The Royal Horseguards, 2 Whitehall Ct, Westminster, London SW1A 2EJ
Afternoon tea is such a lovely way to spend a leisurely afternoon; it’s designed to be eaten slowly over a couple of hours, so it’s the perfect accompaniment to a good in-depth catch-up with a friend!
And if you’re looking for a luxurious afternoon tea in central London, it doesn’t get much better than the Royal Horseguards Hotel. This 5-star hotel looks like a fairytale palace right on the banks of the Thames, and is a short walk away from other central London locations such as Westminster, Piccadilly and the South Bank.
Afternoon tea at Royal Horseguards is taken in The Lounge, their ground-floor restaurant designed like a living room to create an intimate setting. It’s a hushed environment, tables set at a distance from each other to allow for private conversation. It’s certainly a fun place to people-watch!
The food served for the afternoon tea is exquisite: 5 different finger sandwiches, 4 different patisserie desserts, and 2 scones each, served with jam and cream. Each individual food item was delicious in its own way. Afternoon teas are normally extremely filling due to the prominence of scones (on more than one occasion I have been practically unable to tackle the top tier!) but Royal Horseguards got the balance just right with their two mini scones, leaving plenty of room for delectable desserts and fresh fruit.
The only element of choice in the afternoon tea (aside, of course, from any dietary requirements) is which tea to have. They have a wide selection of luxury teas from around the world, and it’s great fun to browse the menu and read the detailed descriptions of each. I went for ‘Wild Encounter’, ‘a truly unique caffeine free blend of hibiscus flowers and exotic dried fruits that produces a sweet tart fruit infusion to die for. Containing no less than eleven different ingredients; Hibiscus flowers, apple, rosehips, elderberries, strawberries, kiwi, passion fruit, raspberries and more…’ I can certainly recommend it as a beautiful fruit tea! My aunt went for their classic ‘Horseguards Unique Blend’ and loved it so much she bought a bag of it!
The waiting staff were extremely attentive and polite, and they even offered to take a photo of us once they had served the food, which was a nice touch saving any embarrassment of asking (if this is the sort of thing which might embarrass you!)
This luxurious afternoon tea unfortunately does come with a price tag to match: the full afternoon tea is £39 per person (as well as an additional discretionary service charge of 12.5%). Adding a glass of delicious Taittinger Champagne is an extra £10.
However, they do offer more modest affairs, such as a pot of tea with scones, cream and jam for £11.50. And I can definitely recommend the full afternoon tea for a special treat!
Find all the details, including menus and booking, here.