It was at the George V Paris that I first heard of the Four Seasons at Ten Trinity Square London. The staff told me it was the newest hotel in the Four Seasons collection and that their afternoon tea should be next on my list. I did review it in 2018 and it was fantastic. I am now back to review their latest creation: “The Crown Jewels Afternoon Tea”, a reference to the eponymous jewels which are kept in the nearby Tower of London:
The Setting ★★★★★
There are two Four Seasons Hotels in London: The Four Seasons Park Lane (first of the brand to open in Europe) and the Four Seasons at Ten Trinity Square (opened in 2017). The hotel is located in a grandiose limestone Beaux-Arts building dating back to the 1920s.
Originally, the collonaded building is the former headquarters of London’s port authority (see night pics below). It was badly damaged during World War 2 and was purchased in 2007 with the aim of being converted into a hotel. The renovations took almost 10 years, as several archaeological discoveries were made: this is where the Romans founded Londinium, which explains why so many millennia old treasures kept turning up during the excavations.
The interior is as grandiose as the exterior so I suggest you take a stroll around the hotel. The Dame de Pic London and the Mei Ume teams are very welcoming and will gladly give you a tour of their respective restaurants.
The Rotunda Lounge ★★★★★
The Rotunda Lounge is a stunning room with a dome-shaped ceiling and white walls featuring motifs to symbolise the four elements. The atmosphere is evocative of the 1920s: art-déco style, colour contrasts, Jazz music…
I recommend sitting in the upper area of the lounge as it offers more privacy. If you fancy a drink before/after your afternoon tea, it would be a pity not to sit at a copper bar counter which will take you back one century.
Live music: Wed-Sun from 3 to 5 pm; Thursday from 6 to 9 pm (cocktail night).
The Tea & Beverage Selection ★★★☆☆
The Four Seasons Ten Trinity Square used to source its teas from the Rare Tea Company, but I’m afraid they’ve now switched to JING teas. This results in a noticeable drop in quality but considering that the afternoon tea also costs £10 less, this is quite easily forgiven (though I’d happily pay that extra price for a better tea offer…).
The green tea is brewed a bit too hot so this often leads to a bitter taste. I recommend the Waikato Oolong, which won’t suffer from being brewed at high temperature.
The tea is served in gorgeous Richard Brendon China cups and teapots. Cute as it may be, the teapots are a tad small and you’ll get three servings at mos per teapot. The teas are refillable so this isn’t an issue per se, but I don’t like wasting tea leaves… I recommend asking for a pot of hot water which each tea, both to regulate the brew and to get a bit more tea per serving.
14 teas & infusions from the JING Tea Company (3 black, 3 green, 2 white, 2 oolong and 4 infusions)
Brewing method: Brewed in a teapot brought to the table; infusion cannot be stopped (the tea is bound to over-brew sooner or later)
The Savouries ★★★★☆
The Four Seasons Trinity London chef was creative enough when designing the sandwiches so they don’t feel too run-of-the-mill. You”ll probably end up asking for more 🙂
- Pastrami with Sauerkraut
- Cucumber with minted cream cheese
- Chicken coronation (Curry mayonnaise & alyssum flowers) ♥♥
- Egg mayonnaise with Truffle & Watercress
- Scottish smoked salmon with herb mayonnaise ♥
The chicken coronation sandwich is nice and sweet and it may be on par with the one they serve at the Dukes Hotel (my favourite in London).
The Scones ★★★★★
The perfectly baked Plain and Sultana scones are served freshly baked in a wrapped serviette that lets them stay warm, as long as you don’t order that extra refill of sandwiches.
They are served with strawberry jam ♥♥, raspberry jam, lemon curd and clotted cream. The jams come from Wendy Brandon Jams & Preserves and they’re downright fantastic, especially that strawberry jam which contains a hint of redcurrant for an even more pleasant flavour.
The Cakes & Sweets ★★★★★
“The Crown Jewels Afternoon Tea” Cakes & Pastries:
- Macaron (Griotte, Amarena Cherries & Liquorice)
- Tartlet (Manjari Chocolate, Sancho berries & Fresh Raspberries) ♥
- Crown (Rhubarb, Jasmine Tea Chantilly, Strawberry & Combawa confit) ♥♥♥
- Choux (Lemon Meringue, Hazelnut Streusel & Line jelly)
You can tell a lot of effort has been put in the presentation. The cakes are not only tasty, but they are also extremely pleasing aesthetically: this Crown Jewels afternoon tea is worthy of its prestigious name.
Four Seasons service, need I say more? It’s perfect in every aspect: the staff knowledgeable about the hotel, the teas, the food and are both courteous and efficient.
The team always makes sure that you have a refilled glass of water, which is a simple yet highly effective palate cleanser. Special thanks to Alice and Alex for their precious advice and ever thoughtful attention.
Below is a video detailing the contents of the “Crown Jewels Things Afternoon Tea”:
Conclusion & Overall Mark ★★★★★
After reviewing the stunning “Bright Young Things” last year, I had very high expectation for the revamped Four Seasons at Ten Trinity Square afternoon tea.
The new “Crown Jewels” afternoon tea delivers in every aspect and it’s nothing short of a steal. The setting is fantastic and unique, the tea selection is good and the food is amazing, all for a fantastic price (£35/person). The tea selection is a tad inferior compared to last year but all is forgiven considering the £10 price drop.
+: Fantastic setting
+: Great atmosphere
+: Delicious scones & toppings
+: Gorgeous cakes & sweets
+: Four Seasons service
+: Excellent value for money
-: JING teas are not as good as last year’s
-: No connoisseur teas
-: I’ll miss the “Bright Young Things” afternoon tea
Click here to read the “Bright Young Things” Afternoon Tea 2018 review
Phone: +44 (20) 3297 9200