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Afternoon tea at the Royal Trafalgar Hotel Whitcombe St, London, WC2H 7HG
I bought this deal through Groupon or one of the many deal sites. I chose this as we were going down to London to stay with my daughter and this seemed a nice thing to do one afternoon. I found this particular deal through Wowcher and I remember that I paid £19 for two for a champagne afternoon tea in this hotel near Trafalgar Square. Now the usual price for this is £60 which is stupidly expensive in my view but at £19 per couple I felt it was good value.
THE DEAL "Highlights • Enjoy an afternoon tea for two, with: • A glass of bubbly each. • A selection of sandwiches, including smoked salmon and cucumber. • Fruit scones with cream and jam. • A selection of cakes, tarts, tea and coffee. • Great location in Trafalgar Square."
THE TRAFALGAR HOTEL Is a short walk from Trafalgar Square just around the back so would be a perfect place to stay in London if you could afford it! It is a Thistle Hotel and usually the cost of one night’s stay is £190 room only for a standard double.
The hotel has been recently renovated and is a four star hotel. We didn’t get much beyond the lobby area as this is huge and where they offered the afternoon tea. There was a dining area but in fact the lobby area was nicer with comfortable seats and several others were in this seating space enjoying drinks or meals.
The bar area was modern and yet it combined the chic decor and modern mirrors with leather sofas so was very comfortable.
OUR EXPERIENCE We chose to sit in the bar/lobby area rather than the dining room as the fires were lit and there was a bit more atmosphere. We were offered champagne or Bucks Fizz and we all chose the neat version. This was brought fairly speedily and then shortly afterwards the sandwiches and cakes etc were brought by different people and the table was suddenly very full.
Interestingly the sandwiches were not brought in pairs, so we had to choose which flavour we wanted in our group. I hate egg so my daughter ate that one while I enjoyed the ham. The sandwiches were small and neat and there were a couple of croissants and a small roll. I was not that keen on the croissants as I found them a bit rich and sickly with smoked salmon in them. Personally I would have preferred nicely made sandwiches with thin bread and different breads but that is my personal choice. The sandwiches were crustless but quite large. My personal preference is for fingers in a posh afternoon tea. These were more like those you might get with a lunch with crisps and salad beside them.
The scones came on a piece of slate with icing sugar sprinkle over to make it look better. There was one large scone each and then a small bowl with thick clotted cream and another with jam. They were obviously thinking of our hearts as the cream was slightly mean but there was plenty of jam.
The cakes were once again ok but not that exciting considering the original price of £60 for two. Again we had to choose which cakes we wanted as there were only four per couple and each was different so not two of each cake each. This was a bit annoying but we solved the problem by cutting them all in half.
After we had eaten the sandwiches we looked around for our tea and noticed we had not been given any cups. We called someone over and asked for our tea. We thought it was pretty poor was that we had to ask for tea and then say it was included when they started to suggest otherwise. They brought two pots and tea cups came about five minutes afterwards. I poured the tea and found it was Earl Grey which we had NOT asked for and we don’t like so I said we wanted normal tea NOT Earl Grey. She reluctantly agreed to change the pots which again, we thought was poor as we had NOT asked for Earl Grey and not everyone likes it.
WE enjoyed our afternoon tea and my daughter and her partner were being treated so they would not have complained but I would NEVER have paid £60 per couple for this. In fact I feel that we paid quite a lot at £19 per couple but we did get a glass of fizz each. I really cannot imagine it was champagne, more likely a bottle of cava but I am no expert and we enjoyed it.
I often pick up bargains for things to do when we go down to London and some are good and others less so. This falls into the average category. We had a decent afternoon tea. It was filling but not what i would describe as dainty or elegant which is how it was written up. It doesn’t compare to Sketch but then that was £25 per head.
All it really needed was smaller sandwiches and cakes and two of each rather than chink ones that we chose to cut in half. The sandwiches were ok but nothing to get excited about. The fuss over the tea was unforgivable and should not have happened in a place offering so called ‘Posh Afternoon teas’. We were not asked if everything was ok, nor were we offered any more tea. For goodness sake tea is so cheap it would have cost them pennies to bring us a couple of fresh pots but after the fuss about the Earl Grey and she wasn’t even sure they had ordinary tea until we pressed the issue.
WOULD I RECOMMEND? Not at £60 per couple, no way. It was an ordinary afternoon tea with a glass of fizz sitting in a bar/lobby area which although pleasant enough was not anything special. We were never in any doubt as to whether we were in the Ritz or not. This was just an average hotel which happened to be near Trafalgar Square. The hotel has no real interesting history and the area we were sitting in could have been in any city in the world, it was that sort of modern decor that was non specific to any country.