I really wanted to take my mum and niece for afternoon tea when they came to London. I love afternoon tea, it’s such a quintessentially British thing but it’s also pretty pricey, especially in London, and a lot of places charge the same price for children as they do for adults or only offer deals for even numbers of people. After a bit of investigation I discovered that CityCruises do an afternoon tea cruise and given that mums favourite thing about their first visit was the boat this seemed like a perfect compromise!
We had a bit of transportation issues which meant we only just made it on time and my stomach had gotten itself in a bit of a tizz but we were soon sitting comfortably at our table and ready for our trip down the Thames. There was a lovely selection of people on the cruise; other families, couples, friends.
Included in the price was your afternoon tea platter and unlimited tea/coffee, other drinks were optional at an additional cost and as you would expect given they have the monopoly on the supply slightly overpriced but not crazily so. My mum and I wanted to start with tea but my niece had wanted a cold drink. She doesn’t drink fizzy juice and there was only fresh orange on the menu so instead we asked for a glass of milk – which we were refused due to it not being on the menu… What? There’s a ton of milk on board due to the fact that people are going to require it for their hot drinks yet a child cannot get a glass despite the fact that you fail to cater for them in any other way… OK then. I had planned on treating my mother and myself to a glass of champagne but this totally changed my mind.
Anyway, on to the food! It was adequate, nothing to write home about and again nothing specially aimed for children. My niece wouldn’t eat any of the sandwiches as they all had one ingredient or another that she didn’t like. The scones were all fruit which meant both she and I had to pick out the raisins – blergh. The desserts were the only really nice thing about it and even they weren’t particularly exciting.
But we weren’t on the cruise for the food specifically, we were there to enjoy each others company and the unique views that a cruise on the Thames has to offer. I let my little shutterbug loose with the camera (we even popped up to the top deck before it started to drizzle with rain) so the photos below are courtesy of her.
I’m not entirely sure if I’d recommend the afternoon tea cruise from CityCruises or not. While the venue is unique it’s not cheap and I wasn’t very impressed with their service to be honest. You’d be better off paying for afternoon tea at a more upper class hotel and then hopping on the Thames Clipper for a soothing journey afterwards I think!