Two days ago on August 11th I turned 26. Where does time go? Isn’t it mad how quickly years seem to fly by, while when you’re growing up waiting for your next birthday can seem like forever! To celebrate my birthday this year, I wanted to experience one of London’s best afternoon teas and after much research I chose the English traditional afternoon tea at the quaint Chesterfield Hotel in Mayfair.
Stepping into the hotel we were met with a stunning lobby decorated with marble floors, crystal chandeliers and plush leather armchairs – all the elegant finishing touches you would expect in one of London’s top hotels. A wonderfully dressed porter immediately escorted us through to the Butler’s Restaurant where we would spend our afternoon of tea, cakes and of course, a sparkle of champagne.
To start off the experience, we were shown to our table in the airy and light restaurant conservatory. A world away from the rich red and gold interior of the hotel, this sweet little corner was decorated in bright whites and garden greens, elegant and appropriately fitting to the conservatory feel. I particularly loved the white, silver-adorned crockery chosen to compliment the decor, keeping everything traditional yet avoiding the dated trap.
Much to our delight, it turned out that the afternoon tea throughout summer would be based on the theme of Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory! What a gorgeous twist to the traditional cakes and treats you find at an afternoon tea. To begin with, we were served a bright pink, fizzy, berry aperitif with a purple striped straw – perfect! In true birthday fashion, we opted for the champagne afternoon tea, with three bubblies to choose from. The staff were exceptional throughout the afternoon, explaining each course and all of the range of teas in detail, and reminding us that the afternoon tea had unlimited refills so we could request a top-up of our tea, sandwiches and cakes whenever we liked.
From bubblegum filled eclairs, to almond-crusted chicken sandwiches, each and every treat on the cake stand was an adventure of flavours. As it was my birthday, I was also treated to a beautiful plate of macaroons, fresh strawberries and a Willy Wonka cupcake, all decorated with colourful mini flowers – truly a spoilt birthday girl! To top everything off, our final little delight was a Willy Wonka golden ticket. Each guest has a dip in the hat, taking a home a golden ticket, each of which offers a different prize (from dinner for two, to a night’s stay in the hotel!) The catch is that the tickets cannot be opened until you next return to dine at the hotel, in which case, I’ll be booking my return very soon!