Wednesday, 2 March 2016

Mother's Day afternoon tea at The Langham, London

A proper afternoon tea is one of my favourite treats.

So a visit to the hotel where the occasion was apparently invented was very special to me, and a real treat indeed.

Late afternoon on a wintry Saturday in London, my dear friend Amber and I arrived at the beautiful Langham Hotel on Regent Street.
Lit up as the sun went down, with twinkly lights in the tree outside and porters by the door, arriving at the hotel felt magical and raised our excitement levels even more.

Through the gorgeous lobby we walked and into the Palm Court - a beautiful room full of incredible pink rose arrangements with glistening chandeliers twinkling overhead.

Although it's a very elegant room, it struck me as slightly odd that there was no natural light in the room.

Our coats were whisked away, we were warmly welcomed and showed to our plush, comfortable seats.
The table was beautifully laid and situated just next to the pianist who played gorgeous relaxed renditions of  some of my favourite songs - I must've stopped mid conversation at least three times to say "I love this song!" Over the course of our afternoon tea, the tinkling ivories created the perfect relaxed yet refined ambiance.

Our flutes were filled with the finest Laurent Perrier champagne, and they were continually refilled over our three hour-long stay. That's something to which I could get used.
Unexpectedly, we were first brought the loveliest amuse bouche: lemon posset (is anyone else incapable of having an amuse bouche without thinking of Chandler from Friends and saying "it is amoosing"?). I'm not usually a huge lemon fan but this was utterly divine. So creamy and luxurious.
Fortunately for a tea fiend like yours truly, I was told I could sample more than one tea and so figured I had to start with the Langham blend. It was full-bodied and rich but utterly delicious. My tea cup was refilled at the perfect moment again and again over the afternoon. I didn't have to lift a finger. Well, except for lifting the teacup to my mouth.
Our afternoon tea kicked off for reals with the sandwich course, as one would expect. However I was not expecting one of the waiters to arrive with a tray of sandwiches and serve one of each onto our plates.
We had: London cured smoked salmon with whipped brie and rocket, smoked mountain ham with ComtĂ© cheese and white truffle oil, cucumber with cream cheese and chives (the three finger sandwiches), Burford brown free-range egg and mustard cress (the mini brioche), and corn-fed chicken with tarragon mustard and plum tomato (the little bruschetta).

I enjoyed the fact that they weren't all finger sandwiches - why not mix it up eh? - although I did love the finger sandwiches. There's something about that shape which seems to make them taste extra good.

The bread was soft and moist and there was the perfect filling to bread ratio. I particularly liked the nutty bread of the cheese and ham sandwich, although I think my fave overall was the classic cucumber and cream cheese.

I wasn't expecting our waiter to come back with the tray and offer us more! I had another cucumber one and had I not been anticipating a lot more food to come I sure would've had more of the others too.


After a digestive pause, we moved onto sweeter delicacies.

Scones, of course, were the next port of call.
We each had one plain and one with golden raisins, served with thick clotted cream and gorgeous strawberry jam.

Having agreed we were both cream-then-jam kinda people, Amber I got stuck in. We may not agree on the pronunciation of the word 'scone', but we agreed they were delicious (and it really wasn't the time and place for a language debate).
I am firmly of the belief that a warm scone generously topped with cream and jam is one of the best things Britain has produced. Well done, nation. *pats self on back* We devoured them.

By this point, I was pretty full.

But hello, the cakes (aka my forte) were still to be eaten!

Now, although obviously not mother and daughter, we were sampling the Mothers' Day afternoon tea.
Doesn't it look impressive?
To be perfectly honest though the design wasn't totally my style. I would've preferred something a bit more sophisticated but I definitely appreciated how perfectly it was all presented. And it was undoubtedly very pretty. We weren't sure why it was 'Mom' rather than 'Mum' though. Attempting to appeal to non-Brits? Who knows.

Anyway, Amber and I of course ate everything. If you know us both, you'd know that was inevitable. It's so nice to eat food with a fellow eater (we're always the two finishing other people's chips when we go out. No shame.)
There was a raspberry and lime macaron, a mini strawberry and white balsamic Victoria sponge, a cinnamon shortbread teapot cookie, a rose and lychee log enrobed in white chocolate, a chocolate, raspberry and lightly roasted pistachio financier, and a creamy apricot pudding. Oh yes.
Hello, little jammy surprise.

And yes, now we were VERY full. But it was too delicious to leave anything.
As we digested, still sipping tea and champagne, afternoon had turned to evening, dinner guests had started arriving and the pianist had been joined by a couple more musicians to make up a band.
Amber and I were given as much time as we wanted to enjoy the surroundings (and muster up the strength to get up off the sofa) before eventually bidding goodbye to the Palm Court.

When you get home after 9pm from an afternoon tea, you know it’s been a good tea.

We had had the most delightful few hours! The Langham staff had treated us like princesses and it had been the most luxurious treat.

Everything was beautiful, the food all utterly delicious, the service absolutely faultless and the location ideal to top it all off.

What. A. Treat.

I was an afternoon tea guest but everything I've written is my absolute unbiased honest opinion. Find out more about afternoon tea in the Palm Court at the Langham.


  1. Wow! All those flavours! The ham sandwich sounds like it could possibly tempt me away from vegetarianism with cheese and TRUFFLE OIL oh my gaaaad xxx
    Lucy @ La Lingua | Food, Travel, Italy

    1. I know, right!? Haha all about that truffle oil :) X

  2. It looks like a beautiful place ! Everything seems to be so good !

  3. My mum and her sisters have a tradition that wherever they meet up in the world, they go for afternoon tea, which I think is lovely and I'm determined to carry on! Not sure about the 'mom' either, I'm guessing the majority of their afternoon tea guests are from the states?!
    Hannah -

    1. That's so sweet Hannah! What a lovely tradition :) x


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