Barcelona is considered to be one of the best cities in the world when it comes to good food, and it is indeed in several aspects. Choice of afternoon tea is very limited though, the El Palace Hotel Barcelona is the only venue that serves a proper traditional afternoon tea, which we’ll review below :
Article updated in July 2022
The El Palace Hotel Barcelona Setting ★★★★★
Located near Plaça de Catalunya, the hotel decoration is stunning, the epitome of classicism and elegance. The lobby is especially sumptuous, featuring classic furniture, mirror panels, plants and fireplaces.
The Ritz Barcelona (now the Hotel El Palace) grand opening was in 1919, hence the splendid classic decoration. It underwent extensive renovations between 2007 and 2009, but still retains the grandeur of a Ritz establishment.
Click here to see the 2016 pictures:
I find this century old style much more fitting to an afternoon tea than modern decorations. In that regard, the El Palace is the polar opposite of the Mandarin Oriental.
I haven’t had the time to sample their breakfast just yet but I will try, as it is served in the most gorgeous setting, albeit a tad too hot in the summer.
The Great Hall ★★★★★
Guests can enjoy the afternoon tea in the Great Hall or in the Bar, which are both adjacent to the lobby.
There should have been live music when I visited (supposedly Friday-Sunday) but sadly there wasn’t any… I can’t say for certain whether I was unlucky or not.
The Rooftop ★★★★★
After the afternoon tea, I would suggest going to the rooftop terrace to grab a cocktail, the view of Barcelona is well worth it! Too bad the tea is not served up there, it would be smashing.
In the unlikely event that you have enough appetite, it is possible to have dinner there, the view and the restaurant are visible in the first two pictures below.
The Tea & Beverage Selection ★★★★☆
There is a decent selection of tea from Ronnefelt. Guests may also choose to pay extra to have their afternoon tea with a glass of Cava (+6€) or Ruinart Champagne (+22€).
Infusion: Tea bags, 3 blacks, 2 greens and 5 infusions
Click here to see the 2016 tea selection:
The Savouries ★★★☆☆
The sandwiches are about as run-of-the-mill as you can get: Cucumber, chicken and egg. Decent but unremarkable.
Click here to see the 2016 savouries:
The Scones ★★★☆☆
The scones are served with three toppings: clotted cream, and two sorts of jam. I would’ve preferred if they had been brought warm or in a towel.
Click here to see the 2016 scones:
The Cakes & Sweets ★★★★☆
The cakes were the best part of this afternoon tea:
- Passion fruit and chocolate canelé
- Raspberry tartlet
- 100% chocolate cake ♥
- Pineapple cake on a sablé base
Click here to see the 2016 cakes:
The Service ★★★★☆
The staff is courteous, and efficient and our waiter was even kind enough to offer us a refill of cakes ♥
The hotel policy requires the guests to book in advance: the procedure is straightforward and the reservation team is highly responsive if you decide to call.
Click here to see the 2016 afternoon tea video:
Conclusion & Overall Mark ★★★★☆
As far as I’m aware, this is the best afternoon tea in Barcelona and despite the lack of competition, it does a decent job at it. The hotel is sumptuous, the tea selection is solid and the cakes are very good.
Unfortunately, I cannot give it a full mark due to the unremarkable savouries and slightly underwhelming scones.
+: Beautiful hotel, great location
+: Stunning view from the rooftop terrace
+: Delicious Pastries
+: Efficient service
+: Good value for money
-: Must be booked 48 hours prior
-: Unremarkable savouries