Around the World in 80 Pairs of Shoes


March 30, 2013

Afternoon Tea at The Dorchester

For the past couple of years, over the Easter period if G and I haven’t gone away we have headed down to London for Afternoon Tea at some of the finest hotels you can ever visit.  This Easter was no different, and our hotel of choice was The Dorchester.

The hardest decision for G and I was to which Afternoon Tea to book as there are a few on offer in different areas of the hotel.  Obviously the most popular is the The Dorchester Afternoon Tea served in the Promenade with your classic three tier cake stand.  The other two options available are the Spatisserie Afternoon Tea served in the Spa area and then the Vintage Afternoon Tea served on the Balcony.  We decided to try something a bit different and went for the Vintage Afternoon Tea.

First impressions of the hotel is that it’s extremely welcoming and there are staff on hand to show you around the hotel.  When you walk into The Dorchester you see the lovely Promenade directly in front of you all decorated in Easter displays which are stunning.

G and I were escorted to The Balcony for our Afternoon Tea.  The area has four tables and looks over the main entrance of the hotel.  The tables seat about 2 -3 people so the area is very intimate which is really lovely.  Its a very non fussy area where the main focus is on serving a good old fashion Afternoon Tea.

dorchester vintage afternoon tea table setting the balcony

We started with Champagne and decided on our teas.  G had a white tea and I went for the Dorchester blend after having a conversation with a member of staff to find a light to medium black tea and it was a great choice.

Obviously when making the booking I requested a gluten free Afternoon Tea for myself which was delivered promptly and without any fuss which is always nice.  G had the normal Vintage Afternoon Tea.

The Sandwiches

The fillings for the standard and gluten free sandwiches were both the same.  The sandwiches are open unlike what you would be served in the Promenade Afternoon Tea.  My gluten free sandwiches were all prepared and came out on a plate.  The waitress came around with a large plate of sandwiches for G so that he could choose which toppings he wished.  The toppings were – Cottage Cheese, Smoked Salmon, Ham, Egg and Mayo and Coronation Chicken.  Refills were provided including gluten free sandwiches for me without any fuss and extremely quickly.

dorchester gluten free sandwiches afternoon tea

The Scones

Okay when it comes to gluten free scones I have to admit they look nothing like the gorgeous gluten loaded scones that G gets.  Something inside me dies every time I see a gluten free scone.  G said his scones were extremely good and mine were very nice, on a ranking system they probably come second only after the scones I tried at Claridge’s which are the best.  Unfortunately the scones were a bit flat and when you cut them open to put in the jam and clotted cream they crumbled so I made a slight mess.

dorchester gluten free scones afternoon tea

Orange marmalade, Lemon Curd and Clotted cream were provided and they bought me some raspberry jam as I like strawberry or raspberry jam on my scones.


Okay this is where the difference lies between the Afternoon Tea’s on offer at The Dorchester.  With the Vintage Afternoon Tea they have a cake trolley and they bring it over to your table and you choose which cake you would like to try and they cut you a piece.  G being G picked all three options – just so you know they give you a proper serving, no little slivers these are chunks of cakes which is fantastic!

dorchester vintage afternoon tea cakes

Obviously they didn’t have any gluten free cakes so I was given a patisserie selection which included a macaroon (yum!) and a selection of other bits and pieces.  Now I have to say this was the rather disappointing part for me as either they had no taste or they were just so over powering that it made me feel sick.  As they say – you can’t win them all!

dorchester gluten free cakes the balcony


G and I were discussing the service after we left as we were really impressed with the service that was provided.  There was four tables on The Balcony and you had two waiters covering these two tables whom were extremely friendly and this gave the tea a more of an intimate feeling which is sometimes lost when you are in a large room with what can sometimes feel like thousands of other people eating tea.

Would I recommend the Vintage Afternoon Tea; yes and would I go back; yes.  The Afternoon Tea has a twist, it’s Afternoon Tea but without all the fuss but still with the pretty china!

G and I had a look at the Spatisserie area as this was the Afternoon Tea that he wanted to do and I think it will be on our list of places to visit at some time in the future.  A spa treatment followed by Afternoon Tea while you wear slippers – sounds too good to be true!


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