With afternoon tea becoming the new in thing for birthday days out, hen dos or just experience gifts, why not try somewhere local and comfortable without sacrificing any of the luxury that famous city-centre venues offer?
The Clayton Crown in Cricklewood are offering an afternoon tea experience that can compete with the decadence that renowned venues have to offer, at an incredibly affordable rate, which may be the ideal pre-Christmas treat or gift.
The introductory price of £8.99 patrons can enjoy a Traditional Cream Tea, which includes freshly baked sultana scones served with Rodders Cornish clotted cream and Tiptree Preserves as well as a choice of teas in fruit infusions. For just £13.50 diners can avail of the Deluxe Clayton Crown Afternoon Tea a selection of finger sandwiches and freshly baked quiches, before tucking in to an assortment of cakes, as well as everything included in the Traditional Cream Tea package.
Both of these packages can also be upgraded to include a glass of fizz for just £3.Upon arrival to the Clayton Crown we were escorted upstairs above the lobby, which in itself adds a sense of glamour to the occasion. You can watch the hustle and bustle of reception go by in the vast glass roof-topped lobby, while enjoying the tranquillity and sunshine through the windows. The customer service was second to none as we were shown to our table and offered an array of teas from breakfast, to herbal, to fruit fusions.
We tried a fruit and herbal, and were not disappointed, especially when each tea pot lasted at least five or six cups each! We were then brought a seemingly never-ending supply of assorted cakes, which included chocolate, sponge as well as the decadent scones with fresh clotted cream and premium jams, each with their own special message ingrained on the miniature lids.
The sandwiches were fresh and moreish without being stodgy, and included cream cheese and cucumber and smoked salmon, and the quiches were served warm and were tasty and light. This was all topped off by a glass of fizz which gave the dining experience a slight kick, as we were left to enjoy the table for about two hours.
In all that time we never wanted for anything, and the members of staff ensured that they checked on our needs for a refill without ever intruding. As the sun set we still felt warm overlooking the lobby, and due to its setting, it was the perfect place to retire to after the tea. Visit www.claytoncrownhotel.com for more booking information.
Cricklewood versus the West End
While other venues have famous afternoon teas, they offer much the same menu at a big price mark-up compared to the Clayton Crown, before you add on optional extras such as champagne.
The world-famous afternoon tea is the quintessential British experience, and offers no less than 16 different types of loose lead tea as well as a spread of sandwiches, scones and pastries. Half the fun is in the dress code, where strict rules must be adhered to to give it a sense of occasion. Depending on your booking time you will be entertained by their resident harpist, pianist or string quintet. Cost: From £50
Fortnum and Mason
Seeing as Fortnum’s has sold tea for over 300 years, this seems like the natural option to delight of its selection of loose leaf flavours. The busy Picadilly store offers an oasis from the hustle and bustle in its Diamond Jubilee Suite where many different options can be availed of. Cost: From £41
This hotel on Park Lane has been hosting traditional afternoon tea since 1931 and has five different settings a day, and serves freshly made finger sandwiches, scones and pastries in its opulent The Promenade room. Cost From £49 per person