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Dorchester Hotel for a Fantasy Afternoon Tea in London

Poached salmon with cromer crab cannelloni and rose champagne sauce

Robin Roth

The beautiful Dorchester Hotel opened in 1931. It is one of the most desirable places to stay in the world and that is quite easily understood from the moment you enter its doors. “The Dorch," as it is affectionately known, has played host to the noble, famous, rich, and the noteworthy from all walks of life, including Eisenhower, who set up headquarters here during World War II. A luxury Mayfair hotel of great repute, The Dorch embodies the highest of traditional values, with ultra spacious rooms and suites of great charm, glorious dining and entertaining, and a spa of exquisite indulgence. You will never want to leave! I myself left kicking and screaming!

As you step into the abundantly elegant and sophisticated Dorchester Hotel in London, you will be taken back by its grandeur. You might actually feel as though you have entered into a Hollywood set from the past where charm, class, and elegance were at its highest point.

Now, let’s chat about tea time, which is our main focus. Afternoon tea at the Dorchester is a TRUE TRADITION! The spectacular Promenade (which runs the length of the ground floor) is where afternoon tea is served. The Promenade is regal, yet totally relaxed, charming, comfortable, and warm. It is the heart of the Dorchester and the toast of London society. You have entered into the haven of luxury. Its dramatic marble columns are crowned by gilded Corinthian capitals, the room is awash in light, every cornice is ornamented in decorative motifs and frosted with gilding and each table adorned with gorgeous roses! Potted palms and towering plants surround fine plush couches. Live piano music accompanies the clinking of fine china and silver.

There are no set rules about traditional Afternoon Tea, but the Dorchester would break all the rules anyway, with its style and rich sense of elegance, ambiance, and class! The hotel has again won The Tea Council's Top Tea award for the best Afternoon Tea in London for 2007. BRAVO!

Service in the Dorchester tea room will, without a doubt, be nothing short of a stellar experience! You will never feel rushed. In fact, time is not even considered in the cozy Promenade room. My server Daniel made time vanish with his grace, style and handsome good looks, sporting his tux with tails. You will be served an unbelievably yummy selection of freshly and expertly prepared finger sandwiches to die for and presented beautifully and stunning to look at on a two-tier silver pedestal! These consist of marinated cucumber and cream cheese, egg mayonnaise with shiso cress, chicken with wholegrain mustard mayonnaise and smoked salmon. GREAT FOOD MEMORIES NEVER EXPIRE!

For an extra kick of happiness, you might also want to add some delicious champagne with your afternoon tea. Before moving on, if you choose the Dorchester High Tea, you can add the Poached Salmon with Cromer Crab Cannelloni and Rose Champagne Sauce or the Marinated Chicken and Orange Salad with Seasonal leaves or the Glen Morgan Potato Scotch Eggs served with Glazed Spinach Tart, which I suggest WITH ALL MY HEART that you do!

Next you will be served my favorite food item and the finest you will enjoy anywhere in the universe: the Dorchester’s famous warm Scones with clotted cream and MMMMMM black-current and strawberry jam. I can’t even talk about this without getting teary eyed! I mean lets face it folks, there are scones and then there are scones. Even if you are not a scone fan, you will go wild about these indescribable scones! 

For the grand finale, you will more than enjoy the variety of homemade pastries, fruit cake and biscuits prepared fresh daily on the premises! Tea time at the Dorchester most definitely puts the 'O’ in Cheerio!

The range of teas can vary from half a dozen to over a hundred, including some very rare and obscure ones. I am completely confident that you will be able to find even your rarest selection of tea to enjoy here!

Afternoon Tea is an eventful way to entertain neighbors, friends, and even business acquaintances. It remains the same elegant, refined, soothing, relaxing atmosphere that was enjoyed by the English of yesterday. The Dorchester hotel was and still is today one of the finest places in England and the world to participate in this time-honored ritual.

The Dorchester is superbly located in the centre of Mayfair, overlooking the soft green swathes of Hyde Park. It is within walking distance of the luxury shopping areas of Knightsbridge and London’s famous theatre district: 53 Park Lane, London, W1A 2HJ.

So my dear foodies, for the tea party of your life, I implore you to RUN to the Dorchester Hotel in London. Reservations are a MUST, so book way in advance to avoid great disappointment!

Furthermore, I extend a warm and appreciative thank you to the lovely, GENEROUS, classy and helpful Helen Smith! Good show!

For reservations, email bookings@afternoontea.co.uk or INFO@THEDORCHESTER.COM. You may also call +44 (0)20 7629 8888. Seatings are 2:30 to 4:45 daily.


1. Delectable tea sandwiches
2. Handsome server, Daniel
3. The best scones and jam, with homemade pastries, tea and champagne
Photos by Robin Roth

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