Those who follow me know I go weak at the knees when two words are uttered – Afternoon Tea. The mix of miniature sweet treats with warming teas never fails to put a smile on my face. Add to it a glass of bubbles. Well, it’s the perfect combo wouldn’t you say?!
Tucked away behind Sloane Square amongst the affluent streets of Chelsea resides a luxury boutique hotel, 11 Cadogan Gardens. You could easily miss this decadent 5 star hotel behind the traditional red brick Victorian façade.
Walk through the door and you’re immersed into dark and opulent surroundings with a nod to the Victorian era through the furnishings.
On arrival we were led through and seated in the homely looking drawing room. The cream, grey and floral decor a complete contrast to the entrance and hallways.
The hotel describes its afternoon tea served between 2.30pm and 6pm as ‘the epitome of the 11 Cadogan Gardens guest experience’. Taking into account the upmarket location and beautiful surroundings, I was pleasantly surprised at the price tag. The traditional afternoon tea is £25 per person or £35 with a glass of champagne.
We had our eyes on the bubbles and of course started with a glass. Now, I’ve been to my fair share of afternoon teas and never so slightly confused at the pre-poured glasses which arrived. I suppose I prefer to watch the act of it being poured out. It adds to the glamour of drinking champagne along with knowing what you’re actually drinking.
Whilst sipping away we decided on our teas from the tea library menu. It’s a small selection and we both opted for different ones. The organic Jade Sword and Darjeeling first flush were the winners for this particular afternoon. We clearly enjoyed them so much they were replenished more than once during our seating.
One thing we did find a tad strange whilst waiting for our food to arrive was the drawing room being used as a regular thoroughfare for guests and hotel staff carrying through boxes and big bags to another part of the hotel. An odd distraction, but we didn’t let the interruptions get in the way of our enjoyment.
When the three-tiered stand appeared, we couldn’t wait to try the delights. The traditional finger sandwiches came with classic fillings – Cucumber, cream cheese and chives, egg mayonnaise and mustard cress and avocado and peppers.
Obviously this being the vegetarian version – the usual selection comes with Scottish oak smoked salmon with caper mayonnaise and York ham with English mustard.
Warm, fluffy scones came with generous pots of clotted cream and homemade strawberry jam. I liked the choice of fruit and plain scone – sometimes a girl needs options. We slowly worked our way up to the top-tier where the delicate cakes and pastries resided. I went straight for the mini glass jar of mango soup with foam yoghurt. Although tasty, it tasted suspiciously like the traditional Indian dessert rus often served straight out of a tin can at mealtimes.
It also included a delicious raspberry and white chocolate macaroon, a soft Bourbon vanilla choux with fresh strawberry and my favourite a lemon and poppy seed financier filled with lime cheesecake.
We finally admitted defeat and didn’t manage to finish all the cakes. 11 Cadogan Gardens is a gorgeous oasis to escape the hustle and bustle of Sloane Square. The perfect place to indulge in a British tradition in stylish surroundings for exceptionally good value.
What do you like best about afternoon tea? Are you a fan? Let me know in the comment box below.
11 Cadogan Gardens | Chelsea | London | SW3 2RG
Disclaimer: Our afternoon tea was complimentary, however, all views, opinions and photos are my own and remain a trademark of the Curious Pixie.
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