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Wednesday, August 22, 2012

LONDON 2012: Afternoon Tea

When in England... gotta have afternoon tea! I was the most excited for this. I love afternoon tea and really wanted to do an authentic English tea time. I wanted to do 2 different afternoon teas but there just wasn't enough time and stomach space to take it all in. haha.

I chose this place after reading several reviews online. It had good ratings and was more affordable than some other more fancy hotels.

Harlequin Restaurant in Kingsway Hall Hotel
(Holborn Station)
66 Great Queen Street
Covent Garden, London WC2B 5BX
020 7309 0909

We arrived for our reservation at 1:30PM. The place was dead. But I didn't mind. It was like a private dining room for us. hehe. We were seated by the windows so it was nice and bright. I thought it was a nice setting.

They had a set menu for £15.95 per person. And it comes on one of those 3 tiered carriers.
YAY! That's what I wanted! :) The items we got per person were pretty standard afternoon tea foods. Start with sandwiches on the bottom, then scones in the middle and cakes/pastries up top. OMG! Sooo much food and it looks awesome!!

- Egg Mayonnaise & Mustard Cress - White Bread
- Smoked Salmon & Cream Cheese with Chives - Brown Bread
- Cucumber & Maldon Sea Salt - Basil Bread
- Ham & Mustard Mayonnaise - Walnut Bread
The sandwiches were presented very nicely. I like the look with the crusts cut off. My favorite was the egg. Most people think the cucumber sandwich is kind of a throw-away but I still liked it. It was refreshing in the midst of all the sugar and carbs. hehe.

Freshly Baked Scones
I really wanted to try British scones. I love scones in general but I'm pretty sure what I have in Dallas is not what they have in London. My friend, who has had many afternoon teas in London said their scones were much denser than usual. I'll have to take her word for it. But I loved it. I tend to like denser desserts/pastries anyways. But the inside was still moist and outside had a really nice crunch. With the clotted cream and jam it was awesome. My favorite part of the menu.

I was eager to try the clotted cream. Never had it before but I always thought I would love it. The one they had was really was basically butter. My friend said it was not right at all... booo. So I never really got to try real clotted cream. However, whatever we got here was still really good on the scones so it's all good.

Chef Selection of Afternoon Pastries
Wow... really so much food. I ended up taking a bite of everything just so I could try it all. But did not finish... The top layer had eclairs filled with lemon curd, pistachio macarons, fruit tart, strawberry cake, chocolate mousse cake, and coffee walnut pound cake. My favorite on this tier were the two cakes. Very light and creamy at the same time.

The eclairs were good too. I was surprised by the lemon filling. I'm used to having chocolate or custard. The macaron was no good. My friend said they put too much food coloring. It tasted artificial to us so that's probably the reason.

Unlimited Tea from Twinings Selection.

Can't be afternoon tea without the tea! haha. I was a little disappointed that it wasn't loose leaf teas, but oh well. You can choose from their selection of flavors and you can choose more than one. I liked that we could change it up. I started with a White tea then moved to Earl Grey.

I thoroughly enjoyed this experience. Although some aspects weren't as authentic as I wanted, it was still really cool. I wish we had more places in Dallas that does afternoon tea. It's really a relaxing and fun way to spend an afternoon. :)

Quality of Food:




Overall Experience:


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