Afternoon tea is a confection straight out of a Roman myth; conversation and delicate treats wrapping around the spindle of an afternoon tea stand, essential ingredients threaded into the warp and weft of Ariadne’s loom. Or some may say enjoying a few hours of afternoon tea somewhere like Cranley Hotel is just a lovely way to while away an afternoon with a good friend – one who you’ve explored some remarkable ancient places with.
I prefer to take the former and latter approach to life, so yeah. Call me extra if you will.
I grew up on the other side of the world, but that doesn’t stop me embracing the traditions of a winter Christmas – especially the sheer cosy joy of a Christmas afternoon tea. This year the Wellington Lounge of the Intercontinental Hotel on Park Lane has a fabulous twelve days of Christmas theme that will delight the senses of the most hardened grinch.
Disclaimer: We were delighted to be a guest of IHG and afternoontea.co.uk to review the beautiful 12 Days of Christmas Afternoon Tea at the Intercontinental Hotel on Park Lane.
The InterContinental London Park Lane stands proudly today on the very site of 145 Piccadilly, the Queen’s former childhood residence. Sadly 145 Piccadilly was to suffer the same fate as many in London during the war, being destroyed in the blitz. Between 1968 and 1975, work began by Sir Frederick Gibberd on the design and construction of the luxury hotel – and the hotel was opened by His Grace the 8th Duke of Wellington, Arthur Wellesley on 23rd September 1975.
There is a special magic that falls over London at this time of year, a shimmer that only appears between late autumn twilights and inky early winter evenings. I’ve had a touch of the Grinch about me this year, but spending the afternoon enjoying the festive afternoon tea at the Connaught Hotel cast the Christmas spell over me, with a twinkle of fairy lights dancing between champagne bubbles.
Disclaimer: We were invited guests of The Connaught Hotel, but my ruminations, glittery dress and exacting afternoon tea standards are all very much my own.
The festive magic shows itself, dancing subtly between hung baubles, notes of laughter and the glimmer of festive dresses that we pulled out of our wardrobes with sheer glee.
To me, afternoon tea is all about spending quality time with someone special – taking time out of a normal day to enjoy a little indulgent luxury. Relaxing at Rubens Hotel in their Palace Lounge was just perfect after a busy, stressful couple weeks for both my lovely friend and I.
Disclaimer: We were guests of Buyagift but my (very many) thoughts and pinky raising are very much all my own posing.
There’s an old adage that the best gift you can give is time, which Buyagift has taken to the next level, offering all kinds of amazing experiences (and cool enough ones that you’ll hope the gift receiver will take the hint to invite you to.) We’ve sent and been given lovely experiences via Buyagift for years, so when they invited me to try one of the hotel afternoon teas they offer in honour of afternoon tea week, it was an immediate yes.
In the words of London’s most famous Nanny herself, the Aqua Shard Mary Poppins Afternoon Tea was practically perfect in every way. With breathtaking views of the London skyline, the fabulous Angie and Binny by my side and the time-worn pages of PL Travers’ tales setting the scene, we knew from the start it was going to be a sumptuous afternoon.
Disclaimer: We were invited guests of Aqua Shard but my (very many) thoughts and all misappropriation of quotes can definitively be laid at my boots.
Launched to celebrate the re-release by HarperCollins Children’s Books of the 5 fabulous Mary Poppins books and to herald the new movie coming out nearer Christmas, we couldn’t wait to see what the inventive Aqua team had devised for this childhood classic.