Last Updated on November 24, 2021
An Elegant Afternoon Tea in Bloomsbury
The historic and vibrant neighbourhood of Bloomsbury is known as London’s literary heartland, once the haunt of many celebrated 20th-century writers and intellectuals who were best known in their day as The Bloomsbury set. The Dalloway Terrace at The Bloomsbury Hotel is situated in a 1930s neo-Georgian building alongside pretty tree-lined squares and is named of course after Mrs Dalloway, the protagonist in The Hours, one of Virginia Woolf’s most famous novels.
So where better to enjoy a sophisticated afternoon tea than at the Dalloway Terrace, a beautiful indoor-outdoor fully heated and covered space, which this autumn has been transformed into an immersive fragrant floral hideaway with an installation by award-winning floral designers Early Hours and in partnership with British perfumer Miller Harris and Champagne Telmont.
The Bloomsbury Hotel is effortlessly stylish, with bold and elegant contemporary décor. We were seated in the beautiful floral decked Dalloway Terrace, an autumnal hideaway draped in colour, echoing the essence of Miller Harris fragrances…the perfect cosy setting for those cold and frosty days to come.
Tea was a decorous and colourful affair, kicking off with cocktails from their specially curated cocktail menu Dreaming in Colour which has been created by the manager of the Dalloway Terrace in close partnership with the Champagne Telmont team and Miller Harris to make this a truly multi-sensory occasion. These cocktails are inspired by the perfumier’s perfect fusion of fine French fragrances and Telmonts’ ancestral know-how, each one with a namesake Miller Harris scent in mind.
My companion sipped on a Tea Tonique a grown-up cocktail made with The Botanist Islay Dry Gin, Autumn Spices Formula, Clementine bitters and Absinth essence – a wonderful marriage of warm, spicy and aromatic flavours. My Oud Éclat oozed elegance, made with The Botanist Islay Dry Gin, Mancino Secco Vermouth, Orange bitter and Grapefruit Rapeseed Oil – a tangy take on a Martini.
Chef Chris Dodd has created a divine afternoon tea menu that transports you to a fragrant wonderland, so much thought and attention has been paid to creating this very special and absolutely delicious spread. A three-tiered table tray arrived stacked with an array of finger sandwiches, freshly baked scones and petit cakes in all the colours of the rainbow, each of which complemented a Miller Harris signature fragrance.
These sweet and scented treats included: Scherzo, a very cute tangerine cream on a crunchy orange and vanilla biscuit – a lovely combo with contrasting flavours and textures, Tea Tonique was a delightful surprise, a green velvety sponge with green tea jelly and Earl Grey – wonderfully light and aromatic, Rose Silence was a pretty almond sponge delicately scented with rose and topped with a whipped rose cream I have a penchant for almond cake, in fact baking them became one of my favoured lockdown pursuits, this one was made to perfection, moist, almondy and not too sweet and finally the crown accomplishment…Oud Eclat, a bright blue fir cone-shaped cake that had an unexpectedly rich and velvety dark chocolate mousse interior with a delicious spice liquid centre.
The selection of savoury sandwiches was equally appetizing, everything from traditional marinated cucumber & cream cheese on pain de mie, egg and cress mayonnaise on in dinky brioche buns, classic poached salmon and crème fraîche on farmhouse bread to a scrumptious brie and plum tomato on multigrain bread with a touch of basil.
But in my book, no quintessentially English afternoon tea would be complete without tea and scone. Here at Dalloway Terrace, the scones were suitably impressive; warm, freshly baked springy vanilla and lemon and golden raisin served with lashings of Devonshire clotted cream and Scottish raspberry jam.
The tea selection came for the Rare Tea Company with a choice of black tea, green tea, white tea or herbal infusions. We drank steaming pots of 2nd Flush Muscatel, which comes from high in the Indian Himalayas, a lovely light and fragrant blend which partnered beautifully with the rich and flavoursome cakes and scones.
And to give a real sense of occasion to the afternoon I highly recommend a glass of Telmont champagne, it makes the perfect addition to this exceptional good tea with its fine bubbles and subtle acidity.
Dalloway Terrace is for discerning guests who want to enjoy an afternoon in Bloomsbury, soaking up the stylish atmosphere whilst indulging a proper treat.
Afternoon tea starts at £35 per person, with a Champagne Tea from £53.
The Dalloway Terrace
16-22 Great Russell St,
London WC1B 3NN
For an alternative afternoon tea we recommend Gatsby’s Room at The Beaumont Hotel