Whenever visiting London, it is easy to get overwhelmed by the scale and business of the capital, however much fun it is or however much good business can be done there.
What is often needed, therefore, is to do something enjoyable and relaxing in the afternoon and, when one has been busy all day, often a good afternoon tea is what is required.
The good news is that a number of central London hotels offer great afternoon teas and the St James Hotel and Club offers a particularly exceptional one – perhaps even the finest in London, so If you want to try them all, try this first.A superb five-star boutique hotel and club located in a cul-de-sac just a short stroll from Mayfair, Buckingham Palace and St. James’s Palace, this is a grand setting and it is no surprise that the afternoon tea matches up to it.The afternoon tea is served at the Bar and Bistro, with the menu and service harking back to the original intention of the meal when it was invented by Anna, Duchess of Bedford in the 1800s as a way of filling the gap between lunch and tea, as well as enjoying a gentle break from the hustle and bustle of life.Among the classical elements of the St James’s afternoon tea are the wafer-thin sandwiches with various fillings, extremely light scones with strawberry preserve and thick clotted cream, as well as some delicious cakes and tasty pastries.The quality is every bit as good as one might imagine, all carefully prepared by the hotel’s Michelin-starred chef William Drabble. He pays the same attention to preparing afternoon tea as he would a gourmet meal. Afternoon tea at St James’s is served between 3:00 p.m. and 5:30 p.m., allowing plenty of time for guests to relax, enjoy a pot of fine tea in stylish surroundings, and nibble some delicious food. It will be a truly wonderful experience for all who taste it.