A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to be invited to an event in Knightsbridge, London that may well have been made for me – afternoon tea and champagne.
I’m an avid tea drinker (love the stuff – used to drink about 15-20 cups of it a day, but have recently tried to cut down a bit!) and I have been know to partake in a glass or two of champagne in my time.
The event itself was held at the stunning Millennium Hotel situated on Sloane Street, ideally positioned between Harrods and Harvey Nichols, as well as surrounded by many other high-end fashion brand name stores.
They told me that the hotel is quite a popular place to pop in for a coffee or a bite to eat for celebrities, overseas royalty and generally wealthy people. (I’ll admit, I did have a quick glance around the room when they told me that but I didn’t see anybody I recognised!)
I arrived at the event alone (although I knew Sarah Betty was going too) and I was a little bit worried that I was going to stand out like a sore thumb. Think Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman.
However, despite my common Essex accent, tripping over my own foot on the way in and having to ask the Director of Sales where “the loo” was (stay classy) the staff there were lovely to me and made me feel right at home.
After a short wait, I was taken by lift up to the hotels bar where I was handed a champagne cocktail.
Honestly, if there’s a way to my heart, it’s a champagne cocktail.
While we waited I got the chance to meet some other bloggers before we were whisked off on a tour of the hotel. I have to say, it’s really nice, with conferencing facilities as well as lovely rooms with beautiful bathrooms and comfy beds (yes, we tried them).
I’m a great believer in being able to judge a hotel on the freebies in the
bathroom and these ones were lovely!
The views weren’t bad either…
After our tour, we were taken down to their ground floor café, Tangerine, to a little area that had been set aside for us. Here they served us with an amazing afternoon tea.
The picture quality isn’t perfect (the flash kept bouncing off of the super clean and shiny settings) but you can see what a lovely spread was put on for us – sandwiches on the bottom, cakes in the middle and scones on the top.
Whilst we were eating, we were given a presentation by a lady called Christine from Minding Manners
, who told us about the history of afternoon tea and gave us an insight into the correct etiquette to adopt when taking afternoon tea.
I found it really interesting and tried to jot down as many facts as I could at the same time as tucking into the food – perhaps that is bad etiquette in itself?
I couldn’t help it though, it all tasted so good!
Some little snippets for you fact fans:
When drinking tea, you should lift it by the saucer to breastbone height, then lift the cup to your mouth. Never stick your pinkie out!
You should never cut a scone, you should break it (as it’s a bread – the only exception with bread is when you’re making toast for breakfast).
When making afternoon tea, you should always cut the crusts off the bread.
When making tea, you shouldn’t drop the sugar cube in the centre of the cup, you should slide it down the edge.
When stirring tea, you should do so in any arc, not in a circular motion.
The most amazing thing on offer, for me, had to be the delicate chocolate teacups filled with a chocolate mousse – they were so pretty it seemed a crime to eat them, but once you’d had your first taste you realise it would have been a crime to leave them!
The service received was faultless too; it seemed as soon as I took the last sip from my teacup, the waiter was there ready to refill it. Champagne, sandwiches, cakes, scones and a seemingly endless supply of tea… it’s like somebody opened my head up, saw my dreams and made it come true. The only thing that could improve it would be if Bradley Cooper had been there with me, but you can’t have everything, can you? (Although, Millennium, if you’re reading this and think it’s do-able, call me!)
The afternoon tea – which includes English breakfast tea, sandwiches, cakes and pastries, scones, plus jam and clotted cream – at the Millennium Hotel Knightsbridge costs just £20 per person, which I think it’s an absolute bargain!
The rooms are also a very reasonable price bearing in mind the location and the standard of accommodation. Hotels in London are generally quite pricey so I would say it’s worth paying a little bit more than a bargain chain hotel to stay somewhere like this, especially if you’re taking somebody for a special occasion.
Overall, I can’t fault the event – it was well organised, interesting, the location was fantastic and the food was out of this world. If I decide to treat somebody to afternoon tea, I will definitely be taking them back to Millennium.