The Waldorf Hilton Hotel London serves a classic West End afternoon tea, let’s see if it’s worthy of the Waldorf name:
Classic West End Afternoon Tea
The Waldorf Hilton Hotel London, 4* Hotel (map)
Overall Mark: ★★★★☆
Afternoon Tea price: £39/person
£45.50 with a glass of Sparking Wine, £49.50 with a glass of Champagne
Tea Refills: Yes; Food Refills: Yes
Service: Tuesday to Friday: 1 to 5 pm; Saturday to Monday: 1:30 to 5 pm
in The Homage Restaurant
The Waldorf Hilton Hotel London Setting ★★★★☆
This majestic hotel is set in a 1908 building and sits in the very prestigious Aldwych Street. The location is ideal and within walking distance of most of the West End’s theatres and operas. It’s also just a stroll away from Covent Garden’s tube station.
The Homage restaurant
Afternoon Tea is served in the Homage restaurant. Guests who enjoy history and elegance will feel right at home: the ionic pillars, the chandeliers, the gigantic mirrors and the harpist come together to create a brilliant atmosphere.
The Tea & Beverage Selection ★★★☆☆
There are 12 Twinnings tea on offer (black, green, white, oolong and infusions). This tea brand is quite decent but not exceptional either. The best tea is the “Waldorf Tribute”, which cleverly blends Second Flush Assam to a hint of Lapsang Souchong. Its pleasant malty flavour made me feel sorry that you can’t find it anywhere else, though I may try to blend it myself someday.
Guests who choose to go with the £49 Waldorf Afternoon tea will also get a glass of Champagne, which may be replaced by a cocktail or a mocktail. For my fellow teetotallers, I would recommend the “Passion Promise mocktail” (passion fruit juice, fresh lime juice, vanilla sugar and cream).
The Savouries ★★★★☆
There are five savouries, which will not shine with their originality but everything is prepared just right:
- Oak smoked salmon and chive, infused cream cheese (Pumpernickel Disk) ♥
- Baked ham with a hint of Dijon mustard (Onion Slice)
- Free range egg and watercress (Basil loaf)
- Open faced chicken coronation (Mediterranean wheel)
- Citrus fused tuna mayonnaise with slithers of chilled cucumber (Carrot bread)
I especially loved the smoked salmon disk which was both refreshing and tasty.
The Amuse-Bouche & Scones ★★★☆☆
The afternoon tea starts with an amuse-bouche served in a small-size beer glass (see the second picture below). I’m not that keen on jelly-ish desserts and this was no exception, but I appreciate the effort and I’m sure this one will be a delight for many.
Each guest is served with one plain and one raisin scones, along with clotted cream and strawberry preserve. The scones themselves were very tasty but the strawberry preserve itself was rather bland.
The Cakes & Sweets ★★★★☆
On top of the amuse-bouche, there are four cakes and sweets:
- Victoria Sponge Cake
- Mandarin & Orange Cupcake ♥
- Chocolate Mousse in an Edible black chocolate bowl
- White Chocolate, Coconut & Lavender Macaroon
The Mandarin and Orange cupcake is a delight, provided that your palate can handle its sour taste. There is no need to worry if you prefer sweets though, as the Chocolate Mousse and the Macaroon are also extremely pleasing as well.
This part of the tea would have been perfect if the Victoria Sponge hadn’t been so average.
The Service ★★★★☆
The staff is both polite and efficient.
Conclusion & Overall Mark ★★★★☆
The Waldorf Hilton Hotel London serves a very good traditional English afternoon tea, with no special theme or gimmick despite the “West End” name.
Still, I’ll recommend it to people looking for a traditional English afternoon tea experience and/or a pre-theatre meal, as the location is brilliant and the food is delicious. If the tea selection and the strawberry preserve had been better, the whole experience would have been perfect.
+: The Waldorf Hilton
+: Brilliant location
+: The harpist
+: The food
+: Great service
-: Average tea selection
-: The strawberry preserve
Phone number: 020 7299 2037
Address: Aldwych, London WC2B 4DD, UK