Monday, 15 January 2018

Afternoon Tea at St Ermin's Hotel, London


Afternoon tea is a British institution, and is never more evident in London. Us Londoners love an afternoon tea, although afternoon tea is a much more boozier affair down here I’m sure. It’s always the perfect occasion for catching up with friends; I mean who doesn’t love cake and tea?


Last year (it still feels funny saying that) I attended an event for Nova, Victoria, which if you don’t know, is an area of Victoria. I don’t really know much about Victoria, as I just never find myself in need of going there, and in my head I think it’s always a bit far away to head to unnecessarily. However that evening last year, I explored the area as it’s had a rejuvenation. Just round the corner from the station, is a pedestrianised area filled with restaurants, cafes and bars. It had a great buzz about it and I vowed to come back. Well, I actually got a voucher for afternoon tea that evening for the St Ermin’s hotel, which isn’t actually in the same area as such, but it’s only about a 10 minute walk away, more towards St James’ station.


St Ermin’s is attention grabbing from the very start. Opened in 1899, the lobby was designed by theatrical architect J.P Briggs, who designed a neo-Baroque double staircase and balcony. Multiple chandeliers hang from the ceiling, huge white pillars dominate- it certainly makes a statement. It must have made quite the impact all those years ago too, as its where, during world war II, the secret service used to meet.


Afternoon tea is seated upstairs in the Tea Lounge and overfill spills out around the balcony which is a great setting.

Price wise we had the unlimited prosecco version which at £35pp is a great option.


The list of teas we were presented with was extensive. I went for a fruit tea that was made of mixed berries whilst my friend Nicole went for a black tea. They came in huge cute tea pots, although I noticed the tea was bags not loose tea, which really isn't a big deal really, just for tea aficionados might annoy. My tea was really refreshing though which is always the best kind.


After a short while the cake stand arrived which was a traditional cake stand which was a cute touch. Sometimes all these odd shapes can be a bit annoying.

I love the sandwich layer of an afternoon tea. I'm a Northern girl you see, so I love my bread and fillings. There was crayfish rolls with spring onions and lemon, egg mayonnaise rolls with fresh radishes, quail eggs, bacon crumble and chives. Roast beef, horseradish slaw and watercress on rye bread. A beetroot, goat’s cheese and walnut sandwich and turkey sandwich with cranberry sauce, stuffing and spinach. I have to say they were a little uninspiring which was disappointing. The beetroot and goats cheese sounded nice but truth be told it was quite bland. I couldn't taste any goats cheese whatsoever and the beetroot was extremely mild in flavour, like it might have been blanched. I liked the turkey sandwich although it wasn't anything special really, and sadly I'm really not a huge fan of mayonnaise so I didn't actually try the other two, although my friend Nicole said the crayfish was very good.


The sweets sounded like a great collection. There was mulled wine jelly with nutmeg panna cotta, Dundee cake soaked in warming cider syrup, Chocolate, cinnamon and chestnut roll, Hazelnut sponge, spiced cookie cream and orange jelly and a Redcurrant mousse on a gingernut biscuit. I tried a nibble from each and they were all nice, but non blew me away. They were all very sweet and a bit sickly, and not highly exciting which was disappointing as on paper they sounded really interesting. I think it might be as just before Christmas I had the most amazing afternoon tea at Four Seasons Ten Trinity which just nailed flavours with perfect combinations.


The scones however were very good. Nice and warm, crisp on the outside, yet soft and crumbly on the inside. Also which gets a big thumbs up from me, is providing a decent amount of jam and cream. So many places don't. I don't get it, don't scrimp on the good stuff!


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I hate to sound so negative, as it was nice, there wasn't anything wrong, it just wasn't fantastic, just all very... nice and just a little generic, which as a reader who is likely reading as a review to decide to go or not, I feel it is my duty to explain exactly my thoughts. 

Now the place itself is very cute, and we actually stayed for hours and hours chatting away, and so it makes a lovely place to come catch up, just maybe come for a glass of bubbly and maybe some lunch instead?
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2 comments

  1. Such a beautiful place and very classy! I need to book in more afternoon tea in 2018.
    Leonie ♥ Lo On The Go

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  2. wow, best experience & amazing movement.

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