So you know how in my household we celebrate birthdays for one entire week? Well it’s still mum’s birthday week meaning more celebrations and more food! Last week, we took a trip to China Tang for a nice family dinner and today, we decided to do The Dorchester part two and hold mum a surprise birthday party! What better way to celebrate Mum’s birthday than Afternoon Tea with all her favourite girlies!
Afternoon Tea is a classic British staple. Tea and sandwiches – can you get any more British than that? Asides from sarnies and tea, it also usually consists of a variety of scones, pastries and lots of cake. Originating from the 1840s, this mini meal has now evolved into a form of celebration, such as birthdays or baby showers, or just simply a full on meal. And of course, it goes without saying, the fact that it can be made halal is just simply the best!
As you walk into The Dorchester, you are taken aback with the richness of the hotel. Gold and bronze interior throughout the hotel’s reception and seating area, huge fresh and colourful floral showcases in every corner of the room, and the highest ceilings one can imagine, it is no surprise that famous celebrities choose The Dorchester hotel when staying in London.
Needless to say, Mum was super surprised and happy to see her all her favourite people (obviously me) around the table. Once all the hugs and kisses were done, we sat down and were ready to feast! But not before ordering the drinks.
The tea menu is extensive with black teas, scented teas, coffees, and the two choices for the table were Vanilla tea and Paris tea which was a blend of currents and caramel. Both were sweet and refreshing.
And of course, you have me – the girl who goes for Afternoon Tea (note the word tea) and orders a hot chocolate. I know I should have gone for something a little more traditional, but a creamy hot chocolate, that wasn’t overbearingly rich or super sweet, just won me over.
Five different sandwich choices were offered and everyone on the table chose around 3 sandwiches to start with. I was eagerly and, surprisingly, patiently waiting for my turn but then when the waiter approached me, I gladly handed him my plate and insisted on one of every flavour. A tiny bit shocked, he placed all five on my plate and moved on. So here we go…
Cucumber and Cream Cheese
Crunchy cucumber slices with layers of creamy cheese were a traditional tea sarnie with a twist on the bread used which was caraway seed bread. (+1)
Egg Mayonnaise with Shiso Cress
Another classic sandwich filler that took me back to school days. The egg mayo filling was nice and creamy with the slight crunch from the cress. (+1)
These sandwiches were filled with slices of fresh, smoky salmon that weren’t too fishy (+1)
Chicken with Wholegrain Mustard Mayonnaise
Pieces of chicken breast were sliced, topped with a dollop of mustard mayonnaise and placed on slices of basil bread. The mustard gave the already-flavourful chicken a massive kick and was a hit with the table. (+2)
Roast Beef with Horseradish
By far my favourite. This wasn’t the usual processed roast beef but fresh meat that was sliced and placed in the softest bread with a dollop of horseradish and peppery rocket leaves. The bread wasn’t in the slightest stale, and like the chicken with the mustard, the horseradish gave the roast beef an extra kick. I loved these so much that on my round two, I ordered three more of them! (+4)
That brings my total to 9 sandwiches in one sitting. In my defense, they were small finger sandwiches so technically, even though everyone ate around 4 each, I am still not classified as a fatso. But I couldn’t help it; the bread was fresh, the fillings were delicious and so light that it was easy to get carried away!
Fresh, warm plain and raisin scones were delivered to our table not long after our sandwich feast. I grabbed my plain scone and proceeded to top it with generous helpings of thick and velvety clotted cream and homemade, sweet strawberry jam which had large strawberry chunks in it. They also offered seasonal jam which happened to be marmalade but I passed on this orangey jam which, according to Mum, wasn’t sour like normal but was in fact sweet and delicious.
Sharing all these desserts was obviously a painful experience for me but I did my best and managed to snag a bite or two out of each one. The desserts were as follows: coffee & walnut cake, vanilla panacotta with rhubarb, pomegranate macaroon with raspberry cream and white chocolate ring, passion fruit and dark chocolate tart, mango and coconut dessert (I forgot the name for this) and dark chocolate cups filled with mint chocolate cream! Obviously there were a lot of desserts to go into detail about but I’ll tell you about my favourite one: the macaroon!
The macaroon was so light that it instantly melted in your mouth topped with fresh raspberry cream and an apparently edible white chocolate ring (I didn’t know this could be eaten until just now!). We enjoyed these so much that we ordered another round for the table and pretended it was the birthday cake!
After having stuffed myself with 9 sandwiches, 1.5 scones, 6 mini desserts and a dreamy hot chocolate – oh and can’t forget a slice of the birthday cake – I was fully satisfied and not overfull where I couldn’t walk.
The cost per person amounted to around £45 per person, not including service charge. Considering this was just traditional tea and they have much higher options, this was pretty pricey but you can’t expect any less from The Dorchester hotel. The food was simple, light and delicious; we were seated in a beautiful setting with attentive service; and the atmosphere was so calm and serene.
It’s the perfect place for all you girls out there – whether it’s for a bridal or baby shower, a best friend’s birthday or even just a catch up with an old girlfriend, it’s a nice way to spend the weekend. As for you boys, Afternoon Tea isn’t completely girly – take a girl here for a date and she’ll be seriously impressed or like me, you can have competitions as to who can eat the most number of finger sandwiches in five minutes!
Halal status verified by hotel. Please request halal when making a booking.
Address: The Dorchester, Park Lane, Mayfair, London, W1K1QA
Telephone: 020 7629 8888
Nearest Station: Marble Arch
Parking: Available on the red line outside the restaurant on Saturdays after 6 and Sunday whole day