To Tea or Not To Tea – The Penultimate Round

Before the summer escapes us, why not dose up on all things summery! 

The Intercontinental London Westminster promises to take you back to childhood memories of a day at the seaside with their British Summer Holiday afternoon tea, available from 1st July – 31st August 2014 for £37.50 per person, including free pouring Laurent-Perrier Brut Champagne.

Drawn to novelty themes and Brighton Beach, “The British Summer Holiday” felt worthy a try on my tea safari around London –  and who can resist an offer of free pouring Champagne on a summers day!

The Intercontinental is well situated across St James Park tube station and a great spot if you are in the vicinity of Westminster. The hotel is as one would hope in the area, professional, organised and elegantly furnished. Greeted by a very friendly and helpful bowler-hatted doorman I was led straight to the fresh furnished tea lounge.


The lounge is spacious allowing friends to enjoy uncivilised conversation without neighbours eavesdropping. Decorated with modern sofas and high stem brightly flowers the lounge exceeded my expectations.The service however did not. Being the first to arrive I requested to choose our table but was given a flat no with no explanation as to why. Still bemuses me as the room never filled to its full capacity even upon our departure 3 hours later.

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The service continued to be professional but lacking in warmth, but it is the city, and warm and friendly don’t always tend to be part and parcel of its horticulture. Oh well, you can’t have it all but you can drink free flow bubbles. Silver Lining!

Now for their menu, “The British Summer Holiday Afternoon Tea begins with a Picnic Treat of Miniature Pork Pie with homemade Piccalilli and a Prawn Cocktail shot, followed by a selection of Finger Sandwiches that include classic summer favourites of egg and cress, cucumber and mint, smoked salmon and coronation chicken”. This can also be adapted for those with dietary requirements, including gluten free, pork free and vegetarian options.  I opted for the menu as it stands and had friends opt for the vegetation alterations. On conclusion of the savory feast, the vegetarians seemed most gratified – The green based quiche won them over and my pork pie was not able to tie.

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The Scones were a tad unmemorable but their selection of adjourning condiments stuck to mind – offers of both Marmalade and a Strawberry and Yoghurt variety with delicious Lemon Curd, Strawberry Jam and Clotted Cream. Don’t stuff here as  “just before the tide comes in, the sweet selection arrives in the form of The Beach – a fanciful array of a seaside fun, complete with Chocolate Fudge Beach Huts, Cherry Cheesecake Bucket and Spades, Peach Mousse Sandcastles, Toffee and Chocolate Wheels and Jivara Chocolate Cones all of which sit on almond sand.”

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All elements of the Beach including the crumble sand were delicious and had you wanting more, especially the spongy chocolate beach huts! A special pink lemonade was served up at the Beach and was a fun little surprise to round off the tea.

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With a week of August to go I would recommend the Intercontinental Westminster for their Brightly British Summer Afternoon Tea. The Beach being the highlight with bubbles a plenty! Book before the 31st August for a Summer Seaside Celebration.

3 thoughts on “To Tea or Not To Tea – The Penultimate Round

  1. Shame I missed it, but your writeup more than made up for it Sarika. I was transported to the west end without leaving my sofa. The taste of salmon sandwiches washed down with champagne lingers on my lips…..scrummy x


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