Thursday, 22 August 2013

Afternoon Tea Review - The Park Lane Hotel

Afternoon Tea Review - The Park Lane Hotel, £33 per person

Honorary Tea Lady Dave chose to go to the Park Lane Hotel for his birthday afternoon tea.  Tea is taken in the Palm Court, a lobby area with sofas and a bar, just past the reception.  It is a cosy, nicely decorated area and the comings and goings of the hotel guests was barely noticeable.  The seating, however, was a little awkward and designed for comfort rather than eating a meal - we had a sofa for 2, an armchair and  a pouffe.  There were only a couple of tables to sit up at, so if you're going there with someone elderly make sure you get one of these.

They had a good range of teas, which included everything we'd expect to see on a tea menu - green, white, oolong, flowering teas, herbal teas, rooibos and a good variety of black teas. Caroline had the Ceylon, Charlotte the Organic Silver Needle White Tea, Mo the Russian Caravan, and Dave the Assam.  The tea was poured for us, and although it was loose leaf, they only used two tea strainers between the four of us, which none of us were very happy about.  The quality was generally good, although the White tea was disappointing as it tasted of Jasmine, which the menu hadn't indicated.  We were given extra hot water and refills when we asked.  24/30
The sandwiches were an interesting range of crab and cucumber, coronation smoked chicken and watercress, roast beef with wasabi,  roasted and smoked salmon on pesto bread, egg and crème fraiche on carrot and herb bread and there was a vegetarian option available if needed.  We were a little disappointed that a couple of the fillings were a bit meagre, but they were generally good quality, we liked the variety in breads, and we were given refills.  26/30
The scones were served warm with cream and a choice of lemon curd, blueberry jam and raspberry jam.  There were two small scones per person, one fruit and one plain.  The quality was fine, nothing outstanding.  The jams and lemon curd were good though.  23.5/30

For the cakes, we could choose two from a selection of five: a fruit tart, a raspberry panacotta, banana and white chocolate layer cake, a chocolate rum mousse cake and a mango cream slice.  They were beautifully presented and very good quality.  There was also a nice variety in the types of cakes and definitely something to please everyone.  It was a bit disappointing only being able to choose two, but they were a nice size and definitely very tasty.  24/30
The service at the Park Lane Hotel was just right, attentive and friendly without being intrusive.  We weren't rushed at all and spent a leisurely time enjoying the occasion and the food.  The atmosphere and surroundings were lovely, we all enjoyed our time and felt we would be happy to go back.  At £33 per person, this isn't by any means the most expensive tea we've had and we think that the quality was definitely worth the price for a special occasion.

Pros                                                                              Cons
Good quality food                                                   Uncomfortable seating
Relaxed atmosphere                                               Only two cakes per person
Excellent service


8.5 out of 10

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