I spent a Saturday in London eating all day. It started with a delicious breakfast at The Kensington. Then a food tour of Borough Market. And a stop at Bread Ahead for one of the best doughnuts in London. After, I decided I didn’t have to eat for the rest of the day.
But I had afternoon tea booked at The Bloomsbury. Despite already having many sugary items at the market, I couldn’t back out on afternoon tea. And I’m glad I didn’t.
Not only was it a lovely experience, but I later learned this fun fact: Russell Square just a few minutes walk from the hotel was apparently the site of the home of Anna Russell, the Duchess of Bedford who is credited as the creator of afternoon tea! How awesome is it to have afternoon tea somewhere close by at The Bloomsbury?!
The Bloomsbury is practically neighbors with “mankind’s attic” aka The British Museum. Bloomsbury in central London is known as London’s literary heartland. Famous English writers and philosophers such as Virginia Woolf and John Maynard Keynes all have connections with the neighborhood.
Nowadays, as I was walking the streets, I noticed many university students as the University of London is located there. Also, during my short visit to London, I planned on attending Hillsong London. Conveniently, Dominion Theatre where services are held, was right next door to the hotel!
When I walked into the hotel to check in, I was immediately drawn to the high ceilings and darker hued furniture. I found out that the hotel is filled with history (there was even a book all about it in the room!). The building is a Grade II listed neo-Georgian building, designed in the 1930s.
While check in is on the left upon entering the hotel, afternoon tea is held towards the right of the lobby. I arrived for tea late in the day and there were groups of friends, moms and their daughters, all who looked (and sounded :)) like they were locals. At least five tables were filled and there was the right amount of noise from conversations to still make the environment feel relaxing.
I love earl grey with my afternoon tea anywhere in the world, so that’s what I ordered. Other options included the usual, herbals, green, Darjeeling.
The Bloomsbury Set Afternoon Tea (in this review) has recipes inspired from the 1920s and 1930s, modernized by The Bloomsbury. There’s also an option for Champagne Afternoon Tea, which is the regular Bloomsbury Set Afternoon Tea with a glass of champagne.
The Savory – (four varieties per person)
A variety of sandwiches including Coronation chicken (cold chicken with mayo), Cucumber & French vinaigrette, Free-range egg & cress and Organic smoked salmon & creme fraiche.
The Scone – (two scones per person)
Freshly baked plain and sultana (a sort of raisin) scones came warm…
along with a generous portion of Devonshire clotted cream and homemade preserves.
The Sweet – (four varieties per person)
English macaroons, Walnut & coffee slice, Lemon drizzle Queen cake, Hurry up cake with vanilla cream frosting and Cambridge burnt cream (stated on the menu… though I think mine pictured above were different, including a chocolate eclair and brownie with raspberries).
The presentation was just like another Doyle Collection hotel that I stayed at and had afternoon tea, The Kensington. The only differences were the color (grey in this case to match more closely with the lobby interior).
I’m always a bit hesitant to have afternoon tea by myself especially since it’s supposed to be a social event. But, I found sometimes it’s good to do it alone. Usually when going alone, you also get a chance to talk to the person who is serving you which is great if you’re traveling and want to get to know about the city through the eyes of a local!
I took this opportunity to talk to my friendly and attentive server (who moved to London from Portugal). With all the Brexit discussions (whether the UK should stay in the EU or not), I figured the best way to learn about it was to ask a local. It was nice to have someone who could tell me from a local point of view.
Yes. Fast and free WiFi is easy to connect to at the hotel.
Social Media Aspect
The Bloomsbury posts regularly on their Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts. You can follow their Instagram account here. And also worth following is their new account for their outdoor seating area for food and drinks, Dalloway Terrace.
With the hotel’s proximity to The British Museum, I can see The Bloomsbury being a hotel of choice for afternoon tea after exploring the museum.
Cost: £35 (around USD $50 at time of writing) for Bloomsbury Set Afternoon Tea (in this review)Jus
Tea Time: Daily 12 – 6 pm at Dalloway Lounge
16-22 Great Russell Street
London WC1B 3NN
Note: A big thank you to The Bloomsbury for providing the afternoon tea for this review. As always, all views and opinions are my own.