Afternoon tea is a pretty indulgent treat as it is. Add the credentials of a five-star hotel and an enviable location in Mayfair, and you’ll have an afternoon fit for royalty. The Beaumont Hotel, situated between Oxford Street and Grosvenor Square, have crafted a spring afternoon tea menu inspired by the U S of A, adding their signature decadent touch to the sandwiches, scones and cakes. Their transatlantic menu is here all season, so why not spend an afternoon exploring North America via the medium of cake?
As we entered the hotel, we were greeted by doormen in top hats, and guided to the aptly named Gatsby’s Room. It is clear from the moment you enter the hotel, whether you are a staying guest or not, there is a commitment to five-star service. With a grand piano in the corner, and large paintings and ceiling-high bookshelves punctuating the walls, the Gatsby’s Room is an opulent space, fit for the likes of Jay Gatsby himself.
Your choice of tea, in sparkling silverware, will be served first, alongside the sandwiches. There is a vast selection of exquisite teas, from Phoenix Honey Orchid black tea to lavender, chamomile and lemongrass herbal infusions. We highly recommend the latter. Not only does is smell great, but it has a light, refreshing taste. Alternatively, if you like your afternoon tea with a touch of booze, then bubbles-based cocktails will entice. These include the Ginevra (cognac, grand marnier, chocolate bitters, and champagne) and Britannia (gin, apricot jam, lemon, tea and honey bitters, and champagne). Low and non-alcoholic options are available too.
As for the sandwiches, the bread used for each is baked fresh on-site each day by the in-house baker; it is soft and fluffy, just as you’d expect. The attention to detail is clear in the presentation: the brown and white bread is placed intentionally to create a pattern. There are four sandwich fillings on the main sandwich menu: devilled cacklebean with egg mayonnaise; salt beef with red cabbage and apple slaw; Cobb salad; and shrimp cocktail. The Cobb salad, and devilled cacklebean with egg mayonnaise, were particularly delightful. Neither were very overpowering, yet the tastes were flavourful. The vegan menu offers the likes of pulled jackfruit with gherkin and pickled chilli; and devilled tofu mayonnaise.
Then comes the scones and cakes, presented beautifully in a two-tier stand. The scones are warm, with a crisp glaze on top, and silky soft inside. You can top your raisin or plain scones with the smoothest Cornish clotted cream and strawberry preserve – the order of which you pile them on is up to you. And if the American inspiration wasn’t clear to you before, it definitely will be in the cakes. How does caramelised apple pie or bourbon-laced Alabama lane cake sound? Or perhaps Mississippi mud pie? These cakes are vastly different in taste, so offer the palette something new with each bite. Like the ‘courses’ before, the cakes are each little works of art.
The service here is fabulous, as one would expect from such special surroundings. The staff take the time to explain each element of the afternoon tea, and do so with a smile and warm temperament. They ensure your pot of tea is never cold, refreshing it every so often, and are available to answer any questions you may have – like where the concealed bookshelf doors lead to! Whomever you decide to visit with, The Beaumont Hotel afternoon tea is simply unforgettable.