Afternoon tea became a social occasion from the 1830’s thanks to the Anna Russell, the Duchess of Bedford. It evolved as she began to find herself peckish between lunch and dinner. She continued this practice in London and afternoon tea from there has become a fashionable and popular social occurrence.
The Chelsea Harbour hotel; a 5-star hotel and spa set in a petit harbour marina just off the River Thames beside Chelsea. A perfect location within London near Chelsea, Wimbledon, Knightsbridge; great for people who want to visit the famous Harrods and many more popular locations. Or even to enjoy a casual stroll along the Thames river bank to take in the scenery.
I arrived at the Chelsea Harbour Hotel, the ambiance was very tranquil and charming. The style of the hotel was very sleek with a fresh simplistic touch. The reception was immaculate, and I were welcomed with many friendly polite staff. To the right side I gilded on the gorgeous sparkling floor into the entrance area. The interior decor was gorgeous. One of the first things I saw was a huge display of flowers. Flowers always give such a refreshing and friendly sensation to a place, which I love.
Furthermore, there was a beautiful arrangement of furniture for guests to sit and enjoy the luxury of the hotel within the first few steps. I was already beginning to fall in love with the luxuriousness of the hotel. The impeccable décor ran the whole way through the hotel. Carrying on I walked through and up the stairs towards a spacious dining area.
I was greeted gracefully and taken to a table presented beautifully along with a picturesque view.
I was given the best table in the ‘house’ centrally positioned towards the harbour to observe all the boats in the marina. The table was beautifully presented with gorgeous patterned china waiting to be used.
I selected an earl grey tea, as I love the refreshing floral taste rather than an English breakfast that I would drink daily. (Yes I am a tea lover.) It had a beautiful light taste, perfect to get my appetite started for the food. There was a tea timer on the table, this allowed one to brew their tea perfectly to the acquired taste. I loved this little personal cute touch.
The afternoon tea was a unique experience as you got to learn and appreciate the history of where afternoon tea originated from. Starting with when the first sandwich was invented for ‘snacking’ and how tea became a social occurrence, to the present day now. It is delightful to learn little facts during our afternoon tea such as; ‘The UK in 2017 is estimated to have consumed 6.2 Billion cups of tea’.
Continuing on after our tea our cake stand and scones arrived! It looked amazing and I couldn’t wait to dig in!
I have one dietary requirement; I don’t eat fish and the chef was very accommodating. It was no problem at all, they supplemented the fish for another one of the fillings.
The sandwiches were; ham and cheese, coronation chicken, brie and piccalilli and salmon and cucumber. They had a substantial amount of filling in and were full of flavour. They were also finished with a decoration of coloured cress which was a pretty personal touch. I even got a second refill.
The scones were neatly wrapped separately and presented with bowls of clotted cream and marmalade which is a twist on a traditional afternoon tea. I have to say the scones were superb!
Now I didn’t know where to start with the cakes and desserts. They were all so colourful and detailed, there had obviously been a lot of thought and skill put in. They included:
Flummery – A traditional sweet pudding traditionally made from small oatmeal boiled and set, until a stiff mousse texture is achieved, rhubarb was added for a twist in flavour. (Green)
Passion fruit and berry egg – this desert is filled with a creamy passion fruit mousse and topped with seasonal berry selection.
Chocolate rainbow cake – A rainbow of rich chocolate is served to represent the Gnomon of a sundial pointing to 4pm in which afternoon tea is traditionally served.
Pear and Caramel mousse – Covered with a glistening gold stout caramel sauce, the flavours of both the sauce and the fruit contrast and yet match at the same time.
Lemon tart – The earliest known mention of this was in 1897 in a village in Dorset when it was entered a family cookbook. Since then it has established itself as a must in any English dessert menu. Originally it was made from boiled lemon and sugar, but we have refined it to a creamy classic.
The overall experience was phenomenal. The views and the atmosphere of the hotel were enchanting, relaxing and thoroughly enjoyable.
The hotel also offers alfresco dining with panoramic views across the water which would be superb on a great sunny day.
The food reflected the luxury quality and I would recommend to all afternoon tea lovers. I already want to go back thinking about the superb food!
Thank you so much Chelsea Harbour Hotel for making me feel so welcome and providing the best luxury 5* experience.