Buried treasure: one of the best places for afternoon tea in London

Image shows close up of two fancy mini lemon tarts with decorations on a plate All photos: Sam Harrington-Lowe

Recently I stumbled upon this hidden gem in London – the Great Scotland Yard Hotel

It was one of those delightful and unexpected surprises. The hotel and its bars and restaurants are tucked away in a quiet part of London, but once you step inside, you’re in for a treat. This is one of the best places for afternoon tea in London, I decided. We even made a little TikTok for it!

We started off with a glass of chilled Veuve Clicquot, a good champagne for day drinking, I find

Me and my guest, John, cracked our knuckles and got involved. I’m rather fond of afternoon tea, particularly when it kicks off with a glass of chilled fizz. We settled into The Parlour, a lovely space that oozes charm with its black and white checked floors and potted plants. The space has got more than a touch of the old Art Deco vibe. So far, so good.

And this is a nice thing – they allow dogs – positively welcome them in fact. I wished I’d brought Alice pug, the Dowager Duchess, along for the adventure. Although I suspect John might have struggled with the snorting and scratching through our tea. But they even have a special doggie afternoon tea with doggie cakes – how adorable is that?

Anyway, let’s get to the good stuff

Image shows a tower of savoury afternoon tea selections like sandwiches and ham pastriesWe started off our afternoon tea experience with a glass of chilled Veuve Clicquot, a good champagne for day drinking, I find. And then came the tea selection. I’m a fan of a strong brew, so I went for the Assam tea, while John went for a clean and zesty lemon and ginger thing.

The savoury tower came out first, and we dug into ham and pea pastries and a bunch of sandwiches – we had smoked salmon, coronation chicken, and egg mayonnaise. All brilliant. I love little sandwiches – they taste so much nicer than big ones, don’t they. And I particularly like coronation chicken. Oh, and there was a savoury Yorkshire pud thing with cheesy goo inside, which was fun, but which we both found a bit oniony.

Read more: Review of Soho House Brighton

Let’s talk about the real stars of the show

The cakes and sweets were definitely the triumphs here. They brought out two sets of scones, some with raisins, some without, along with generous dollops of clotted cream and the most heavenly summer berry jam that wasn’t too sweet. The cakes are beautifully crafted – I’m not much of a baker but even I can tell when a lot of work has gone into a pastry or cake. These are little works of art.

My personal fave was a zingy mini lemon tart thing (pictured in the header image at the top of this piece) that wasn’t even on the menu. I loved it because it wasn’t ghastly sweet like some lemon tarts can be. And then there was a berry choux bun with elderflower mousse that was, hands down, one of the best cakes I’ve ever had. We decided that although aesthetically beautiful, the rose and pistachio cake was probably a bit hefty on the rose water side. But lovers of Turkish delight will, er, delight in it.

Image shows a close up of a plate of fancy cakes as part of an afternoon tea tower

Rose and pistachio layered cake, Summer berry choux and elderflower mousse

Throughout the whole shebang, the service was top-notch. Our tea pots were constantly filled up, and the staff made sure we were well looked after. Obviously I went for a nose around the rest of the hotel, and loved the loos. Quirky and fun, just like the rest of the place. You can tell a lot about a place by its loos.

A good place for tea

Image is a collage of three images taken around the hotel itself - a window, a shot of the bar area, a shot of fancy wallpaper in the loo

A few snaps around the hotel

All in all, the Great Scotland Yard Hotel’s afternoon tea was a win. At £59pp a pop, it’s a treat, but a good deal for the quality and experience you get. And if you fancy going all out, you can go for the Champagne Afternoon Tea, which includes a glass of Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label Brut, NV, for £70. But, hey, why stop there? If you’re feeling fancy and want infinite champagne, go for the Infinite Champagne Afternoon Tea at £89. You crazy kids.

And here’s a little insider info: The Parlour’s current Afternoon Tea is a cool collaboration between the posh Great Scotland Yard Hotel and Floris London, a swanky perfumery with a Royal Warrant. Their legendary fragrances inspired the mouthwatering treats, all whipped up by the brilliant head pastry chef, Verónica Garrido Martinez.

So, there you have it, folks. If you’re up for a hidden gem of an afternoon tea in London, the Great Scotland Yard Hotel is the bee’s knees. Perfect for impressing clients, catching up with pals, or treating your special someone to a little slice of British indulgence. Cheers!

Great Scotland Yard Hotel

Prices

AFTERNOON TEA £59

CHAMPAGNE AFTERNOON TEA £70
served with a glass of Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label Brut, NV

INFINITE CHAMPAGNE AFTERNOON TEA* £89

MENU

SAVOURY
Peas and lardons quiche
Chicken coronation on brown bread
Smoked salmon, dill, crème fraiche on malted bread
Egg truffle mayo and chives on pain de mie (V)
Shallot and Montgomery cheddar Yorkshire Pudding (V)

WARM SCONES
Freshly baked plain and raisin scones
Cornish clotted cream and summer berry jam

ASSORTMENT OF TEA CAKES & PASTRIES
Summer berry choux and elderflower mousse
Rose and pistachio layered cake
Jasmine and bergamot mousse

Read all about it

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About Sam Harrington-Lowe
Sam is Silver's founder and editor-in-chief. She's largely responsible for organising all the things, but still finds time to do the odd bit of writing. Not enough though. Send help.

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