Saturday, 29 March 2014

The Dorchester

Back in January I went for Afternoon Tea at The Dorchester, Park Lane. In my eyes one of the finest places to take Afternoon Tea in London. We'd been talking about it for ages and decided January maybe a quieter time to go, as it was booked up for months during the lead up to Christmas. I went with four friends and we had a really lovely afternoon. However I'm saddened to say I wasn't as blown away as I expected to be. :-(

So let's start from the beginning, a logical place really.. We opted for the Champagne Afternoon Tea as we were celebrating a 30th Birthday. The champagne was lovely, and as we settled into our seats the waiter explained how the Tea would work.

The Sandwiches: very impressively I had 5 different sandwich fillings and that was just for me being vegetarian. There were then a choice of 6 different fillings for the meat eaters. The waiter came and served us these, as opposed to them all coming out on the tiered cake stand. We were offered seconds and thirds. But I felt I had to save myself.. The servings were therefore very generous and it's nice to see this very good service, as I've heard of establishments that don't offer seconds at all, or you have to pay extra to have them.

I have to say my favourite was probably the cucumber and cream cheese. Typical Afternoon Tea sandwiches in my opinion, I can't imagine making cucumber & cream cheese sandwiches for lunch, but why ever not...

 Next came the scones, served warm and with a choice of mixed fruit preserve or strawberry and my favourite the clotted cream.

 Perfect, until we had to wait about 10 minutes to have our jam and cream replenished. It wasn't for the want of trying either, there just didn't seem to be staff members close enough to us, either for us to catch their attention or for them to notice we needed more. This is where I felt a little disappointed in the service. However I must say overall the staff were very friendly, it was very busy and most of the time they were on the ball. I just didn't expect to have these feelings at The Dorchester, because I know they have such a good reputation.

Next it was time to indulge in the sweet treats. The pastries & cakes looked lovely and were tasty, but not quite bursting with flavour as I was expecting.


Maybe I've been spoilt previously and therefore expected too much.. But I think when you pay £51 for a champagne Afternoon Tea you should get the best. 

Previously I wasn't even able to pour my own cup of tea, whereas at The Dorchester only the first cup was poured for us. I don't want to sound completely and utterly ridiculous but when another 5 star hotel does it my expectations were that the Dorchester would too. I guess it's a little of anything you can do I can do better, and I thought with such an outstanding reputation the Dorchester would out do most places.

Another little bug bear was that I sat with my coat on the sofa next to me, whilst most other people had theirs stored in the cloakroom. It's in these little details, I think, that make you feel like you've been treated like royalty and float home in a little bubble with your beautiful little doggy bag.



 Overall, of course I would recommend this Afternoon Tea, and I definitely don't want to sound ungrateful but I do think there is a little room for improvement. I think the service of an Afternoon Tea is often what makes the experience so special.

Thanks for reading.
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