Perfectly situated close to London’s West End and all the Christmas lights and excitement, One Aldwych offers a fantastic Afternoon Tea experience that will get you in the mood for Christmas. The thought of experiencing an Afternoon Tea that was not only festive, but also a “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” themed edition filled me with excitement.
Arriving at One Aldwych there was a beautiful, sparkly 25-foot festive Christmas tree waiting to greet me. The Christmas tree was decorated by the hotel’s resident florist Mark Siredzuk and was covered in over a hundred carefully created snow domes all with little Christmas scenes inside including the nut cracker soldiers, reindeers beside mini fir trees, toy trains winding up snowy hillocks and penguins on icebergs. As the afternoon progressed and it got darker, the Christmas tree grew more and more beautiful as it’s lights grew brighter.
Seated in the cosy Indigo restaurant which is on a mezzanine level overlooking The Lobby Bar and glitzy tree I started my afternoon tea in style with a glass of the Lailler Grand Cru champagne and looked forward to all the treats ahead, both savoury and sweet.
To begin with, a very neat plate of delicate sandwiches and a warm miniature quiche arrived in front of me. The sandwich fillings were smoked salmon, cream cheese and chive, roast pepper and avocado, turkey and cranberry along with a chestnut and caramelised onion quiche.
I savoured all the sandwiches with their decadent fillings, the smoked salmon being my favourite and I especially enjoyed the buttery pastry of the quiche and it’s subtle yet rich flavours. To accompany this, I sipped on the Chocolate Winter Spice Tea, supplied by Canton Tea. This was a fantastic and indulgent tea especially created for One Aldwych and included chocolatey roasted cocoa nibs, fragrant mandarin peel and spices.
I also received some very cheesy Montgomery cheddar and mustard scones with bacon jam which blew me away. Warm, melt in your mouth scones with the most luxurious bacon jam I’d ever come across, a real show stopper. I had to ask for a second portion as they were so excellent.
Next, I had an array of “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” inspired sweets that were wonderfully presented, with bold colours and a real sense of fun.
From fluffy candy floss with a mystery flavour to gingerbread cake pops that were covered in popping candy and a golden chocolate egg filled with vanilla cheesecake and zesty mandarin puree. It was like being a little child again.
The more grown up dessert came in the shape of gorgeous little pots of mulled wine jelly and custard with a gorgeously crunchy almond topping.
Along with this we had more scones, this time freshly made fruit scones that came with cream, jam and eggnog curd. We also sampled chocolate financiers and cinnamon glazed brioche buns. You could see how much effort Executive Chef Dominic Teague and his team had put into creating this very special afternoon tea, so many little details and delicious flavours.
Overall, I experienced a brilliant afternoon with luxurious delicacies at One Aldwych surrounded by beautiful decorations and welcoming staff, a worthwhile December indulgence and perhaps gift to someone special.
The Festive Afternoon Tea is priced at £57 per person including a glass of Laillier Grand Cru champagne which I’d definitely recommend, or it is priced at £46 without champagne.
One Aldwych, 1 Aldwych, London, WC2B 4BZ, England.
Tel: +44 (0)20 7300 0400
The Festive Afternoon Tea is being served in Indigo and The Lobby Bar until Monday 31st December 2018. One Aldwych is located in the heart of London in Covent Garden, between the City and the West End – at the point where the Aldwych meets the Strand, directly opposite Waterloo Bridge. The nearest Tube stations are Charing Cross (Bakerloo and Northern lines) and Covent Garden on the Piccadilly line.
Price Band: High
Insider Tip: Indigo Restaurant serves gluten and dairy free cuisine.
Reviewer’s Rating: 9/10
Paula Gibson is a London-based personal assistant by day and a freelance travel writer by night.
Photographs courtesy of One Aldwych