Festive London: Holiday High Teas

The Dorchester's Festive Afternoon Tea

Holidays and high tea? There is no better combination—escaping London’s winter chill with warming cups of tea amid sparkling holiday splendor. For the occasion, luxury hotels often change up the traditional tea menu to incorporate seasonal foods (Think: turkey, cranberry, ginger and mince!)—all while seasonal music sets the backdrop.

We checked out the Festive Champagne Afternoon Tea at The Promenade in TheDorchester. The cheer begins upon entry: the lobby is aglow with a beautiful tree and gleaming holiday decor throughout, but the best is a massive gingerbread likeness of The Dorchester, built doll-house style showcasing interior rooms complete with little people and furniture—completely mesmerizing—children are even welcomed with a gingerbread cookie.

The Promenade is a long, elegant lobby that connects the hotel’s bars and restaurants, the result is an enjoyable amount of foot traffic and people watching—we spied businessmen and film crews, well dressed tourists and their children, locals from Mayfair on their way to after work cocktails and more.

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Waiters in tails flutter about, offering pink champagne and ruby-colored non-alcoholic cranberry cocktails for the kids. Presented with a book of teas to select, a Christmas Rooibos blended with orange peel, cloves, tempted us but we opted for the Spiced Caramel, which was smooth with hints of vanilla. Festive sandwiches: truffled egg salad and the turkey with cranberry and stuffing were favorites, with the brie and chutney coming in a close third. This was followed by warm, flaky scones with a choice of a tart red rhubarb or sweet strawberry jams and clotted cream, of course. Finally, four holiday-themed pastries: a creamy coconut snowball, a spiced carrot cake, a peanut butter and jelly sponge shaped as a present with a fondant bow, and passion fruit globe that looked like a Christmas tree ornament. We enjoyed all this while a talented singer and pianist soothed us with a mix of holiday and pop songs. We found one problem with The Dorchester Festive Afternoon Tea: you never want to leave. 

Festive Champagne Afternoon Tea at The Dorchester is available until January 1 in The Promenade. On select weekends through December 24, the hotel is also offering a Christmas Carol Afternoon tea with carols sung by local school children. 

Other holiday teas available until January, 2018:

Hotel Café Royal has joined with French artist and perfumer, diptyque, to create their Festive Diptyque Afternoon Tea. The tea features pastries inspired by four iconic diptyque scents, plus each guest receives a Baies Candle, diptyque’s most popular scent, as a gift. 

Claridge’s has carolers on the weekends and adds a course of traditional Christmas Pudding for their festive tea.

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