After our night at the Savile Club, the girls and I had a sleepover at A's brand spankin' new apartment, and then went for afternoon tea the next day in our beloved Mayfair. I'd seen the Festive Afternoon Tea at The Athenaeum hotel advertised last month, and being a fan of the place after reviewing it months back, we decided to check it out.
The hotel was festive and covered in gorgeous decorations! We were seated at a lovely big table in the restaurant, as the conservatory where they usually have afternoon tea was fully booked. It all went a little downhill from there. The restaurant was empty as it was 3:30pm, yet the service was shocking. It took them over half an hour to take our order, and forever to bring us each 'round' of the afternoon tea.
When the food eventually arrived, we were still without the tea, and we were half way through our sandwiches before we asked where the tea was. It arrived as we were finishing. The sandwiches were...ok. The good thing was that the supply was endless - you weren't limited to how many you were allowed. The bad thing was that the turkey in the turkey and cranberry sandwiches was full of fat and looked and tasted cheap - it definitely couldn't have been 'real' turkey.
Next were the scones and mince pies. This was the best round by far! Deliciously homemade, crumbly and gorgeous, the scones were cranberry and all-spice and came with homemade mixed berry and vanilla jam and devonshire clotted cream. The mince pies melted in your mouth and were absolutely wonderful!
The third round we had lemon and berry tartlets, chocolate strawberries, profiteroles and mulled wine jellies. We were supposed to have christmas cupcakes and homemade jammy shortbreads (what I was looking forward to the most!) with this course as well...but they didn't give them to us.
You'll have to excuse the state we're in...we all got home at 4am and were rather hungover. Showers and make-up went out the window...we just wanted food.
There was supposed to be a fourth round consisting of chocolate yule logs, malt whisky fruit cake, traditional stollen, and carrot cake...but this never arrived, and instead we were given the bill. We had already been there 3 hours and were so fed up with the service that we just paid up and left. We left feeling cheated out of £160 for the four of us.
I was so incredibly disappointed with this. I absolutely love The Athenaeum and their food, and their Evergreen Afternoon Tea is outstanding, but this was such a let down. The desserts and puddings were absolutely delicious, but for £29.50 for the standard festive afternoon tea and £36.50 for the champagne one, it wasn't worth the money at all seeing as they didn't bring us one of the courses. The service was shocking (although I think it was just because we were in the restaurant instead of the afternoon tea room, but still...), we didn't get the full amount and choice we should have done, and I still can't get over how cheap and 'processed' the turkey tasted.
*sigh* I hate doing bad reviews, and I rarely do them because I hate doing them so much...but I had to do this. Do not make the same mistake we did!
Have you had a festive afternoon tea anywhere? Any recommendations?