Afternoon Tea at Oscar Bar & Restaurant, Charlotte Street Hotel

London, UK
April 2016

The Charlotte Street Hotel is just to the north of Soho in central London, close to Goodge Street, Tottenham Court Road, and Oxford Circus Stations. 

With some outside seating and pastel paint, I was looking forward to a slightly quirky and quaint tea.

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The color continued inside throughout the hotel.  Inside the dining room of the Oscar Bar & Restaurant, the dining area is an L shape.  Near the back, you can see inside the kitchen through two large windows.  The china was oddly traditional in nature with mythical creatures, but still very colorful.

The Oscar offers two different tea services, the Traditional Tea and the Bloomsbury Tea.  I decided to go with the Traditional Tea to get a better idea for what they normally offer.  (Going traditional is also a good baseline for comparing across different places.)

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For the tea, 3 black teas are included in the price, or you can pick from the options on the back of the menu for an additional charge.  Once again, I wanted to see what their regular teas were like, so I went with the Second Flush Darjeeling.  It was a nice, standard Darjeeling with light slightly fruity flavor.

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The 2-tiered tea stand came out and just from the look of it, it was a little underwhelming.

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The sandwiches included egg salad, roast beer, and cucumber.  The egg salad ended up being the best, but that wasn’t saying much.  The bread was dry, and the flavor of butter was so strong when you ate the sandwich.  The roast beef was overcooked, and was therefore tough and dry.  The bread was also dry.  The cucumber sandwich was terrible.  Once again the cucumber was not properly dehydrated, so the bread was sopping wet.

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Moving on, the scones were a nice change.  They had a good crust and were soft and fluffy on the inside.

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The sweets were next.  The chocolate eclair was ok, but was sweating profusely by the time I got to it.  The choux was dry, and the chocolate creme faintly tasted of some nondescript liquor.  The multi-fruit cake was dry, but the cream cheese icing made it edible.  The banana slice was extremely dry, like toast.  It had some walnuts which helped change the texture slightly.  This dessert also tasted of some liquor.  The muffin with raspberry jam and cream in the center was ok, but was kind of a repeat of the scones.

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Even though this was a cheaper tea, the food overall was not good.  The only saving grace was the service.  One of the waitstaff was particularly attentive, but I was checked in on frequently.

My friend had the Bloomsbury Tea at Christmas and said that the food was good.  So maybe you should just avoid the Traditional Tea.  Or just not take the chance and go somewhere else.

Tea 2/5, one choice (refillable), limited variety included in price
Food 2/5
Atmosphere 3.5/5
Service 3.5/5
Overall 2.75/5

Charlotte Street Hotel
12:00pm to 6:00pm daily

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