A few days before Christmas I was feeling a bit grinchy. I had tried and failed to get into Winter Wonderland (a 45 minute line just to get in!), Amazon didn’t deliver my Christmas presents in time and I hadn’t been arsed to put the Christmas tree up. To help overcome my internal grinch Emma from Adventures of a London Kiwi suggested a Christmas afternoon tea at the Intercontinental Westminster.
I had a bit of a an epic journey to get there, Google took me to the wrong hotel, the tube was down and a crazy black cab driver didn’t tell me he was cash only till the of the journey and then made me pay for the privilege of going to a cash machine. But when I walked into the hotel the drama of the journey washed away and I was at a Christmasy peace.
The room was filled with beautiful Christmas trees (decorated with sugar plums, peacocks and fairies), a five person choir singing carols in the corner of the room and a glass of champagne waiting for me on the table. The only way it could have got more anti-grinch was if there had been a little drummer boy waiting to take my coat; but you know, child labour laws being what they are…
We had opted for the endless Champagne version of the afternoon tea because that is how we Kiwi blogger girls roll. So Emma and I quickly got to the important business of catching up and putting the world to rights. The sandwiches were a genuine delight, fresh bread* and tasty flavour combos. We then moved on to the scones which were slightly less of a success. Our lovely waiter told us to let him know when we were ready for scones so he could bring them out hot. But well, when they arrived the scones had the memory of warmth at the very best. They were yum, but note to Intercontinental Westminster, don’t get my hopes up about toasty hot scones if you cant deliver.
The hot eccles cakes on the other hand may be the best afternoon delight I have ever had. Melt in your mouth and the perfect combo of flaky pastry and raisins.
The biggest downfall of the Intercontinental Westminster afternoon tea is what is normally the highlight, the top tier. The chocolate macaroon was too rich and overpowering, the thing in the shot glass we couldn’t identify (passion fruit? mango? strangely lumpy?) and the worst bit is that for £45 a head we had to share. Every other afternoon tea I have ever been to brings out enough treats so that everyone at the table can try every different cake. Or at the very least they bring out replacements as soon as they are eaten so the effect is the same. Not so much here. We either had to split the unsplitable, decapitate the snowman or miss out on some of the afternoon tea.
So all up it was a nice dose of Christmas spirit and a lovely catch up with Emma but I probably wouldn’t be back to the Intercontinental for afternoon tea.
*It amazes me how many afternoon teas go wrong on this step