One of my very best friends in the whole wide world came to stay this weekend and if you have a heart of gold, as EJ does, you deserve to be treated accordingly. Now I can’t say that a visit to Hamleys on a Saturday 3 weeks before Christmas is something anyone should undertake without a flask of whiskey on one hip and a Taser on the other but the reward of a Chocolate Lovers Afternoon Tea, post trip to hell, did make up for it somewhat…
Tucked away in Mayfair, the Chesterfield Hotel oozes understated glamour and from the moment you step inside to a warm and sincere greeting, you can’t help but feel that yes, you’re going to have a rather lovely afternoon and why yes, you really would like to move in, thank-you so much for asking.
As we were a little early, completely shopped out and, thanks to the wintry drizzle outside, verging-on-frizzy (ladies, you know what I’m talking about), it was suggested we have a pre-tea drink in the bar which was, unsurprisingly, a suggestion we were most happy to get on board with. From the hushed but not library-esque calm that enveloped us, to the charming bartender to the excellent drinks and complimentary snacks, this was the perfect way to take a load off our feet and anticipate the chocolate blowout that was about to commence.
As lovers of all things chocolate, opting for this version of afternoon tea really wasn’t a tough decision to make and it was every bit as delicious and indulgent as you would imagine it to be.
Beautifully laid tables in a stunning conservatory were a good start to the experience as was the sincerely helpful waiter who attended to our every need. Traditionally delicate finger sandwiches were delicious and flavourful and, for those who think afternoon tea is teeny tiny bits of bread and cucumber that couldn’t possibly satisfy, they were complimentarily replenished twice and offered a third time.
All the cakes were naturally chocolate including scones studded with chocolate chunks and fruit topped tarts delivering one of your five a day and they were served alongside your choice of tea, hot chocolate or chocolate milkshake! I enjoyed the first, EJ the second and speaking of enjoyment, what’s afternoon tea in a beautiful setting without a glass of pink bubbles to wash it down with…perfect.
I really cannot endorse this experience in this hotel enough. I know afternoon tea is an institution and I’ve sipped and scoffed my way around a few locations in London from the cute – Bake-a-boo – to the fabulous – hello Ritz – and I can honestly say this more than holds its own. You won’t be rushed, you won’t feel under pressure to clear your plate and vacate the table for the next party; you’ll just feel relaxed, full and very very happy.