Did you know that down by the Thames, just a short walk from Big Ben is a fine historic hotel open to overnight guests and London explorers looking for a treat? Well The Royal Horseguards Hotel was a new discovery for me and a lovely find indeed. I was invited to pop in last week for their Mad Hatter Afternoon Tea which launches today. Riverside location, a fine London hotel and CAKE? I’m there!
As you can imagine, as someone with a sweet tooth I was pretty excited before we got there. We swished through the chandelier reception and went down to The Cellar to find the impressive Mad Hatter spread.
Cue lots of DSLR and iPhone snapping.
Joanne Todd (Head Pastry Chef) and Louise Bintcliffe (Pastry Chef), together with their team had gone to a lot of hard work creating their new Afternoon Tea for us. It would be rude not to tuck in and grab a plateful right?
So let me tell you about some of the treats on the Mad Hatter menu.
(From top left corner) My favourite, the ‘Jam Tart with Hearts’, fresh raspberries sandwiched between sugar topped biscuits and held together with a sweet raspberry sauce. The ‘Earl Grey White Chocolate Tea Cup’, a delicate sweet shell with an unusual but tasty earl grey filling topped with a white chocolate tea cup. The ‘”Thyme” torte’, delicious little pastry cases filled with a smooth chocolate and thyme filling. The ‘Coconut Rabbit Cake’, almost too cute to eat, not that it stopped me from enjoying this nice light sponge. Finally, the ‘Chessboard Battenberg’, a chocolate twist on a classic cake.
As if this wasn’t enough put us into a sugar coma, they also offered candy floss and cool little ice cream pops. Me and Lucinda couldn’t resist.
We moved on to some savouries with aubergine, Parmesan and sun dried tomato roulades, sandwiches and salmon blinis.
All washed down with pink prosecco.
Full of treats and bubbles we welcomed a tour around the hotel.
Their pretty hallway takes you to the main rooms. Of course I was quite interested in Equus, a decadent bar where I could certainly see myself sipping a few cocktails.
And for the summer I’d be in the Terrace overlooking the Thames and the Eye, enjoying cool drinks in the sunshine.
But if you’ve got the cash, I’d go for the luxury of staying in one of their river-facing rooms. There aren’t many places offering a view of the Thames and the Eye when you open your curtains in the morning! I took a little Vine video of the view away with me (see it here).
They saved the showcase of the tour until the end. A stunning, swirling marble staircase. One of the biggest in Europe, it even survived a bombshell in WW2.
After burning off a little sugar we returned to The Cellar for a mini Easter egg hunt, virgin cocktails and more treats of course. How could I say no to this?!
A fun filled evening and a great new London discovery.
The Mad Hatter Afternoon Tea is £35 each and it’s available from today (25 March) until 7 April 2013. It’s served in the Lounge and you can find more information and the full menu on the website here. If you can’t make it there’s plenty of other excuses to visit on the menu (cream tea anyone?).
Do you enjoy an Afternoon Tea? What’s your most favourite Afternoon Tea experience?
P.S. I was kindly invited as a guest to this event. All opinions are my own. You’ll only ever read honest reviews here.