Did you know that 10th-16th August this year is National Afternoon Tea Week? What better excuse do you need to round up a gaggle of friends and enjoy three glorious tiers of sweet and savoury delights…
To celebrate this upcoming week (and also because I’m really, really partial to sandwiches and cake), I’m going to be reviewing some of the best afternoon teas London has to offer over the coming weeks. Yep – I’m going to be putting on pretty much a whole stone to bring you some afternoon tea inspiration this summer. Well, someone’s got to do it.
First up? Afternoon tea at the Wellcome Kitchen, located within the Wellcome Collection, Euston Square.
What You Get
At first glance, the afternoon tea menu seems pretty substantial. As well as a scone each, you also get a choice of six finger sandwiches (three each) and four petit fours (i.e. two each).
Veggies and meat-eaters are well catered for with sandwich fillings including everything from coronation chicken to Wiltshire ham, smoked salmon, cheddar cheese, egg mayo and cucumber, basil and cream cheese. Unfortunately the bread was a little on the dry side but it wasn’t that noticeable with the flavoursome ingredients inside.
The petit fours, on the other hand, were scrumptious – even if I was a little surprised at how ‘petit’ they really were. If you’re with a friend and you’re thinking about splitting them in half, I’d recommend you order one each so you can get the full effect. The available petit fours include:
- Elderberry and strawberry macaron
- Rhubarb bakewell
- Fruit tart
- White chocolate, coconut and pistachio truffle
- Red velvet cake
- Carrot cake
Of the four we tried, I think my favourite was the fruit tart which featured fresh raspberries on top. The truffle was also delicious (after the first mouthful or so, but stick with it. It gets better, I promise.)
Macaron: small but perfectly formed
The cake tier also delivered two scones (one with currants, the other plain), plus a pot of tea each. While the selection of loose-leaf tea features the likes of mango and strawberry, elderflower and lemon and chamomile flowers flavours, we just plumped for the good old English breakfast.
While the afternoon tea itself may have left us feeling a little…underwhelmed…the real draw of the meal has got to be its surroundings in the weird and wonderful world of the Wellcome Collection.
For those of you who aren’t familiar with the Wellcome Collection’s work, it’s a museum which explores the relationship between medicine, art and life, both in the past, present and future. It’s a (free!) museum designed for the insatiably curious amongst us, with exhibitions on sex, medicine and science.
The restaurant itself opened just last year, and is a peaceful, refined area away from the hubbub of the rest of the museum. We visited at 2pm on a Saturday, and most people were either downstairs in the cafe or making their way around the exhibitions.
Got to say, the restaurant’s decor is really rather snazzy…
I won’t lie, the afternoon tea probably isn’t the best you’ll find in London, but, at £16 per person, it’s an affordable way to try out England’s most popular delicacy. Cheaper alternatives include a cream tea or tea and two cakes, which will both set you back just £8 per person. It’s highly recommended though for the chance to bask in the eclectic fun of the museum’s exhibitions.
The Wellcome Kitchen is located on the second floor of the Wellcome Collection building.
- Open seven days a week
- Lunches and light snacks are also available
- The museum’s galleries are closed on Mondays