Afternoon Tea at Wellington Lounge, Intercontinental London Park Lane

London, UK
December 2015

As Christmas is fast approaching, I wanted to capitalize on the holiday fare.  After researching, I thought that the menu at the Wellington Lounge in the Intercontinental London Park Lane looked pretty festive.

The Intercontinental is located between Hyde Park and Green Park (the closest station is Hyde Park Corner).  The hotel stands at 145 Piccadilly, which was the location of the Queen’s former childhood residence.

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The inside was decorated as well with Christmas trees and lights dotted around the hotel.

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The lounge was tastefully decorated with comfy chairs and well-sized tables. So there was no need to shuffle things around every time something new was brought to the table.

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We were seated by the window, which didn’t offer the best view but still allowed for some people watching.

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We picked the Christmas Unwrapped tea, because it’s Christmas!

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This started with a seasonal cocktail.  Whiskey, champagne, and pear liquor garnished with an orange peel.  It was a bit too sweet for my liking and pretty potent, but was appropriate for the season.

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It seems to be a toss up in London whether or not you’ll be able to change teas.  I am always pleased when you can.  Sticking to one tea is pretty limiting when you’ve got to pick one that will fit with all menu items.

They had a pretty good selection that you could swap out as you pleased.  I recommend the Lapsang Souchong Falcon and the Pai Mu Tan.  Both very different teas, but excellent in flavor and aroma.

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The savories came out first.  The top tier was the hot savories, the bottom two were the cold savories (a plate per person).

I preferred the hot savories to the cold.  My favorite being the vol-au-vent with the right balance of filling to pastry and flavors.

The cold savories were challenging to eat.  While it was nice that they didn’t skimp on toppings, they kept falling off and apart.  The bread that the toppings were on was soft and didn’t help in stabilizing everything.  I think that toasting the bread and with a slightly less generous portion of toppings would improve the sandwiches.

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The scones came next, a Christmas spiced and raison scone each.  Besides the jam and clotted cream, the lemon curd was also flavored with a bit of lemon liquor.  The raison scone was very tasty with the right texture throughout, soft in the middle with a bit of a crust on the outside.  The spiced scone was a bit too moist and soft with no crunch, but still yummy.

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The last to come out was the sweets.  The Wellington decided to put a spin on presents under the Christmas tree with Christmas Unwrapped.  After eating the Christmas tree plum puddings, you untie the bow and lift off the top to reveal more sweets.

Overall the sweets were good.  The Yule Log was definitely the highlight.  It was rich and chocolatey, and a good change of flavor from the other sweets.  The pastry of the apple pie was a bit too thick detracting from the filling.  Removing the top layer of pastry, it was greatly improved.  While the fruit cakes looked lovely wrapped in fondant, I’m not a huge fan of the taste of fondant.  I peeled off the fondant on mine and thought it tasted much better.

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Service was good overall, not coming by too often; but we couldn’t find anyone for a while when we were tying to leave.  It was nice not being rushed to leave with any specific ending time.  So we could relax while enjoying the afternoon.

If you’re trying to get into the Christmas spirit and are in the area (maybe you are going to the Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park), the Wellington is a good option.

Tea 4/5, unlimited , good variety
Food 3.5/5
Atmosphere 4/5
Service 3.5/5
Overall 3.75/5

Intercontinental London
1:00 to 5:00 daily

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