Every now and then, you have to hang out with people who are not keen on tea or soft drinks in general. But that doesn’t mean you can’t take them to a boozy afternoon tea! After finding myself in such a situation, I had the pleasure to review Mr Fogg’s Residence tipsy afternoon tea:
Mr Fogg’s Residence Setting ★★★★☆
It couldn’t be a hipster place if it wasn’t hard to find and Mr Fogg’s is about as hip as they go: it’s well hidden in a deserted lane, right in the heart of Mayfair.
The interior decoration is inspired by Phileas Fogg’s adventures around the world, resulting in an eclectic and yet coherent interior.
This is to be expected of a cocktail bar but the venue is very noisy and there is little privacy. Those of you who enjoy relaxing afternoon teas will have to go elsewhere.
Mr Fogg’s Residence Tipsy Afternoon Tea: The Cocktail & The Food
The Cocktails ★★★★★
There is no tea served at Mr Fogg’s, at least not the hot beverage you’re accustomed to when having afternoon tea. The experience starts with a welcome drink, which gives you something to sip while you and your friends will debate which cocktail to choose.
Do not make that decision too lightly as Mr Fogg’s tipsy afternoon tea policy is quite restrictive: guests may NOT order a different cocktail from the one they chose with their afternoon tea, unless they are willing to buy an extra afternoon tea at full price (£40). Now that’s a bit cheeky, and especially so if you end up choosing a cocktail you don’t enjoy…
The “bottomless teapot” option is even more strict. It has to be ordered for the whole table and the offer is only valid for two hours, starting at the booked arrival hour and not from the arrival hour so expect an effective duration of 1 hour and a half at most.
I really do not think the bottomless teapot is worth the extra £22-32, unless your whole party is really thirsty.
Even though actual tea is missing, the “Spirited tea” cocktails are made with a liqueur infused with tea, for the most delightful result.
- Tea Leaf You Wanting More: Earl Grey-infused Hendrick’s gin, St-Germain elderflower liqueur, homemade lemon verbena syrup and lemon juice ♥
- Ladies That Lapsang: Lapsang souchong-infused Martini Rosso vermouth, Hendrick’s gin, Drambuie liqueur, homemade vanilla syrup and lemon juice
- A Tropical Tincture: Reyka vodka infused with passion fruit, mango and green tea, Aperol aperitif, homemade lavender & orange syrup, passion fruit juice and lime juice
I especially enjoyed the “Tea Leaf You Wanting More” cocktail and so did the other guests. It’s the best cocktail according to a party of four and probably your safest bet.
- The Drunken Duchess: Reyka vodka, crème de mûre, cranberry juice, lemon bitters, homemade sugar syrup and fresh lemon juice, topped with Veuve Clicquot Rich champagne
- Japan-teas: Hendrick’s gin, Luxardo Sangue Morlacco cherry liqueur, orgeat syrup, apple juice and fresh lemon juice, topped with Veuve Clicquot Rich champagne
- To Pour Around Four: Hendrick’s gin, rose liqueur, jasmine syrup, pomegranate juice, fresh lemon juice and raspberry purée, topped with Veuve Clicquot Rich champagne
I had the opportunity to sample four cocktails and each one was delicious in its own way. It’ll come down to each guest’s preference but I encourage you to choose a few different cocktails rather than order a single one for the whole table.
The Food ★★★★☆
As is often the case with boozy afternoon teas, the food is nowhere as important as it usually is with traditional afternoon teas. The scones are absent and there are no food refills. Have no fear though: it is really tasty and the quantities are just right.
I’d normally write a very detailed food section but the food is secondary in this tipsy afternoon tea, it’s all about the cocktails! Not every table is served with the same sandwiches or cakes so it’ll be a surprise anyway!
Service was surprisingly efficient considering how popular Mr Fogg’s Residence tipsy tea is on a Sunday (not a single empty table!)
The venue opens right on time and groups go in one by one (with reservation checks) so you may have to queue for a little while. The staff is quite adamant about punctuality so don’t be late! I was quite pleased to see that the staff isn’t so strict on the departure time as long as your table isn’t needed afterwards.
Conclusion & Overall Mark ★★★★☆
Fancy cocktails on a weekend afternoon and not much of an improviser? Mr Fogg’s Residence Tipsy Afternoon Tea is your best bet: the setting is weirdly cute, the cocktails are amazing and the food is tasty.
The restrictive booking policy (£20 prepayment), the cheeky “bottomless” policy and the impossibility to order a cocktail à-la-carte do not warrant a perfect score. Did I also mention that parties of more than 6 people should be 50% male and 50% female? I’m not sure that this is so strictly enforced but keep it in mind if you’re planning a stag-do or a hen-do…
In this category, the Sanderson’s tipsy afternoon tea/evening tea is a solid contender, with more cocktail variety and a quieter setting. Ultimately, I still prefer Mr Fogg’s Residence cocktail afternoon tea but both options have their merits!
+: Nice setting
+: Relatively rare concept
+: Brilliant cocktails
+: Tasty food
+: “Tea Leaf You Wanting More”
-: One cocktail per afternoon tea
-: Bottomless not really worth it
-: £20 prepayment per guest
Phone: 0044 20 7036 0608