Having celebrated my birthday with friends at Hakkasan, my girls felt slightly left out. This was clearly not acceptable so my darling hubby and daughters planned a surprise trip to Browns Hotel, London for afternoon tea.
In the end it wasn’t really a surprise as my youngest ‘let the cat out of the bag’ she really can’t keep a secret, but excitement levels were high. Having been to The English Tea Room on numerous occasions, I felt that this trip was more for my darling divas than for me, but I was not complaining.
Brown’s Hotel was London’s first ever hotel and opened in 1837. This glamorous five-star hotel is steeped in history and has welcomed many distinguished guests over the years. It is from this hotel that Rudyard Kipling penned many of his novels and it is believed that The English Tea Room was the inspiration for Agatha Christie’s ‘At Bertram’s Hotel’ (have to say I love a good murder mystery).
The English Tea Room serves one of the most famous Afternoon Teas in London and was awarded a Highly Commended certificate at the Afternoon Tea Awards 2016 in recognition of their outstanding quality. I love the interior design which is a mix of both tradition – thanks to the original wood panelling, fire places and Jacobean detailed plaster ceiling and contemporary style, with Paul Smith lighting, fashionable fabrics and original artworks.
Executive Chef Lee Kebble is big on supporting British suppliers, so you will notice a lot of seasonal ingredients sourced from all over the British Isles on the menu.
You have a choice of three different Afternoon Tea menus. The Traditional Afternoon Tea, The Tea-Tox by Madeleine Shaw and also a Gluten Free Afternoon Tea. All of these can be taken with Champagne or without.
No matter what your dietary requirements, from gluten free to nut allergies, the team of chefs at Brown’s Hotel will ensure that you are catered for. However make sure that you give them 48 hours advanced notice.
We requested a Pescatarian Afternoon tea for the adults and a Vegetarian Afternoon Tea for the girls (our eldest had just had a reaction a few days prior so we were a little wary of her eating any fish). The staff were more than happy to talk us through the menu and what they could do for us. We had an amazing selection of finger sandwiches, an assortment of delicate pastries, fruit and plain scones with clotted cream and strawberry preserve (my favourite part of any afternoon tea), as well as a choice of freshly baked cakes from the trolley.
Needless to say my girls LOVED it. They both love sandwiches at the best of times so this was pure heaven for them with my youngest declaring “I never want to leave, can we move in?” and “mummy this is the best day ever!”
The hubby and I could not help but laugh at their little faces when the staff brought out all this beautiful food and the girls realised it was for them. They were even more delighted when they realised that you could ask for more of anything if you wanted it. You will never leave hungry as the Afternoon Tea is continuously replenished at no additional charge.
You have a choice between ‘Traditional Afternoon Tea’ which includes a choice of teas or herbal infusions or ‘Champagne Afternoon Tea’ which includes a glass of Ruinart champagne. The ‘Tea Library’ as it is known is has a choice of 17 different teas including Brown’s own blend – you will not be disappointed.
I have never experienced bad service at Browns. I have been with young kids, without kids, small group, larger group and each time the staff have been brilliant. They are happy to help without being too ‘in your face’.
Traditional Afternoon Tea £55
Champagne Afternoon Tea £65
Rose Champagne Afternoon Tea £67
Children aged between 3-11 pay £27.50 (50% of the adult Afternoon Tea).
There was a relaxed atmosphere. The English Tea Room is a place to chill out and catch up whilst eating yummy food. The décor, staff and sounds from the Baby Grand Piano make the whole experience feel indulgent whilst being relaxed.
The English Tearoom request that guests adhere to the smart casual dress code. So as long as you don’t wear Trainers,
t-shirts, shorts and sportswear you will be ok. The hubby wore a shirt and blazer (ties are not necessary). As far as I’m concerned it is nice to dress up so the girls and I wore dresses. My girls did have smart trainers on (they did have ballet pumps with them because clearly a trip to London means we have to walk around with spare fancy shoes!) but they decided not to change and nobody commented on their feet.
WHAT COULD BE IMPROVED?
I think the one thing that I would say is that more vegetarian options would be great and also options to have simpler less fussy sandwiches for children. But other than this minor complaint everything else was brilliant and we will definitely be going back.