clotted cream or strawberry jam first, we dug in. The scones are deceivingly small and so we had two each. This was probably a mistake because as delicious as they were, they didn’t leave a lot of room for the upward layers of the cake stand! My companion missed out on the fruit cake which awaited us on the next level and went straight for the small delicacies on the top level. I love fruit cake with a cup of tea and couldn’t resist a small slice. It was rich and delicious. The top level looked so pretty and consisted of mini Victoria sponge, After Eight éclairs, Earl Grey mousse in waffle cones and a trio of white peach melba macaroons. These were all very delicate and beautifully flavoured. My favourite was the Victoria sponge, which was as light as a feather but really creamy. We couldn’t actually manage everything presented to us and so were offered to take the leftovers home in a doggy bag!
After such a superb sugar rush, we were not ready to head home and so were recommended to try out the hotels “chic n’ shabby” roof top bar around the corner. You access the bar through an extremely discreet doorway situated between two shops on Oxford Street. We only knew where to go because the restaurant manager had told us and it felt as if we were going to a secret drinking club! After climbing several flights of stairs (or so it felt but at least it helped to work off the sugar) we came out at a lively outdoor bar where we spent another couple of hours drinking a rather decent Prosecco with the most bizarre label I have ever seen!
We had a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon. Should you wish the sample the delights of Lanes of London also, afternoon tea is served from midday until 5pm priced at £39 per person (£45 per person with a glass of champagne). Should you wish to add Her Majesty’s favourite Gin and Dubonnet Cocktail, it is priced at £8. Available until September.
Lanes of London
London Marriott Hotel Park Lane,
140 Park Lane, Mayfair, London W1K 7AA