Anna's Royal Afternoon Tea, Grosvenor House Hotel
A Regal classic with a twist: Anna’s Royal Afternoon Tea at Grosvenor House Hotel
In the nineteenth century, the 7th Duchess of Bedford was feeling a little low one afternoon. Lounging around with her female confidants, she complained of “having that sinking feeling” indicative of facing an entire afternoon with nothing to do. By doing so she asked that rhetorical question, namely what should ladies of leisure do during those flat few hours between lunch and dinner? The answer? Indulge in an afternoon tea of royal proportions.
Luckily for the leisure loving ladies of today there is an establishment that caters to this most indulgent of whims. Not only is it a London stalwart, perched on Park Lane Grosvenor House Hotel, the listed palatial residence of the late Duke of Grosvenor, is offering a spectacularly grand high tea in honour of the recent royal wedding- all summer long.
It only seems appropriate that Grosvenor House, a hotel where the young Queen Elizabeth II learnt to ice skate, is playing host to a suitably regal afternoon tea to celebrate the wedding of her favourite grandson to American actress Meghan Markle.
Taking place in the Park room, a tastefully furnished area with views over the lush spaces of Hyde Park, guests are escorted to plush seating areas amidst the almost therapeutic tinklings of live piano music.
Once seated, Anna’s Royal Afternoon Tea begins with a glass or two of crisp Veuve Clicquot and a vast selection of teas from around the old empire. Followed by finger sandwiches, fresh scones and a series of royally inspired pastry creations, it is an experience that is both an indulgent yet appropriately delicate affair.
Having served afternoon tea since the 1920s, it’s only fitting that the sandwiches served at Grosvenor House are an ode to the British culinary traditions of yesteryear. From cucumber sandwiches, to rare roast beef and mustard, to a delicately spiced prawn and a chicken and tarragon. Delicately filled and delightfully buttered, the sandwiches provided a naughty but nice introduction to what was ahead. The Scones, both plain and those with currents were perfectly crumbly yet moist and were served with thick clotted cream and the preserves of your choice. Those with gluttonous desires were given further relief with an additional selection of brioche buns topped with salmon, caviar or prawns with crème fraiche.
But the selection of pastry creations were the crowning glory of the afternoon. Created especially to commemorate the historic royal wedding by the hotel’s resident pastry chef Dale DeSimone, each piece has been especially crafted to represent the personalities of Harry and Meghan. A particular highlight was the LA Special. Adorned with the aesthetic sparkle of Miss Markle with a touch of Hollywood glitter, the notes of Quinoa and ‘green juice’ complete with a light green apple and coriander mousse is a nod to health conscious California culture. Whilst the Invictus, with its ‘strawberry hair’, ginger curd and ‘passion centre’ is a comical acknowledgment of the Prince’s fiery persona.
If all this wasn’t more than enough, guests can choose from an additional selection of indulgent cakes, from a traditionally comforting chocolate to a lemon and elderflower sponge cake.
So why let the regal beauty and romantic indulgence of the royal wedding end? With the grand and never ending delights of Anna’s Royal Afternoon Tea at Grosvenor House hotel, it doesn’t have to.
Grosvenor House, A JW Marriott Hotel
86-90 Park Ln, Mayfair,
020 7499 6363