Around the World in 80 Pairs of Shoes


May 15, 2013

Afternoon Tea at The Connaught

G and I are staying at The Connaught in Mayfair this Christmas and part of the Christmas package that was offered was Afternoon Tea in the Espelette on Christmas Eve.

On a previous stay at The Connaught we had Afternoon Tea (in my gluten eating days) and we had a totally enjoyable experience and fantastic service.

G had informed the hotel weeks prior to our arrival about my Gluten allergy so everyone was aware and also our arrival time for Afternoon Tea so you would think everything would go like clock work but NO!

To say this has been the most disappointing Afternoon Tea experience in London to date would be the understatement of the century so I won’t beat about the bush as I personally feel the hotel which is 5 star needs to be aware that they have not provided 5 star service.

We started with Champagne which was lovely after battling the crowds on Oxford Street.

Soon after G’s sandwiches arrived (G eats gluten, I don’t) and apparently mine were on the way; and so was Christmas.

30 minutes after G had eaten his sandwiches, the waiter went and located something for me to eat as my gluten free sandwiches were still nowhere to be seen .  At which point my gluten free scones were bought out along with a gluten free coffee cake and ginger cake and my Champagne was refilled as way of an apology.

The gluten free scones were actually really lovely and the jams were very tasty especially the passion fruit jam which G couldn’t get enough of.

Finally my sandwiches appeared around 45 minutes after we had arrived and to be honest the only difference was the bread there was no different fillings between the standard Afternoon Tea and the Gluten Free option – I personally feel like I had thrown the kitchen staff into a tizz simply by asking for a Gluten free Afternoon Tea.

After the issues with the sandwiches I thought nothing else could really go wrong and I could laugh off the previous problems however I was SO wrong!

The waiter asked if we would like our pastries which we said yes please but guess what – they never arrived!  Yes you read right, THEY NEVER ARRIVED! After waiting for over 30 minutes and our tea not getting refilled during the wait and getting ignored by the waiting staff we gave up and notified the duty manager of the Espelette the issues we had with our Afternoon Tea.  G never complains (he’s English) but he was so shocked with the level of service that he has complained twice.  To be honest the Duty Manager of the Espelette didn’t seem too concerned.

As we were staying at the Connaught in a suite I would have thought after we had addressed the issue with the Espelette Duty Manager that maybe they would have located our pastries and sent them to our suite however this didn’t happen either.

The Connaught has a lot of work to do on their service standards and also what they offer to their gluten free customers.

To be honest I have not really been impressed with the Connaught on this stay, yes there are some extremely friendly staff who are working on Christmas Day however this wasn’t our only issue with service in the Espelette, Christmas Morning breakfast I had to chase them up for G’s breakfast twice but that’s another post!

My recommendation would be to avoid The Connaught at all costs if you are Gluten Free and looking for Afternoon Tea.

Not a happy post however I wanted to be honest. 

Happy Christmas


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