We gathered amidst green boughs, tinkling teacups and marbled
table tops. On the table champagne flutes sparkled, delicately dove grey striped
crockery nestled arranged just so and green blooms drew the eye to the space left
for our afternoon tea towers to occupy.
A stone’s throw away the hustle and bustle of Tottenham
Court Road, we drew our seats on a peaceful, secret terrace undiscovered by the
marauding hordes of shoppers nearby. Our beautifully dressed waiters found themselves
grinning at the antics of the hashtag of bloggers snapping merrily away at,
well, everything as they poured (and re-poured for photos) tea from the gleaming silver teapots and topped up our glasses of Perrier Jouët.
We were a hastag of bloggers, organised by Mrs Silverspoon London; Jess The Travelista, Mina at Kings Road Rocks, Luxury Lifestyle queen Lauren, Honey the Girl Next Shore, Wrap Your Lips Around This Mehreen and the lovebirds Kalachoe’s Katie and Twenty First Century Gent Ben.
We met on a sunny Saturday afternoon, in the beautifully leafy @dallowayterrace. Bloggers all, we snapped and slipped into our seats ready for afternoon tea. . . . #afternoontea #London #bloginvite #MrsDalloway #literary #amreading #luxury #mischief #bloggers #glutenfree #loveTheWorld #luxuryhotel #champagne #hightea #romantic #onthetable #moodofmytable #thisislondon #timeoutlondon #lovelondon #visitlondon #feedfeed #foodandwine #bestfoodworld #devourpower #lovefood #lefooding #eatfamous #gastronogram #foodandwine #lovedalloway
A photo posted by Emma (@londonkiwiemma) on
We settled in happily for a sunny Saturday afternoon of luxury.
The normal tea looked lovely – corn-fed smoked chicken in brioche, fingers of Cornish ham with relish and smoked
salmon rillettes served on Doyle Collection signature Guinness bread. Second helpings were very much enjoyed.
For she had come to feel that it was the only thing worth saying – what one felt. Cleverness was silly. One must say simply what one felt.” ― Virginia Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway
The afternoon tea menu is inspired by original recipes from the 1920s and 1930s modernised by the chefs and each of the menus contain more than a nod to the Virginia Woolf terrace namesake. The top tier was judged a success – the right mix of refinement without pointless froufrou – mini chocolate éclairs were delicately nibbled, lemon meringue
mousse dipped in to, chocolate cupcakes were snaffled and the mango and passion
fruit domes spooned with delight.
Mina and I sampled the gluten free afternoon tea, which was really rather good. The sandwiches were soft and tasty with a variety of fillings, and the scones were fresh, light and lovely which made me happy (nb. they would have passed Kelly’s scone test which is the standard by which I measure all afternoon teas now by.)
“One might fancy that day, the London day, was
just beginning. Like a woman who had slipped off her print dress and
white apron to array herself in blue and pearls, the day changed, put
off stuff, took gauze, changed to evening, and with the same sigh of
exhilaration that a woman breathes, tumbling petticoats on the floor, it
too shed dust, heat, colour; the traffic thinned; motor cars, tinkling,
darting, succeeded the lumber of vans; and here and there among the
thick foliage of the squares an intense light hung. I resign, the
evening seemed to say, as it paled and faded above the battlements and
prominences, moulded, pointed, of hotel, flat, and block of shops, I
fade, she was beginning. I disappear, but London would have none of it,
and rushed her bayonets into the sky, pinioned her, constrained her to
partnership in her revelry.” ― Virginia Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway
The top tier was lovely, if slightly plain in comparison to the beautiful presentation of the normal tea; we had the mousse, a chocolate brownie cake crowned with raspberries and a couple of deliciously delicate mini-loaves.
“Beauty, the world seemed to say. And as if to prove it (scientifically) wherever he looked at the houses, at the railings, at the antelopes stretching over the palings, beauty sprang instantly. To watch a leaf quivering in the rush of air was an exquisite joy. Up in the sky swallows swooping, swerving, flinging themselves in and out, round and round, yet always with perfect control as if elastics held them; and the flies rising and falling; and the sun spotting now this leaf, now that, in mockery, dazzling it with soft gold in pure good temper; and now again some chime (it might be a motor horn) tinkling divinely on the grass stalks—all of this, calm and reasonable as it was, made out of ordinary things as it was, was the truth now; beauty, that was the truth now. Beauty was everywhere.” ― Virginia Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway
I would definitely return for another afternoon of elegance (and blogger
mischief styling tips). We all especially cooed over the beautiful terrace, an elegant island secreted away from the busyness close by. Enjoying ourselves so much, we relocated downstairs to the beautiful Bloomsbury Club Bar, passing underneath twinkling fairly lights.
“Life stand still here.” ― Virginia Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway
I couldn’t have said it better myself.