The Food Diaries has got to be one of my favourite series on my blog, and I’m so sad that I’ve been neglecting it! It’s been nearly a year since my last entry to the series, but I’m back again. I’m trying to be very serious about my blogging and getting back into the game, so why not get back into things that I love writing about… food!
My cousin wanted to do afternoon tea because that’s a thing a lot of tourists want to do when they come to London, apparently. I can’t lie, though, I do love a good afternoon tea. The last one I went to before December was in August with a friend for my birthday and it was lovely.
There’s something so quaint about afternoon tea. I think it’s the ritual behind it, perhaps, but I enjoy every moment of it. Let’s look at a brief history of afternoon tea, for all you history buffs:
Afternoon tea is a light meal typically eaten between 3.30 pm and 5 pm. Observance of the custom originated amongst the wealthy social classes in England in the 1840s. Her Grace Anna Maria, Duchess of Bedford, is widely credited as transforming afternoon tea in England into a late-afternoon meal whilst visiting Belvoir Castle in Leicestershire. By the end of the nineteenth century, afternoon tea developed to its current form and was observed by both the upper and middle classes. – Wikipedia
Whilst originally for wealthy classes, us peasants can now enjoy an afternoon tea at a really good price. You can find some good deals on Groupon! I’ve enjoyed afternoon tea at the British Museum and Guoman Hotels.
The one I went to in December was located at the Number Sixteen hotel in South Kensington. Occupying a Victorian white stucco townhouse, the hotel is absolutely beautiful inside. The restaurant itself is located toward the back of the hotel and features floor to ceiling windows with a cute back garden, which I’m sure would be amazing to be seated in during the spring/summer.
We had the restaurant to ourselves when we first arrived, so it was really nice to sit and chat and enjoy the tea that was provided for us. The perfect atmosphere for a not too formal afternoon tea. Our server was very attentive and made sure we had everything we needed.
Their afternoon tea gives you the option to add a Garden Bellini, which we decided to go for. The menu has an extensive selection of teas to select, so if you’re not a big tea drinker then it can seem a bit overwhelming. I personally went for the English breakfast tea because you can’t go wrong with a good ol’ fashioned tea. The Darjeeling tea is extremely nice as well, though.
So, starting at the bottom of the amazing tier that our server brought out you have fruit and plain scones which come with clotted cream and preserves. I would go easy on these because scones can be quite filling, but it was so delicious.
You still want to make room for the sandwiches that are in the second tier: coronation chicken, cucumber and hummus, tomato and basil, egg mayo and cress, and lastly flaked smoked salmon bagel. I’m not typically a fan of sandwiches, but something about small segments with no crusts really gets me. I don’t know what it is, but nevertheless, they were very yummy!
Finally, on the top tier, you have your desserts! Ours contained passion fruit cheesecake pots, chocolate brownies, strawberry cupcakes and macaroons. I couldn’t have the macaroons due to my allergy to nuts, however, most of it was yummy. The brownie was really rich and a little cloying, so I couldn’t finish all of it despite it being small. I really enjoyed the cheesecake pot and was not expecting the tartness of the passion fruit combined with the cream cheese to be that delicious, but it was!
Overall, I really enjoyed my experience at Number Sixteen. If you’re looking for affordable afternoon tea without scrimping on style, then I would definitely recommend this place!
16 Sumner Place
T: +44 2036422038