After some rather underwhelming experiences at the Shard and the Elbphilarmonie, I try to manage my expectations when I go to an “afternoon tea with a view”. I didn’t have to when I reviewed the Waldorf Astoria Berlin afternoon tea as it had a lot more to offer than a stunning view of the city:
September 2020 update: Price and service hours.
The Setting ★★★★★
The Waldorf Astoria Berlin sits in a high-rise building, right across from the Berlin Zoo and Zoologischer Garten. It’s a bit far from the city centre compared to other five-star hotels in the city but it’s very easy to reach via U-Bahn. You may also go through the park straight from Brandenburg Tor if you want to take a long walk.
The hotel itself is very modern and welcoming, though history buffs will probably be rather unimpressed: this building doesn’t have much of a story to tell compared to its sister hotel in Amsterdam.
The Library Lounge ★★★★★
Afternoon tea is served in the library lounge, on the hotel’s 15th floor. The venue is gorgeous and offers tranquillity as well as a stunning panoramic view of Berlin.
There is no live music but the selection is very fitting, with lots of piano and instrumental pieces which suit the library’s atmosphere perfectly.
I am afraid that I went to this afternoon tea on a grey rainy day but the 180 degrees view amazed us regardless.
Live music: No
The Tea & Beverage Selection ★★★★★
There are 18 organic teas and infusions sourced from the
Wellmondo tea company TWG (Sept 2020 update). The tea is served with an hourglass so you can remove the filter to control the brew. I felt that there wasn’t always enough water to let the whole tea leaves sip in so I always asked for an extra pot of water.
The Waldorf Astoria Berlin afternoon tea includes tea refills so you’ll be able to sample any tea that tickles your fancy. I recommend the “royal sunon” yellow tea and the “dark waters” black tea. The hot chocolate is decent but nothing special, I don’t recommend it as you’ll want to save your appetite for the sweets 🙂
18 loose-leaf teas & infusions from the
Wellmondo tea company (6 black, 1 oolong, 2 green, 1 yellow, 1 white and 7 infusions)
Brewing method: At the table in a metal glass pot, with a removable tea strainer
The Savouries ★★★☆☆
The high tea starts with three run-of-the-mill sandwiches.
- Cucumber & Cream cheese
- Salmon (herb bread) ♥
- Roast-beef (tomato bread)
There is quite a lot of cream/sauce filling but that’s quite common Germany. That didn’t stop me from enjoying that salmon sandwich with herb-flavoured bread!
While the sandwiches themselves are nothing special, the flavoured bread is a really nice touch and that alone makes these savouries a lot more enjoyable.
The Scones ★★★★★
The Plain and Raisin Scones are served wrapped in a blanket to retain the heat. There are plenty of toppings to choose from: strawberry, strawberry-mango ♥, apricot, orange marmelade, cherry; honey and of course, traditional clotted cream.
The Cakes & Sweets ★★★★★
The afternoon tea cakes ★★★★★
The Waldorf Astoria Berlin afternoon tea will also feature a buffet over Christmas but in the meantime, each guest is served with five cakes:
- Pistachio Macaron
- Chocolate cake topped with Strawberry cream
- Apricot cake topped with Pistachio crumbs ♥
- Nut-splitter Chocolate cake
- Lemon tartlet ♥♥
Each cake is both tasty and gorgeous. I’m no fan of lemon in general but that “tartelette au citron” topped with meringue stole my heart!
The à-la-carte cakes ★★★★★
Most of you won’t be hungry after having the full afternoon tea but it’s possible to order cakes and pastries from the Roca’s deli café on the first floor.
We had the pleasure to sample the “Red velvet cake” as well as the “Sacher Torte”. It is quite different from the one served at the Sacher Vienna but well worth a try too: the macaron and the gold leaf are a nice touch!
Dimitri is the manager of the library lounge and he’s really good at his job. He’s professional, courteous and goes the extra mile to satisfy his guests (e.g. accompanying us to the first floor to choose the cakes).
The rest of the staff was equally competent and the afternoon tea was all the more pleasant.
Conclusion & Overall Mark ★★★★★
The Waldorf Astoria Berlin afternoon tea is easily among the best in the city: the venue is perfect, the view is stunning, the tea selection is great, the food itself is excellent and the price is more than fair (40€/person).
We spent 7 hours sitting in the library lounge and we barely noticed until it was time to go (the rain probably played a part in that). Whether you go for the view or for the afternoon tea itself, you’re bound to have a good time.
Full disclosure: I have yet to review other afternoon teas in Berlin. I did spend a small hour in the Kempinski Berlin’s lounge but I didn’t have a good feeling about the place and didn’t order the full afternoon tea. I did sample a few others in Munich and Hamburg, but the positive feelings about the Waldorf Astoria Berlin high tea lack the perspective I’d normally have. I hope to review other afternoon teas in Berlin soon!
+: The atmosphere of the Library Lounge
+: The view of Berin
+: The organic teas
+: The Scones
+: The Cakes & Sweets
+: The service
+: Excellent value for money
-: Average sandwiches
-: Bookings required
-: Weekends only (Sept 2020 update)
Phone: +49 30 8140000