The best Christmas presents are the kind that are given to someone else, that you also get to take part in! Cue a full family outing to sample the winner of the UK Tea Guild’s Top London Afternoon Tea Award 2013, at the much-coveted The Goring hotel (Kate Middleton‘s choice of venue for her last night as a single woman!).
The Goring has been serving it’s quintessentially English tea since 1910, and has honed it to perfection over the past century, so we all had high expectations as we took our seats in the buttercup yellow Terrace on a chilly January afternoon.
Suited and booted waiters appear to deliver full details of all your menu options in the Queen’s English, while placing napkins on guests’ laps with a flourish.
Tea-wise, there’s plenty of choice – with everything from traditional British brews to tea leaves sourced from the foot of the Himalayas. In fact, The Goring’s very own Tea Master, Jeremy Goring, tastes the teas weekly to ensure The Goring Afternoon Tea maintains its sky-high standards!
We decided to keep our tea alcohol-free, and soon a host of silver teapots arrived at the table. The waiting staff had a tendency of stealthily popping up at your side and catching you by surprise whenever you moved towards a teapot – no guest of The Goring should have to pour their own tea, after all!
Triple-tiered cake stands held dainty finger sandwiches, homemade buttery scones and delectable homemade pastries and cakes – and if the plates were ever looking depleted, staff would generously restock them, time after time.
Sherry trifle, lemon meringue pie, a nutty choux bun, a chocolate bombe and a clementine pastry were all quite delectable, though it was the warm scones that were my real weakness (sparking the inevitable debate of what comes first, jam or cream!).
When we were satiated, the remaining morsels were kindly boxed up to take home – such a high class doggy bag!
Wonderfully un-touristy, fabulously luxurious yet reasonably priced, The Goring’s tea is a most memorable experience – the perfect Mother’s Day gift or special occasion treat. During the summer, you can take tea al fresco on the veranda; weather not permitting, I would recommending requesting a table in the Terrace, overlooking the garden (much brighter than the Lounge).
Afternoon Tea is served 3-4pm daily, and priced at £42.50 per person (upgrade to a Bollinger Tea for an extra £10). A smart casual dress code is requested.
Beeston Place, Belgravia, SW1W 0JW