Japanese Afternoon Tea at The Courthouse Hotel, London – Review ★☆☆☆☆

When I left my previous workplace, my colleagues kindly gave me a voucher for a “Japanese afternoon tea” at the Courthouse Hotel in London. How can I say this? It’s not really Japanese and it’s not really an afternoon tea either:

Japanese Afternoon Tea in a bentō box – The Courthouse Hotel London – Silk Restaurant

Japanese Afternoon Tea in a bentō box – The Courthouse Hotel London – Silk Restaurant

Japanese Afternoon Tea
The Courthouse Hotel London, 5* Hotel (map)

Overall Mark: ★☆☆☆☆

Japanese Afternoon Tea price: £29.50/person
£40 with a glass of Champagne or Japanese Plum Wine

Tea Refills: YesFood Refills: No

Service: 3 to 6 pm
in the Silk Restaurant

The Courthouse Hotel London Setting ★★★

This boutique hotel is set in a former magistrate’s court, just a few minutes away from the Oxford Circus tube station and Liberty department store.

The contemporary decoration feels somehow at odds with the hotel’s history, but I must admit I loved the lobby’s atmosphere.

The Silk restaurant ★★

Afternoon Tea is served in the Silk restaurant, where Asian idols and a former British courtroom setting awkwardly coexist. Some may like these daring decorative choices but I just found them a bit tacky.

Still, there is plenty of space and natural light, and the venue is pleasant if you’re not too bothered about the decoration.

The Tea & Beverage Selection ★★

There are  11 teas & infusions on offer (black, green, white, oolong and herbal) from Twinnings and the English Tea Shop. I could forgive the use of teabags and the temperature issues but it’s just incredible that a “Japanese afternoon tea” does not offer any Japanese tea, such a basic Sencha.

For an extra £10.50, guests can get a glass of Claude Renoux Champagne or a glass of Plum Wine. I recommend the latter as it turned out to be the best part of the afternoon tea.

Japanese Afternoon Tea in a bentō box – The Courthouse Hotel London – Silk Restaurant

The Food ★

Since there are no scones and very few sweets, I’ll evaluate the food in a single category. The food is served in a very cute Bento box. It’s too bad that the contents were so unremarkable:

  • Chicken katsu  (Crumb fried chicken supreme)
  • Broccoli tempura (Broccoli florets fried in butter)
  • Daifuku (Rice cake with Azuki beans filling)
  • Edamame
  • Steamed vegetable gyoza (Hearty and flavourful dumpling)
  • Califonia Maki (Inside-out sushi roll with cucumber, and smoked salmon)
  • Cucumber maki roll (Large sushi roll filled with cucumber)
  • Lemon tart
  • Green tea mousse (Creamy green tea infused with mousse)
  • Strawberries

The quality is quite disappointing for an afternoon tea in this price range. Despite appearances, it’s also quite frugal (the quantity below is for two people).

The Service ★★

The restaurant staff is both polite and efficient, but some staff members could have been more welcoming.

The booking process may be tedious, especially if you have a voucher.

Conclusion & Overall Mark 

This may seem harsh but the Courthouse Hotel’s so-called “Japanese afternoon tea” is the worst afternoon tea I’ve had in a while. The decor is tacky, the tea is not loose-leaf and the food is rather bland. If you fancy a Japanese afternoon tea, you’d better choose Ichi Sushi.

NB: It’s possible to get a better deal if you buy a voucher from Virgin Experience:the afternoon tea price falls to £21/person with a glass of Plum wine/Champagne. For such a price, I’d give it two stars.

+: The location
+: The Plum wine
+: Good voucher price

-: The Silk restaurant
-: The teas (no Japanese tea?!)
-: Bland food
-: Tedious booking process with voucher

Official Website

Official Afternoon Tea Menu

Email: silk@courthouse-hotel.com

Phone number: 020 7297 5555

Address: 19-21 Great Marlborough Street, London, W1F 7HL

About Sam

My name is Samuel, I’m a French-British foodie, teaholic and serial traveller. I especially love afternoon tea as it combines everything I love: lovely venues, plenty of tea and lots of delicious food. In my never-ending quest for perfection, I make sure to try out at least one afternoon tea a day whenever I spend a weekend in London, Paris, Dublin, Hamburg, Vienna... Keep calm and bon appétit!

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