London Larder was devised in 2012 to bring you the ultimate eating and drinking guide to London. It was borne out of a need for up-to-date, quantitative and whole-heartedly recommended places to eat and drink.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Blakes Hotel

Afternoon Tea
South Kensington

There really is nothing that says 'girlie get together' quite like quintessential English afternoon tea. When called upon to organise such a get together for friends with many years of history, Blakes Hotel, South Kensington, seemed like the perfect choice.

Blakes is one of London’s hidden gems. Tucked away on a quiet residential street, the hotel is discreet, but once inside, the venue is dramatic, dark and impeccably designed. Famous interior designer Anoushka Hempel designed the hotel many years ago and it has definitely stood the test of time, standing firm since 1978.

Afternoon tea at Blakes is served in the downstairs Chinese Room taking you on a magical journey to the Orient with its orange, gold and moody black colour scheme. The menu for afternoon tea is certainly very fairly priced at £19 for full afternoon tea, or £26 for the champagne option.

The tea order is taken to begin the afternoon: a nice selection is offered and each diner is provided with their own little teapot (refills are complimentary).

Delicate finger sandwiches are served next, offering interesting combinations including chicken and ginger, beef and horseradish, cucumber, salmon and egg and cress. Unfortunately, the staff were unable to grasp the fact that one of the group was a vegetarian and another of the group didn’t wish for the egg sandwich, but preferred to replace it with another chicken. It took almost three attempts for the correct plates to be delivered (and only after being told ‘the chef is refusing to change the order’. It’s just a sandwich!).

After the sandwich course comes the calorie course. A generous selection of oven-warm scones with fresh whipped cream and English strawberries are brought to the table, providing two per person. These are good and extremely light and airy, which unfortunately for our waistlines makes them very, very moreish. At the same time a selection of cakes are placed on the table, which, at the time of our dining, included little Chinese orange tarts, apple cake, chocolate cake and lemon cake.

Overall the afternoon tea experience at Blakes Hotel is more than adequate for the very reasonable price it charges. Couple this with the boutique hotel setting down a quiet SW7 street and it makes the experience all the more appealing.

33 Roland Gardens, SW7 3PF

Price for afternoon tea: £19 (or with champagne £26)
Food/Drink: 4/5
Service: 3/5
Value: 5/5

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