12 September 2015

Afternoon Tea at The Covent Garden Hotel

It's not often my Mum and I get the chance to have some one-on-one girly time together - so when we do, we make sure we do it right. Our most recent girly day consisted of visiting the Audrey Hepburn: Portraits of an Icon exhibition, followed by afternoon tea.

Much like the Alexander McQueen exhibition, photography was prohibited at the National Portrait Gallery, where the Audrey Hepburn event was taking place. After okay-ing it with security, I took a photo outside the exhibition to, y'know, prove I was there.

It was lovely to see somewhere dedicated entirely to Ms Hepburn, whom both my mum and I absolutely adore. However, post-exhibition we had a browse at the shop, and some of the photo books you could purchase included the featured photos and more. You know the type of books I mean - those coffee table books which cost a small fortune but look oh-so beautiful. If I'd had a spare £50 floating around, I would have invested.

After the exhibition we were booked into afternoon tea at 2pm. However, it happened to be that miserable Sunday, and since we finished up early, we didn't fancy squeezing under an umbrella for an hour when we could be inside. Luckily, The Covent Garden Hotel allowed us in an hour early which was so very kind of them and was testament to the type of service they provide.

My photos for this are a little hit 'n' miss - one of myself and my dear mother very orange as it was originally such a dark photo - because the restaurant was dim and outside was horrendous.

But anyway. The table they provided was near the window towards the front, which felt intimate but not isolated. Sometimes restaurants seem to put you in the corner thinking it'll be nice for you, when actually for me part of the whole experience is to enjoy the buzz of the place. So what I'm trying to say is that I approved whole-heartedly of where we were situated.

At the time we visited, there was a 20% offer on afternoon tea. With this in mind we thought - hey, why not get the champagne option? So we did, and it tasted all the better for being unexpected.

Then we took pictures of each other, which is always really awkward, isn't it? My mum keeps going on at me to feature images of myself, but I don't make for the most photogenic of people. I'll consider it, but won't make any promises. I definitely prefer being behind the camera, not in front of it.

My gorgeous mumma
My mother testing the ropes
And... me

Criiiinge. Please excuse my squinty eyes.

Within minutes we were presented with our "tea". We opted for the Covent Garden Afternoon Tea, which is a slightly more jazzy version of the original.

The scones were situated on my mum's side, and she said the smell of the scones as they were placed in front of her was phenomenal. Even though we ate them last, they were still warm in the middle. They were pretty darn glorious.

The savoury nibbles included mozzarella and tomato quiche, chicken and red pepper sandwiches, avocado and parma ham crackers (I passed on this due to my hatred of avocado, but I took one for the team) and cucumber and mint rolls.

The absolute winner of the desserts had to be the lemon meringue - it was both wonderfully sweet with the right amount of zest, and gooey and crumbly. I could have eaten two. The Pimms jelly was fun and unarguably very British (hence a brilliant addition to afternoon tea), but we weren't sure on the cucumber - the texture didn't work for us! And you can't go wrong with a strawberry tart topped with chocolate, can you?

I liked that the scones came with both strawberry and raspberry jam. I rebelled and had the raspberry, and it was just so, so good. I'm a sucker for clotted cream and jam anyway, but with the warm scones it just took it to another level. YUM.

The scones, in all their glory

Although we weren't 100% on every component of our afternoon tea, the setting, service and other components more than made up for it. Considering its location and clientèle, the price was very reasonable, and we never felt rushed or ignored having arrived early. I'd definitely recommend the afternoon tea, but if you can't stretch to the whole thing, make sure you order the scones.

Thank you to The Covent Garden Hotel for being so accommodating and lovely!

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