Lapsang Souchong on a rainy afternoon in The Chesterfield Mayfair

There are a few places where you can go and forget about time, just enjoy being incredibly well looked after and concentrate on having fun and of course, pay full attention to a fabulous, traditional afternoon tea. I guess this is what we non, English imagine the Brits doing when they have something to celebrate. Well, I don’t know many Brits that do afternoon tea very often or not at all but it is a wonderful tradition.

I went on a search for possibly the best afternoon tea in London and one name that came up several times, The Chesterfield Mayfair hotel. They have received the “Award for Excellence” from The Tea Guild for an outstanding afternoon tea for the third year running! I quickly booked it and was looking forward to the experience.

I went there on a very rainy Friday afternoon. I had forgotten my umbrella in the office and the short walk from the tube was more than enough get me just soaked through. I was greeted by the friendliest staff, my damp coat was whisked away and I sat down in a sofa so comfortable I could have had a snooze!

My friends arrived and we were shown to the table. The options are many but we all instantly agreed on one thing, we all wanted the Champagne afternoon tea. We were so very well looked after, sometimes it is so lovely when someone slightly fusses over you without being intrusive. We were offered expert advice for the tea and we opted for three different teas and for us all to share them. The only tea I didn’t drink was Lapsang Souchong, especially recommended to drink on a rainy afternoon by our fourth member of the party who sadly could not make it. It is the favourite tea of a friend of mine but I never quite did take to it.

We started with a pot of the very delicate, Taiwanese Oolong tea, The description on the menu “Traditional Chinese tea produced through a unique process including withering under the strong sun and oxidation before curling and twisting. Oolong means “black dragon tea” in Chinese. A noticeable fruitiness and a beguiling sweetness sometimes reminiscent of peaches”.

The three tier cake stand was lovely and filled with delicious looking treats.

Everything was explained to us and we couldn’t wait to get started. The sandwiches tasted amazing, I wish I could have a batch made for me every day! The sandwiches described on the menu “Honey roast ham with cheddar cheese and English mustard on onion bread, Roast chicken with grain mustard mayonnaise and nibbed almonds on white bread, Scottish smoked salmon with cream cheese on brown bread, Free range egg mayonnaise and watercress on basil bread, Cucumber and cream cheese on white bread”. My favourite was the basil bread but they were all delicious.

After this we changed tea to Puerh tea, a vintage tea from 1990, very aromatic, full of flavour and very nice. It was different from any other tea I have ever tasted but I had 2 cups of it!

To go with the tea we started on the scones, some were plain and some had raisins in. I don’t eat scones very often and these were perfect, light, buttery and crumbled in just the right moment. Why would I bake when someone else does it so well?!

The clotted cream was delicious and the strawberry jam (on top) made each bite so very good!

After this my friends moved on to the Lapsang Souchong, stayed with the Pureh tea. The girl who could not make it to join us asked us to drink Lapsang Souching for her, apparently it tastes better when it is raining! The tea room is one of those places where you can spend hours without thinking about the time or weather but we looked around and saw rain drops on a distant window and had a sip.

The cakes looked amazing, I actually went in for a second scone instead but the chocolate eclaire did try to call my name!

We got to taste a fourth tea as well, we asked to be surprised and a the last tea was a a warming roibos. We could’t eat our way through everything and were offered the prettiest doggy bag in town!

We had a look in to the dining room and if I would have been around for Christmas I would have loved to book a table for Christmas dinner, actually for New Years, birthdays and well, any occasion as this is a place where you feel so looked after and welcome you just want to come back.

3 Responses to “Lapsang Souchong on a rainy afternoon in The Chesterfield Mayfair”
  1. Champagne afternoon tea? This is a good start. I’ve been always very interested to know more about this famous British afternoon tea; it is a nice, colourful tradition. I love this little sandwiches with classic filling and it sounds like that you have found the perfect place in London.

  2. British tea time, what a wonderful way to spend the afternoon! even better with champagne. Rx

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