With the Royal Wedding fast approaching, I wanted to feature a Royal Wedding Afternoon Tea on the blog however, I left it a little bit too late to book something more spectacular. There are many hotels in London who have recently introduced a Royal Wedding Afternoon Tea to their menus, some being the highly regarded Savoy Hotel and the Café Royal to The Athenaeum and the Shangri-La at the Shard to boutique hotels such as Dukes and Zetter Townhouse and even restaurants and none more famous than the Jubilee Tea Lounge at Fortnum & Mason who have a fabulous AfternoonTeacelebration on the day of the wedding itself this Saturday 19th. I settled on the Arch Hotel in Marble Arch who have a Royal Wedding Afternoon Tea which is featured on their menu until the 31st of May.
Situated just 5 minutes from Marble Arch station, it’s the perfect location. Hunter 486 restaurant is within the Arch Hotel where Afternoon Tea is served in their Martini Lounge which is a bright and elegant lounge with tables and private booths with sheer voile curtains shielding you from other diners if that’s what you’d prefer. My waitress Mariela offered me a seat at one of these booths which I was really pleased about and explained the concept of the Royal Afternoon Tea offering me a glass of Tattinger Brut Reserve champagne and running through the list of teas.
I settled on Assam tea to have with the sandwiches followed by her favourite choice, Silver Needle Fujian, China as opposed to my favourite Jasmine Pearls. I noticed twinkling above me the most stunning art-deco style waterfall chandelier, a perfect addition to a very aesthetically pleasing Martini Lounge at Hunter 486. The china is the most unusual I’ve seen at any Afternoon Tea so far, although bright and almost chintzy, its design is very reminiscent of a Japanese garden and so pretty.
Before long, a similarly designed Afternoon Tea stand arrived fully laden with customary sandwiches and cakes with a Royal Wedding theme running through the dessert course. Some of the Royal Wedding Afternoon Teas I’ve seen especially at Zetter Townhouse have a US theme running through their savoury course representing Meghan Markle who is American of course such as mini chilli hot dogs, mac & cheese and mini burgers, I doubt Meghan eats this type of typically American food because she is so svelte! but this is the one I wanted to book because it sounded so unusual. At the Savoy Hotel, the Royal Wedding Afternoon Tea takes on a more traditional British role as a hotel of this stature wouldn’t really serve anything else because traditional is usually always what you would associate with a Royal Wedding.
Still, the selection in front of me sounded interesting and I was pleased to see a couple of unusual “sandwiches”. The selection consisted of English cheddar with apple and raisin chutney on sun blushed tomato bread, Coronation chicken, baby gem, coriander cress on toasted sourdough, egg mayonnaise on white bread, smoked salmon, lemon butter, black pepper on buckwheat blinis and honey roast ham and piccalilli on malted granary bread. My favourite was the Coronation chicken on sourdough toast, not really looking like traditional Coronation chicken as it had a green hue probably because of the cress and lettuce but in was nonetheless delicious, the sourdough giving it another dimension, in fact, the curry flavour associated with Coronation chicken was mild, but I didn’t mind that. I also liked the salmon on the blini although if I’m honest, I found the blini to be a bit on the dry side, everything else was pleasant, in fact I must mention the fluffy light texture of the egg mayonnaise, this sandwich is one of my favouirtes on an Afternoon Tea menu, here it was divine because of its mousse-like texture.
I was not offered more sandwiches as is sometimes the case at higher-end hotels and neither was there a palate cleanser, I just wanted to point that out. The scones were accompanied with an ultra-thick clotted cream and strawberry jam, the scones one each of plain any raisin but I couldn’t tell the difference as there were hardly any raisins in the raisin one. I wasn’t fond of the scones, they were too small and quite doughy, I don’t necessarily mind that scones are on the small side, but the texture must be right and unfortunately not enough raisins in one and both extremely heavy.
The dessert course on the other hand was quite fun and very nice although I couldn’t really make the US connection. I would have liked more iconic American desserts such as perhaps a Key Lime tart or a banoffee cheesecake maybe even a smores-type cake however what I was served was delicious.
To begin with, a pretty ginger flavoured bride-to-be biscuit which was designed to represent a wedding dress. I’m not a lover of ginger biscuits but this had the mildest hint of ginger and a very shortbread-like flavor and texture which I really loved, perhaps ginger biscuit lovers would have a different opinion. A panacotta which was blackberry flavoured topped with vanilla bavavois and crumble, this dessert represented a groom as it had a top hat made from icing hence the name The Groom Suited & Booted. A Fit for A Queen Crown which was a lemon tart with elderflower and rose mousse topped with a pretty and delicate golden meringue “crown”. There was added surprise by the addition of popping candy in the mousse, this was delightful to eat.
I also really enjoyed the His & Hers peanut butter and chocolate delices, I suppose peanut butter is quite an American product, but I couldn’t understand what was so His & Hers about it, I know it was supposed to represent the bride & groom after the wedding ceremony. Nevertheless, it was very delicious as I happen to really love peanut butter which could have been too indulgent with chocolate but both flavours were a perfect combination. Finally, The Two Nations – brought together by profiterole croustillants filled with a soft raspberry Crémeux, although pretty to look at, this cake was very average and again, I couldn’t make the connection between the two nations of the US and Great Britain. Apart from the croustillant which I didn’t really like, I found the other desserts pleasing although to be very honest, nothing really stood out for me. During the dessert course, Mariela served me the Silver Needle tea was delicious, slightly milder in Jasmine flavour than traditional Jasmine tea.
My experience was coming to an end, my thoughts are of a very acceptable Royal Wedding Afternoon Tea especially the price, but I thought for such an important event such as the Royal Wedding, I expected to be wowed and I wasn’t, I felt it to be a bit lackluster but as I said at the beginning of the post, I picked a lesser known hotel, so my expectations were not very high. However, don’t get me wrong, I left happy and at the end of the day, you get what you pay for. If I had chosen a higher-class hotel, I would have had a higher quality Afternoon Tea, is that fair to say? The hotel was lovely, quite modern and the service was great, my waitress Mariela was friendly and hospitable stopping by frequently to see if I needed anything. If you’d like an affordable and perfectly satisfactory RoyalWeddingAfternoonTea, head to The Arch where they’re serving Royal Wedding Afternoon Tea until 31st of May.
The Arch London
50 Great Cumberland Place
London W1H 7FD
020 7724 4700
My Afternoon Tea was £43 including a glass of Tattinger champagne and service. All views, photo’s are my own.