If you hadn’t guessed I rather like a good afternoon tea so as a final treat of the weekend Joanna and I headed to The Strand Palace Hotel to indulge in their chocolate themed afternoon tea. Despite working round the corner from The Strand Palace I had never actually stepped foot inside but was blown away by the sleek interiors of the lobby and the resident goldfish.
Through the back and to the right was the Lounge Bar where out afternoon tea was to be held (I believe parties of 6 or more are hosted in the Daawat restaurant). Even though we were almost half an hour early we were seated immediately in our own little booth tucked away in a corner. You could even dim the lights within your little section if you were looking for a little romance!
Our tea order was taken and soon we were presented with large glass pots of fresh loose leaf tea that were refilled as often as we liked throughout our tea. Which was a good thing really as it took quite a while for our stand to arrive. Given that we were early it’s likely that this was our own fault rather than that of the hotel.
For savouries there were the traditional cucumber & cream cheese and egg mayo finger sandwiches along with smoked salmon & horseradish on rye bread and something a little bit different for me, coronation chicken with walnut bread. I started with this given that I didn’t know what to expect and it was just OK. The walnut bread had quite a hard texture, almost as though it was stale, but given that the white bread used in the finger sandwiches was beautifully soft I think that this may just be how the bread is meant to be.
I wolfed down the others down without any further complaints and completely adored the egg mayonnaise! What is happening to my taste buds these days?!
I was very disappointed to discover that there were only sultana scones on offer so had to pick all of those out – they were OK but nothing to write home about and certainly nothing like the magnificent scones I sampled at The Parlour last month.
But let’s be honest here, the reason why you go for afternoon tea is the cakes. And for this particular afternoon tea they were all made from chocolate! A mini chocolate eclair, a chocolate fudge slice, a dark chocolate tart and a chocolate truffle cup.
Everything was delicious but it all seemed to be made from the same dark chocolate so had quite a samey flavour. I saved the truffle cup for last as I knew it would be my favourite (does anyone else do that?) but by that point it didn’t taste any different from the filling of the tart. It actually made it quite difficult to finish everything. Don’t worry, I managed!
Upon checking the menu in order to write this review I was disappointed to discover that not only were we missing one of the cakes that should have been offered (a chocolate brownie) but also that we were not offered the option of having hot chocolate with cream instead of tea which I would have much preferred.
For the price this is a very good value afternoon tea but the service and lack of attention to detail brings it down a notch and I wouldn’t be likely to recommend it to people when there are so many others to enjoy in the capital.