I discovered the Great Scotland Yard London afternoon tea by chance, as I was looking for a venue located in the vicinity of Waterloo station. Both the venue and the Floris themed afternoon tea intrigued me so I went for it, and I’m sure glad I did.
The Setting ★★★★★
The Great Scotland Yard Hotel is located on the eponymous street of Westminster, a stroll away from Trafalgar Square and Charing Cross. The building site has a long and complex history, divided between the Scottish royalty, the London Metropolitan Police, and the Ministry of Defence.
The name of the hotel derives from the location of the original Metropolitan Police headquarters at 4 Whitehall Place, which had a rear entrance on Great Scotland Yard street. The building was acquired by Hypermarkets operator Lulu in 2015 and then resold to the Hyatt hotel group, who opened it as its first “Unbound Collection” property in December 2019.
The interior decoration is among the best I have ever seen, heavily capitalising on the hotel’s history as police and army HQ. I’m no interior decoration buff but I must admit that this hotel is extraordinary!
Spêcially mandated art consultant Sarah Percy-Davis curated more than 600 paintings and artefacts which are displayed across the property, relating to police and military officer but also several infamous criminals such as Jack the Ripper (see pictures below).
If you can spare the time, I suggest you visit the bar and the restaurants, all of which have a personality of their own and equally stunning decor (see pictures below).
The Parlour ★★★★★
Afternoon tea is served in the Parlour, a gorgeous venue that feels very different from the rest of the hotel. The theme feels a bit more exotic, with luscious palm trees, tiled floors and comfy armchairs. I might as well imagine Sir Francis Drake telling fellow explorers about his travels across the seven seas.
The atmosphere feels very intimate and the venue isn’t very noisy, the perk of an intelligent setup that makes the best of the long and narrow room.
We were very lucky and got to sit by the chimney, arguably the nicest spot for afternoon tea. The sofas are very comfortable and the location gave us a bit of privacy as well.
The Tea & Beverage Selection ★★★★☆
The tea is supplied by the Rare Tea Company, you could say that the GSY hotel has decided to focus 18025 on quality rather than quantity.
There are 9 teas and infusions on offer, fewer options than usual but each tea is very nice and expertly brewed in the kitchen at temperature. That’s the best method in my opinion, though it prevents you from re-using the lea leaves.
9 teas (2 black, 2 green, 1 white, 1 oolong 3 infusions); coffee
Tea brewing method: Loose-leaf in the kitchen
Tea & coffee refills: yes
The Savouries ★★★★☆
The afternoon tea starts with five savouries. I love the fact that the GY kitchen team has gone above and beyond the usual sandwiches.
- Pumpkin, Rocket and Montgomery Cheddar Quiche
- Smoked Salmon, Horseradish and Avruga Caviar on White Bread ♥
- Roasted Gammon and Celeriac Remoulade on Brown Bread
- Truffle Egg Mayonnaise on Briochette
- Roasted Cauliflower and Stout Gougère
The Scones ★★★★★
The plain and raisin scones are served freshly baked, wrapped in a blanket to retain the warmth. The scones were excellent and served with a delicious blackcurrant jam and cornish clotted cream.
The Cakes & Sweets ★★★★★
The Great Scotland Yard Hotel team has partnered with Floris of London to design edible works of art, using fresh flower petals to incorporate into stunning cakes that are fragrant, tasty, and beautiful.
- Rhubarb & Rose Charlotte ♥♥♥
- Lemon & Mint Choux
- Orange & Grapefruit Jammy Dodger ♥
- Darjeeling Macaron
- Passion Fruit & Coconut Cake
The Charlotte and the Jammy Dodgers were my favourites, but each cake was unique in both in taste and appearance – the Moustache on the Jammy Dodgers can be found all around the hotel, e.g in the Mens’ Room where a message encourages gentlemen to “leave no evidence” 😀
The Service ★★★★★
The service is courteous, friendly and efficient. We didn’t feel pressured to leave even though we overstayed our welcome by an hour or two. Below is a video detailing the contents of the afternoon tea:
Conclusion & Overall Mark ★★★★★
Pastry chef Veronica Verónica Garrido Martínez and perfumier Floris London have come together to create an afternoon tea that is a delight to the senses: taste, smell and sight are truly spoiled at the Great Scotland Yard afternoon tea.
This might be the best themed afternoon tea I’ve had in years: it’s a unique experience in a unique hotel! The interior alone is also well worth the visit – the Great Scotland Yard London really has character.
The GSY also serves a dog afternoon tea every other Sunday, which I was unable to try as my little guy Louis had stayed in Vienna :/ Next time I hope!
+: The Great Scotland Yard interiors
+: Such a cool theme!
+: The Parlour
+: Good teas
+: The food
+: The stunning cakes et sweets
+: Excellent service
+: The dog afternoon tea
-: Few teas on offer