Last year I bought my husband Afternoon Tea for Two at The Landmark, a beautiful luxury hotel in London’s Marylebone. With lockdowns and restrictions taking place throughout the year we only just managed to book the tea – almost an entire year later! But it was worth the wait though as we got to have their very festive Christmas Afternoon Tea.
The entrance to the hotel is just gorgeous and so impressive when you enter. It’s been a hotel since 1899 apart from when it served as a hospital during World War I and after the second World War it became the headquarters of British Rail. It’s certainly steeped in history.
The hotel is beautiful at any time of year but at Christmas time it’s just magical! Christmas trees and decorations light up the hotel and give it a Christmas movie feel.
The most impressive tree of all has to be the one at the entrance to the Winter Garden, which is where afternoon tea is served. It’s huge!
We were shown to our table and the menu was a QR code, where he had to choose our tea and then two jams to go with our scones. I had purchased the Champagne Afternoon Tea so we started with a glass of Champagne and the sandwiches.
There was a piano player who was playing some festive tunes, which was lovely and added to the Christmas ambience. Although, there were some non-Christmas songs too from time to time.
There were four different types of sandwiches – all very traditional – cucumber, salmon, egg mayonnaise with watercress and coronation chicken. You could order another round of sandwiches and we chose more of just the coronation chicken. I appreciate they went with traditional but as it was a festive afternoon tea, it would have been nice to have had at least one festive-themed sandwich like turkey and cranberry, for example.
The cake selection was much more festive. But first, the tea. There was a really good variety of tea to choose from. I went with Rooibos, as it’s my favourite and my husband chose Earl Grey.
On to the cakes! There were two types of scones – plain and cranberry and mandarin and we chose the raspberry deluxe jam and the rhubarb redcurrant and vanilla. The scones were absolutely delicious and I loved the rhubarb jam!
As the scones were served with Cornish cream, we put the jam on first – as is the Cornish way!
After devouring the scones, we moved on to the cakes. There were four different cakes and you got one each but at this point we were feeling a bit full so we opted to share the four and then take the remaining four home with us.
We started with the very cute little Christmas pudding, which was actually gingerbread mousse, chocolate brownie and redcurrant. This was the one I thought I wouldn’t like that much as I’m not really a fan of Christmas pudding but it was actually delicious.
Next we tried the honey and bitter orange Yule log, which tasted to me like a Terry’s Chocolate Orange or a Jaffa Cake! Then it was on to the macaroon with macerated fruits, hazelnut & chocolate ganache, which was both of our favourite. We saved for last what we thought would be our favourite – the cranberry and cinnamon opera with Cognac – however neither of us like cinnamon very much and this had quite a lot in!
All in all the experience was fabulous and the setting is really gorgeous. It’s probably my favourite Afternoon Tea setting after The Shard. However I think the sandwiches lacked imagination and we weren’t keen on the cinnamon in the last cake. I would go again though but perhaps at a different time of year – although we’d miss out on the stunning Christmas decorations!