Ice Cream Champagne Afternoon Tea at the Dorchester

Luxury afternoon tea in London at the Dorchester
Photograph courtesy of The Dorchester, Dorchester Collection

Afternoon tea is definitely on my list of preferred activities when catching up with family and friends. Clearly I'm not alone as practically everywhere has some variation on offer. I have tried teas locally to where I live, but the choice on offer in London is by far superior. You can have tea in a renowned and luxurious hotel such as the Ritz, or a quirky affair such as the Mad Hatter's tea at the Sanderson. Though I enjoy and appreciate the unusual concoctions of teas like the Sanderson's, my heart truly lies with the tradition and grandeur of the luxury hotels. So, when catching up with my cousin (also a food blogger) recently in London, afternoon tea at the Dorchester was an instant yes for the pair of us.

The Dorchester, London
Photograph courtesy of The Dorchester, Dorchester Collection
Having met at my cousin's club and discussed what we felt like doing for the day we discovered we were only a stone's throw from the Dorchester hotel. We walked in to enquire as to whether there were any free slots available for the afternoon and were able to get booked in at a convenient time. We were still fairly early in the day  when we walked in to book and by the time we arrived back we overheard others also trying to get tables who could not be accommodated. There is an online booking facility which is the best way to make sure you get booked in at the time you want.

The Promenade at the Dorchester

The hotel itself has a reputation as one of the grandest in London for good reason. Since its opening in 1930 is offered guests luxurious surroundings with opulence and luxury as standard. The hotel is situated next to Hyde Park, and also contains a well recommended spa. After swishing through the entrance doors you find yourself at the Promenade, which hosts the afternoon teas. We are both fans of the art deco style that the Promenade exudes, with its lavish floral arrangements (anyone who follows my Instagram can tell I love flowers; the colours in the arrangements when we visited were amazing).

Places for afternoon tea in London
Photograph courtesy of The Dorchester, Dorchester Collection
When seated for afternoon tea I felt that there was ample space between diners, which helped create a calm and relaxing atmosphere. (Some I have been to feel very much like a tourist attraction rather than a luxury experience; not the case here). Each sitting is over 2 hours long which gives ample time to enjoy the tea.

We both elected for the Ice Cream Champagne Afternoon Tea, of which you can choose from Laurent-Perrier NV champagne or Cuvee Rose. This costs £65, which is definitely at the pricier end of the afternoon teas I have been to, but does include refills of sandwiches which some others do not.

Afternoon Tea at the Dorchester

We enjoyed sandwiches from a selection of...
  • Smoked salmon with sweet mustard and dill on granary bread
  • Roast chicken with Pommeroy mustard on basil bread
  • Cucumber with mint cream cheese on caraway seed bread
  • Egg mayonnaise with shallot confit and cress on white bread
  • Crayfish and rocket on granary bread

Champagne afternoon tea sandwiches

(You can pick and choose from any or all of these, in any combination and more are offered once finished).

And of course, between courses one always requires a palette cleanser....

Chocolate and raspberry palette cleanser

Our tea then arrived to accompany our sweet items. There is a wide range of teas to choose it happens we both went for the Dorchester blend, which I would definitely recommend. Our waitress was continually on hand to pour more tea from our individual tea pots, and refresh the pots as they were emptied.

Tea at the Dorchester

Our scones were accompanied by a decadently smooth clotted cream, and two of the hotel's own preserves; a strawberry and a rhubarb (both are fabulous). The scones themselves are fairly large - one plain and one fruit - and not too heavy.

Tea at the Dorchester scones

At this point we were also offered mini ice creams...

Ice Cream Champagne Afternoon Tea at the Dorchester, review
Photography courtesy of The Dorchester, Dorchester Collection
These came in four varieties: blackberry mojito sorbet, strawberry basil sorbet, clotted cream and cherry ice cream and honeycomb ice cream. These weren't offered again so if you do want to try them I recommend taking more than one onto your plate there and then! My cousin (blogger at the overeducated foodie) was particularly impressed with the blackberry mojito sorbet cone.

Afternoon Tea at the Dorchester pastries

The French pastries were all mini works of culinary art. I always look forward to seeing what the chefs will come up with for this part of the afternoon tea, as each hotel is so different. There were four different pastries that we shared half each...and at this point we were definitely getting full but couldn't help but try each one as they all looked so delicious. My favourite was the chocolate which had a chewy caramel crisp within. Yum.

Champagne Afternoon Tea at the Dorchester

Certainly a very satisfying and relaxing afternoon tea. The atmosphere was genteel and calming, aided immensely by the attentive staff on hand. Everything we ate was of the highest quality. (I have had afternoon tea at other luxury hotels and have not found this high standard to always be the case). If you are looking for something luxurious and elegant then the Dorchester will deliver. I have my eye on visiting the Grill there now (having been given an improptu tour by a helpful staff member after peeking through the doors) so will keep you posted if I get the chance to return.

Has anyone else tried any of the other teas on offer at the Dorchester?

Ice Cream Champagne Afternoon Tea at the Dorchester
Photography courtesy of The Dorchester, Dorchester Collection


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