Afternoon Tea at the Four Seasons at Ten Trinity Square London – Review ★★★★★


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 Heritage Afternoon Tea at the Four Seasons at Ten Trinity Square London ★★★★★

“The Crown Jewels” Afternoon tea price: £35/person
Savoury bites, Scones & Sweets with your choice of Hot beverages
“The Crown Jewels” Champagne Afternoon tea price: £38-45/person
Savoury bites, Scones & Sweets with your choice of Hot beverages and a glass of Champagne

Food refills: Yes (Sandwiches & Scones); Tea refills: Yes; Alcohol refills: No

Service hours: Every day from 2 to 5 pm in the Rotunda Lounge

The Rotunda Lounge at the FS Ten Trinity Square

The Rotunda Lounge at the FS Ten Trinity Square

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.

 Service ★★★

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.

It retains its position in my top afternoon teas of the English capital on the luxury segment, along with the Mandarin Oriental London and the Rosewood London afternoon teas.

+: 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

The Four Seasons at Ten Trinity Square London Afternoon Tea

The Scones and Cakes & Sweets

The Four Seasons at Ten Trinity Square London Afternoon Tea

The Savouries

The “Bright Young Things” Afternoon Tea
Four Seasons at Ten Trinity Square London, UK (five-star hotel)

Overall Mark: ★★★★★

Afternoon Tea price: £45/person
Champagne Afternoon Tea price: £55-65/person

Tea refills: Yes (2-3 choices per person); Food refills: Yes

Service: Wednesday to Sunday from 2 to 5 pm
in the Rotunda Lounge

The Rotunda Lounge

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).

Malawi Moto black tea

The Tea & Beverage Selection ★★

The teas are sourced from the Rare Tea Company, an independent supplier which sources its tea directly from farmers in China, Japan, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Mexico and the UK. While there is no proper control guaranteeing whether such teas are organic as per European standards, this is about as close as it gets to a high quality organic/fair-trade tea.

The quality is, of course, excellent and there is more than enough choice, despite the regrettable absence of connoisseur teas. The staff is well-versed with tea brewing and pairing the teas with the food.

The afternoon tea menu already suggests a couple of teas: the White Silver Tip with the savouries and the Black Rare Chai with the sweets. I recommend the Sencha and the Malawi Moto (a smokey yet subtle black tea) which were both excellent.

17 teas & infusions from the Rare Tea Company (black, green, white, oolong and 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 Food: The Four Seasons at Ten Trinity Square London Afternoon Tea

The “Bright Young Things afternoon tea” is a marvel of creativity and originality, from the savouries to the sweets. The name is a tribute to a group of young hedonistic aristocrats and socialites that the tabloid press nicknamed the “Bright young things” in the 1920s.

The Four Seasons at Ten Trinity Square London Afternoon Tea

Savouries & Malawi Moto black tea

The Savouries ★★★

The Four Seasons Trinity London kitchen team created some fantastic savouries which are this afternoon tea’s tastiest course and perhaps the best savoury bites I ever had in London:

  • Chicken coronation (Curry mayonnaise & alyssum flowers) ♥♥♥
  • Heritage beetroot (Hazelnut, chives & goat cheese mousse) ♥
  • Salmon rillettes (Lime mayonnaise, egg roe & lemon balm leaves ♥
  • Roasted beef (Pink peppercorn sauce, rocket & parmesan)
  • Egg & truffle (Watercress & soft cooked quail egg) ♥♥

The chicken coronation sandwich is nice and sweet and it’s even better than the one they serve at the Dukes Hotel (my favourite until now). The egg & truffle sandwich is as gorgeous as it is tasty (I love that they topped it with a quail’s egg) and the salmon roll expertly combines salmon and smoked salmon.

The roasted beef is good too but the slightly burnt bread’s taste is overwhelming, so I recommend eating the beef with just a small quantity of bread in order to appreciate the meat’s flavour.

The Scones ★★★

The Plain and Cranberry & Cognac scones are served freshly baked in a dedicated box that keeps them warm. I’m always happy when the scones are served warm and/or in a blanket but a box is such an ideal container that I can’t believe it’s the first time I get served scones this way…

The scones are excellent and so are the toppings, with strawberry jam, apricot jam and clotted cream. The Cranberry & Cognac scone is so delicious and original that I suggest you have a bite without any topping!

The Four Seasons at Ten Trinity Square London Afternoon Tea

The Scones, Toppings and Cakes & Sweets with Rare Chai black tea

The Cakes & Sweets ★★★

The sweet treats may not be as good as the savouries but they’re gorgeous:

  • Rubi grapefruit cheesecake (Cream cheese mousse, pink grapefruit confit)
  • Mango, coconut & ginger (Citrus mousse, mango jelly, coconut & ginger dacquoise)
  • Pistachio, blackcurrant & violet (Pistachio chantilly, blackcurrant & violet jelly)
  • Chocolate & salted caramel (Salted butterscotch, Guanaja chocolate mousse)
  • Lime & raspberry pannacotta topped with Absynth (Lime pannacotta, raspberry jelly) ♥♥♥

You can tell a lot of effort has been put in the presentation, both in the cakes’ design and how they are positioned on the stand.

The Pannacotta is the star of the show. The addition of Absynth is genius: it suits the theme (the 1920s, decadence…), looks amazing (especially when the alcohol is lit as visible in the video below) and adds a very nice taste to the dessert.

If you’re lucky, the pastry chef may be experimenting with cakes and you’ll have the opportunity to try out a special cake. I sampled an improvised chocolate mousse & raspberry coulis cake (£4), which was delicious albeit a bit excessive after such a big afternoon tea.

 Service ★★★

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 José, Oscar and Elisabeth for their precious advice.

Below is a video detailing the contents of the “Bright Young Things Afternoon Tea”:

Conclusion & Overall Mark ★★★★

I expected the Four Seasons at Ten Trinity Square afternoon tea to be good but I didn’t expect it to reach such excellence. The setting is fantastic and unique, the tea selection is very good and the food is amazing, all for a very reasonable price (£45/person).

It is now in my top 3 afternoon teas of the English capital on the luxury segment, along with the Mandarin Oriental London and the Rosewood London afternoon teas.

+: Fantastic setting
+: Great atmosphere
+: Excellent teas from RareTeaCo
+: Delicious savouries
+: Gorgeous cakes & sweets
+: Four Seasons service
+: Excellent value for money

-: Not served on Monday & Tuesday
-: No connoisseur teas
-: I would’ve loved a 1920s cocktail

Official Website

Official Menu

Phone: +44 (20) 3297 9200

Address: 10 Trinity Square, London EC3N 4AJ, UK


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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