The W London – Leicester Square is centrally located, close to Chinatown, nightlife, and the theatre district. A few minutes walk from Piccadilly Circus and Leicester Square stations, The W is in the middle of virtually everything, with the crowd to match.
In typical W fashion, the decorating and design leans more towards visual interest rather than function.
The bench seating near the windows is so large that you could lay down on it, but while sitting not even come close to having a back to lean against. Along with the small, low tables and equally low, round stools to sit on, it’s not a very comfortable place to relax and have tea.
When we went, they were having a special event for London Fashion Weekend and had a DJ playing (who also sang and danced to 80’s music).
The lounge didn’t have an extensive tea menu, but did have a few interesting choices like Pomegranate Oolong and Grapefruit Vanilla. The Pomegranate Oolong had the sweet scent of pomegranate while tasting more like a white tea rather than an oolong.
This particular afternoon tea was inspired by the Spice Market restaurant on the ground floor of The W; and therefore, it focused on asian flavorings.
Their 3 tiered stand is a little more ornate than the usual stand, but you’ll notice that there weren’t any scones.
For the savories, there were 2 steam buns and a vegetable roll. The Malaysian Popiah Roll was my favorite, but was a little challenging to eat with a fork and knife. (Where are the chopsticks?) A close second was the Thai Shrimp Cake. The flavors of the mango, peanut, and cucumber vinegar were strong enough to balance out the denseness of the steam bun. The Blazed Pork Belly was mainly pure pig fat with very little meat.
The sweets were pretty inventive and interesting to look at, but were just not to our taste. Of the sweets the Pandan Macaron was the clear favorite with a kaya jam center and soy sauce powder sprinkled on top. The Mango and Sticky Rice Roll and Green Tea and White Chocolate Opera Cake were also ok, but there was something that seemed off. The opera cake was a little too bitter in some bites, while the white chocolate was too sweet in others. The rice roll could have used a bit more of a mango flavor to combat the coconut rice. The Ovaltine Kulfi and Salted Peanut Butter Nougat Satay were both far too sweet. So sweet that my teeth hurt eating them.
While the food was beautifully plated, it really just didn’t meet expectations in taste. We were also never able to get a hold of anyone for more hot water for the tea; so I don’t know if it’s refillable.
I would just suggest skipping this one. There are so many other options in the area, the search continues…
Tea 2/5, one choice (refillable?), limited variety
2:00pm to 5:00pm daily