Over the past year I’ve developed a real thing for afternoon tea – it’s like a really posh mini buffet all of your own and I friggin’ love a buffet. I’ve snaffled a few I’ve not had a chance to post about at venues including Malmaison and Linden Hall Hotel and I held my own Slimming World-friendly afternoon tea too. By far the best of the bunch was the afternoon tea I ate a few weeks ago at the Mercure George Washington. The new afternoon tea menu only went live this month, but I was invited for a sneak preview by the chef and was blown away by the quality of the food served in their lovely orangery.
I headed along to the George Washington with my friend Hannah, who often gets a feature on the blog, here she is getting into the festive spirit in a Christmas hat. When we arrived at the hotel we were really pleased to find there was a Christmas dance going on, so along with our afternoon tea we were treated to some classic Christmas choons, as well as some beautiful decorations.
We ordered coffee and tea respectively, which was served right away. Not long after arrived a festive feast to end all feasts. The afternoon tea starts at £14.95 per person and while I think we were treated to an extra layer of treats for Christmas that may not come as standard (including a Yule log each and some seriously yummy mince pies with a good whollop of citrus), there was certainly a lot of food to devour.
Along with salmon, ham and egg sandwiches was a standout savoury star of the show in the form of a mini cheesy scone with a hint of spice, this came topped with cream cheese and strips of ham and was the favourite item of all for both Hannah and myself. I was supremely pleased to find mini eclairs (butterscotch no less) and fruit tarts on the cake stand. The chef at the Mercure Washington was previously a specialist patisserie chef and it really shows – each and every cake offered something different in terms of texture, flavour and skill in making it. Surprisingly, we each managed to squeeze in a scone, which you’d have to when they look like this….
Even if the afternoon tea had been half as big, the quality of everything we ate and the friendly service would have made it well worth the usual £14.95 price tag. After tea we made use of the hotel’s spa facilities (another bargain at £5 for use of the swimming room, jacuzzi, steam room and sauna) and I treated myself to a head massage. Unlike the spa rooms at some other hotels the treatment area was clean, beautifully decorated and smelt scrum-diddly-umptious thanks to some scented candles. After the trip I’ve become a bit of a Mercure mega fan, along with recommending the place to everyone in office I’m planning to take Ma Berg for Mother’s Day too.
Do you have any local recommendations for afternoon tea? What do you think makes a good afternoon tea?! Let me know in the comments below.