Afternoon tea is certainly one our favourite celebratory meal options. Mr Steele and I have already sampled what’s on offer at Brown’s, the Ritz, the Dorchester and locally at the Bingham so this year for my birthday we thought we’d check out the goodies at The Rosebery Lounge in the Manadarin Oriental Hyde Park, London.
Allowing for London traffic we left home well in time, but ended up arriving about half an hour early! You don’t need to worry about parking, as the hotel provides a very reasonably priced valet service. Or you could just go by public transport – it is Central London after all. The table was (understandably) not ready, so we were shown to the bar area to wait. The ambiance was vibrant, and the drinks menu was pretty impressive too. We sampled a couple of their mocktails – basil in a cocktail was a revelation! Lovely!
The usual venue was undergoing renovations so instead of The Rosebery we were seated in The Loggia, which was pretty cosy with several tables fitted in for the affair, but the tall windows overlooking Hyde Park stop it feeling from cramped. The service was excellent, albeit slightly slow. I think that was because it was very busy and overrunning, and not in the normal set up. However it didn’t mar the experience, I was probably over scrutinizing every aspect for the sake of this review.
The afternoon tea menu is interesting, the sandwiches keep to the traditional themes but have a modern twist. Gluten free and halal options are also available. There is a selection of decadent pastries and of course the star of the show, warm scones with clotted cream a selection of homemade preserves.
All the food was a feast for the eyes, impeccably presented and the flavours did not disappoint. Endless replenishment was on offer, word of advice though – don’t overdo the savouries lest you don’t have room to really enjoy the scones!! There was a fair variety of teas on the menu, I had the jasmine green tea while my husband had a black then a white tea. The tea was brewed well and the ones we tried were delicately and fragrant, rather nice. Only a couple of minor issues – there is no description of the various teas in the menu, and no attempt was made to suggest any particular blends. Also no strainers were provided or built into the teapots, so on your second hlaf of the pot you end up with some residue in your cup.
Overall it was a very pleasant afternoon – wonderful food, great atmosphere, some nice tea and pretty good service too. I would certainly want to return especially once The Rosebery Lounge is up and running again to experience this treat at its full glory!