I love high tea. Can you possibly get any more civilised, more British, than tea with scones and little sandwiches with crusts cut off? No, I don’t think so. It was a bit of an indulgence, but there was no way I was going to pass up the opportunity to have afternoon tea in England.
Since we are on a budget and probably wouldn’t have been able to make the dress code for afternoon tea at The Ritz (which is also booked out ages in advance), we decided on the Harrods Georgian Restaurant, in the famous department store.
The Georgian was decked out in Christmas decor, with a self-playing grand piano playing festive tunes. The pink and green colour scheme is a bit garish for my tastes personally, but it does make you almost feel like you’re in a garden in spring, as opposed to indoors in winter! Being a department store the dress code was relaxed, which might have annoyed me if I had managed to get dressed up for the occasion, but having only a suitcase capsule wardrobe to work with the lack of formality made things much easier.
Everything was served on simple and elegant Harrods tableware and tiered cake stand. We had the seasonal Christmas selection, and the servings were very generous with two of each item between us (unlike the Mandarin Oriental in Singapore, where we had to share some things). In fact it was so generous that many people were leaving theirs half-finished – thankfully the waiters were happy enough for us to take a box of leftovers with us to finish later. I was impressed with the quality of everything except the macaron, which I felt was a bit too heavy-handed with caramel filling for the delicate shells. The scones in particular were delicious, especially with the rose petal jam (I might have to try making it sometime). The pots of tea were similarly generous in portion, and the waiters were happy to refill them with more hot water when I ran low. For £29 per person, towards the lower end of London afternoon teas, I think it’s amazingly good value – especially when you can skip dinner after stuffing yourself with sweets. It’s certainly not as fancy as other venues, but the food is up there with more expensive high teas I’ve had in Singapore and Perth.
Afterwards we did a bit of window shopping in Harrods, but mostly played in the kids section. You really can buy almost anything there – if you can afford it!