Afternoon Tea Review: The Royal Horseguards Hotel

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Venue:
The Royal Horseguards Hotel is lovely inside, very inviting and like most of the five star hotels in London, very beautifully decorated.
Afternoon tea is served in the One Twenty One Two lounge. The room features a very cute lolly buffet table, which adds a fun and colourful touch to the room. The room itself is quite small, and could probably only accommodate between 8-10 tables. During our sitting, there were about 6 other groups there, and the noise level was kept to a minimum.

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Our table was simple yet elegant. I loved the touch of pink of the table, and I couldn’t stop gazing at the stunning Grace of Monaco menu that we were given to take home. The table was adorned with a white tablecloth, white napkins, white and floral tea ware, elegant silver cutlery, and a gorgeous baby pink three tier afternoon tea stand.

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Service:
Unfortunately the service was disappointing. For a start, we had to wait 30 minutes for our tea and coffee, an hour and a half for our scones, and finally I had to ask twice for a jug of milk because the first hostess I asked forgot. It wasn’t busy either. It is only a small room, and there were about 6 other groups in attendance. However it wasn’t all bad, and I did find that the staff were pleasant and obliging. I think the main issue was the poor timing.

Food:
The food was fantastic. Currently, the Royal Horseguards Hotel is offering a Grace of Monaco inspired afternoon tea. My tastebuds were already beginning to get excited when I read the menu, and when those sweets came out…my gosh, what a fashionista’s delight!

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For drinks, I received a Grace of Monaco champagne cocktail, and my partner received a glass of Laurent-Perrier. For tea, I ordered English Breakfast and my partner ordered his usual coffee.

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On the savoury tier, we received a selection of finger sandwiches and a slider each (mini burger). The vegetarian selection included: delicious Swiss cheese and tomato, red peppers and hommus, and lettuce and avocado. The non-vegetarian selection included: cucumber, egg mayonnaise, salmon, roast beef and relish and coronation chicken. The bread was fresh, and the fillings were plentiful. Once we finished our sandwiches, we were offered more which we gladly accepted. As for the other savoury item on my partners plate, he was unsure of how to describe it. He stated that it tasted like mozzarella cheese, tuna, and sweet corn on rye bread.

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The sliders were an interesting addition to our afternoon tea. My partner received a beef and salad slider, and I received an egg, cheese and salad slider. They were both a creative and delicious addition to the afternoon tea selection.

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We actually received our tier of sweets before we received our plate of scones, so it was out of sheer impatience, and perhaps also out of temptation that I began eating my sweets first. For sweets we had a:
“Strawberry Romanov” Macaron.
A Coral Chocolate Lipstick inspired by Estée Lauder.
A Chantilly Lace & Pearl Cupcake inspired by Grace’s wedding gown designed by Helen Rose.
A Black & White Chocolate Shot, Royal Sugar Sash inspired by Grace’s favourite chocolate milkshake.
A “Grace de Monaco” Pink Rose Eclair.
A “Kelly” cookie based on the handbag designed by Robert Dumas and worn by Grace.
A “Flora” Raspberry and Hibiscus Mousse inspired by the famous Gucci Flora silk scarf.

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We received our scones approximately an hour and after after we arrived. There were two varieties of scones on offer: plain and fruit. We also received strawberry jam and clotted cream. Unfortunately the scones were nothing special, and were certainly not worth the wait. They were dry and difficult to eat. By this point, I had already eaten most of my sweets anyway, so I was feeling rather full.

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Overall Experience:
I thought the venue was lovely, and I enjoyed the food. However the service could have been much more efficient. With a few tweaks here and there, The Royal Horseguards Hotel has the potential to be one of the finest places to enjoy afternoon tea. Sometimes I feel that it is the quality of service that can make a world of difference to an afternoon tea experience.

The Royal Horseguards Hotel
Afternoon Tea is served daily between 1pm and 6pm.
£32 Royal Horseguards Afternoon Tea
£42 Laurent-Perrier Champagne Afternoon Tea
A discretionary service charge of 12.5% will also be added to the bill.
Bookings are Essential.
Reservations can be made via The Royal Horseguards Hotel: http://www.guoman.com/hotels/united_kingdom/london/the_royal_horseguards/restaurants_and_bars/afternoon_tea.html
Or by Telephone: 0207 451 0426
Address: 2 Whitehall Court, London SW1A 2EJ

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