Afternoon Tea at Palm Court, Langham London

London, UK
January 2016

Dubbed as the Europe’s first “Grand Hotel”, The Langham London has been at its place on Regent Street for 150 years.  There are a number of stations that you can use to get to The Langham, but the closest is Oxford Circus Station (4 minute walk).

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The Langham has a long history of serving afternoon tea that you can read below.

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Their china, which is Wedgewood, also has a long history.

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After reading up on Chef Cherish Finden (who won The Global Chef Award in 2015 and UK Pastry Chef of the Year 2012) and that The Langham has a tea sommelier, I was pretty excited to have a good tea experience.  Recently I haven’t been having much luck when it comes to afternoon teas.

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The tea menu is pretty extensive, which I love, but you can only choose one.  I’ve been to The Langham in Melbourne where you could change teas as many times as you wanted.  So with only getting to try one, I was pretty disappointed.

I ended up getting The 150th Anniversary Langham Blend, which was earthy and spicy at the same time.  They serve steeped tea in large pots that you can get a number of cups out of.  Since the tea is already steeped, the tea is never over-brewed and bitter.

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The menu listed some of the regulars that you would expect, but with a little bit of a twist.

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The amuse bouche was delightfully tart and lemony with a clotted cream texture.

Of the sandwiches (of which all were tasty), the curried prawn and artichoke and egg were my favorites.  Along with the contrast of prawn to fluffy bread, the curried prawn was lightly seasoned just enough to give an impact.  The artichoke gave the sandwich a little hint of sourness that helped to cut the creaminess of the egg.

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The scones were soft and fluffy on the inside.  If you prefer this kind to the crusty on the outside type, these were very good.

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The sweets were the main event, that came with instructions on the order to eat them.  Starting with the rose and lychee log, go up to the Victoria sponge, mousse and daisy teapot, to the right for the Wedgewood teacup, and ending on the left with the kouglof.

As soon as you bite into the rose and lychee log, your mouth is filled with the scent of rose and lychee.  The Victoria sponge was pretty standard in flavor, but with the addition of a sugar paste cameo.  The white chocolate mousse had a hint of pear, topped with the shortbread daisy teapot.  The teacup had a hint of cinnamon in the base that was a nice addition to the other flavors.  Finally ending with the kouglof that was rich and chocolately to balance out everything else.  All very yummy.

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The atmosphere in the Palm Court was nice overall.  Nice chandeliers and flowers.  We were seated right by the reception and entrance to the hotel, but it at least it wasn’t cold.

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They also had a piano player throughout the afternoon playing songs from Happy Birthday, Disney Classics, and other classical tunes.

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Once again, we had a major problem with service.  Which really is a shame since the food was so good, but the overall experience wasn’t.

At first, we were served promptly and offered seconds of sandwiches.  Then things went downhill.  We waited almost 30 minutes (after our sandwiches were finished) till we were served scones and sweets.  We were told that we could get more sweets later if we wanted, but were never asked again.  We also waited another 45 minutes (after our first pots were finished) to have our tea refilled.  Even when we were ready to leave, we had to go to the podium to finally get a hold of someone to pay the bill.  Overall, it left a bad taste in our mouths.

For all of its notoriety, I would have expected more.  I would fully suggest skipping this one if it wasn’t for the food.

Tea 2.5/5, one choice (refillable), great variety
Food 4/5
Atmosphere 2.5/5
Service 2/5
Overall 2.75/5

Langham London
Seatings from 12:00, 1:30, 2:30, 4:00, and 5:30 daily

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