There is nothing more British than afternoon tea.
There is something really special about sitting down in a grand dining room and sipping tea while the pianist plays a harmonious tune in the background. Granted, time is a luxury in the world we live in today but it’s still always nice to stop and enjoy some of the finer things in life. So when the team at American Express offered me an opportunity to go enjoy a champagne afternoon tea at the newly refurbished Georgian at Harrods, I jumped at the chance.
The Georgian is as much of an institution as the iconic store itself. Opened in 1913 and named after the then newly crowned King George V, The Georgian became a popular destination for members of high society to enjoy a spot of tea mid afternoon before promenading around Hyde Park. A lot has changed since then but a visit to The Georgian is still a treat today. Interior designer Christopher Guy Harrison has given this grand space a fresh new look inspired by the elegance of the 1920s and 1930s complete with 500 bespoke furniture pieces specifically designed for The Georgian.
The space is the epitome of art deco elegance and you cannot not fall in love with The Georgian. I especially love the small details like the Harrods “H” engraved on the legs of those stunning art deco chair legs and the border around the carpet. It really is something special.
We decided to go all out and ordered the champagne afternoon tea and settled down chatting away while the wonderful team at The Georgian took care of us. Champagne afternoon tea at The Georgian started off with a wonderful glass of rosé champagne of course. I must admit I am not the biggest fan of rosé but this was rich, deep and had a well balanced finish in true pinot style. I was impressed and would happily order another glass again.Well done Harrods.
Our waiter also brought over a simple Amuse Bouche, in this case a prawn cocktail complete with quail eggs and caviar to go with the champagne. It was simple, traditional and a good mouthful to start us off on our afternoon tea journey. Enough said.
And then it arrived, the 3 tired silver platter filled with treats galore!
The bottom layer offered a variety of dainty finger sandwiches and savouries. Options included all the classics like roast beef, egg, cucumber and salmon. My favourite however was the coronation chicken sandwich – definitely not your average coronation sandwich! It was the perfect blend of spices and the flavours were delicate without being overpowering on the senses.
The bottom layer also included two Caramelised Onion and Cheese Tarts – again very traditional like the rest of the platter. I found the cheese slightly overpowering and would have liked to taste a little bit more of the caramelised onion in the tart. It was lovely that this was served warm – tarts taste so much better when they are warm and fresh.
We were also served the famous Harrods Trifle with our afternoon tea. Another nice little mouthful (like the amuse bouche) that really makes the afternoon tea experience at Harrods special.
The middle layer was a selection of warm traditionally baked scones served up with rich clotted cream, strawberry jam and homemade lemon curd. I loved the fact that the scones weren’t brought out at the same time as the rest of the platter. Our attentive waiter only brought it out when we were done with the sandwiches so that we could enjoy them at their best. Service that good is rare and it really does make a noticeable difference.
The scones were easily my favourite part of the afternoon tea experience at The Georgian. Moist, crumbly and warm; they were a real treat. Add a bit of strawberry jam and some clotted cream, and these scones were the perfect little treat.
Afternoon tea wouldn’t be complete without tea of course and we had options galore to choose from. The Georgian has a really distinct collection of black, green, fruit and herbal teas on offer – you are bound to find one that you like. I went for The Georgian blend from the black tea menu – a wonderful blend of Darjeeling, Assam and Chinese tea whereas Seb tried the Moroccan Mint blend from the fruit and herbal menu. Both tea blends were an absolute delight and top marks for presentation too.
The top layer of the platter consisted of some wonderful tea pastries from the world famous Harrods patisserie. These tiny little mouthfuls looked beautiful and tasted even better – an explosion of colour and flavours. We scoffed them down – the chocolate ones were especially good.
Just when we thought we were done, our waiter brought over the last course of the day – Fresh Strawberries served with Cream or Pimm’s Syrup. We opted for Pimm’s syrup of course – we’d had enough cream by this point. It was the perfect ending to our afternoon tea experience at The Georgian. It was light and delicate; the perfect counterbalance to all the rich food we had with our afternoon tea.
I don’t think people realise how much food is actually involved in an afternoon tea experience. Counter in the sandwiches, cakes, scones and everything else in between and you have one massive meal. We were absolutely stuffed by the end of it all and walked back home in an attempt to burn off some of those calories.
Was it all worth it? Hell yeah!
It was such a surreal experience. It’s the perfect way to spend a lazy Sunday afternoon; sipping tea and making light conversation under the 1920s skylight while the friendly team at The Georgian make sure you are well taken care of. Speaking of service, it was outstanding, our waiter was very attentive and made sure we had a great time. Portion sizes are generous and the food is spot on. Afternoon tea at The Georgian is a very traditional affair but that’s exactly what makes it special – it reminds of you a bygone era and not in a bad way! It’s not the cheapest option out there but the glamorous surroundings and the outstanding service makes the whole experience special. Highly recommended.