Having experienced afternoon tea in a number of three to five star establishments across London and abroad, including in Amsterdam and Bucharest, one of my favorites has to be the InterContinental London Park Lane which is based at No. 1 Park Lane. As there is limited information online about the phenomenal afternoon tea being offered, I can only assume that it is one of Park Lane’s best kept secrets (and especially because there are so many hotels on Park Lane that offer afternoon tea!). However, I am willing to share the secret with you and I am going to tell you 7 top secret reasons why afternoon tea at the InterContinental London Park Lane is one of the best you will ever experience.
Reason 1: perfect historical location
The first top secret is that the location is the best on Park Lane due to its proximity to the various parks and sites.
With London’s unpredictable weather, you need to be in a location where you can be in the best possible position to be out-and-about but also find somewhere quickly to stay warm and cozy during the poor weather and Park Lane definitely allows you to do that due to where it is positioned. It is located between Green Park and Hyde Park and within walking distance to Buckingham Palace and Piccadilly Circus; so great for sightseeing but also for relaxing indoors at one of the many establishments available. Park Lane has great historical importance and is one of the most sought after streets in London with its extremely luxurious hotels that have been associated with eminent writers and international film stars and celebrities. The glamorous five star InterContinental London Park Lane is a little bit more special as it is the exact location of the former home of Queen Elizabeth II when she was a child. So if you fancy feeling like royalty in a relaxing environment where you can overlook the Royal Parks and iconic landmarks, then the InterContinental Hotel is the place to be.
Reason 2: not rushed in the Wellington Lounge
The second top secret concerns where afternoon tea is served and the fact that you can spend as much time there as you want.
Afternoon tea is served in the stunning Wellington Lounge, which is located on the ground floor of the InterContinental London Park Lane and offers panoramic views of the Wellington Arch from every seat in the room. The Wellington Lounge is a beautiful, light and airy room with high ceilings and chandeliers; it includes classic but comfortable and contemporary furnishings. Unlike most afternoon tea venues, the seating between different parties is well spaced out, which means that you certainly have your own privacy and can really wind-down. The tables are covered with crisp white linen and traditional crockery and silverware, which add to the authenticity that the Queen would certainly have dined in such a fashion at the same spot. The staff in the establishment are professional and cosmopolitan with a human touch. They make the Wellington Lounge sparkle that little bit more.
With afternoon tea being so popular, a number of high-end establishments allow guests an allocated slot for around a maximum of 2 hours. However, the InterContinental Hotel does nothing of the kind and rather encourages you to stay and enjoy the ambiance, hospitality and excellent food. The length of your stay will depend on your appetite and how much you’re enjoying it rather than a clock that is ticking in the corner. This means you can really feel at ease and enjoy every moment without feeling pushed or pressed for time.
Reason 3: amazing afternoon tea options
The third top secret is that the Wellington Lounge offers different types of afternoon tea and there will be an unlimited amount of high quality teas available at your disposal.
With multiple options on the type of afternoon tea offered, there will definitely be a type that suits your taste buds. For example, you could choose to have the, “Royal Tea”, which is a selection of pretty English classics that pays homage to her Majesty, or the “Guiltless Afternoon Tea”, which is free of refined sugar and carefully created with only natural nutrient-filled ingredients. Accompanying this, you can sample and enjoy an unlimited amount of leaf tea, including the Pai Mu Tan, which is a white tea with pink rosebuds. The impressively knowledgeable staff are also always on hand to provide you with tips on teas that would suit your palate and if you tell them you have a sweet tooth, they may even surprise you by creating a delicate infusion of sweetness with cocoa beans that they will add to your tea pot.
Reason 4: beautifully filled sandwiches
The fourth top secret is that the Wellington Lounge offers dainty, plush, generously filled and finely cut sandwiches that you won’t find anywhere else.
The establishment is so thoughtful and considerate about dietary requirements and you will be asked at the onset about whether you have any allergies so that they can ensure that they provide you with an alternative filling that will suit your requirements. As a vegetarian, I would have to say that their sandwiches are some of the best sandwiches that I have ever experienced (and not only in an afternoon tea setting). The bread is incredibly moist and the fillings are spot on and even somewhat innovative. Most surprisingly, replenishments are also offered readily by staff and this is something that I have certainly not seen at any other establishments.
Reason 5: warm delectable scones
The fifth top secret is that the Wellington Lounge has the most wonderfully baked scones for which every mouthful is exquisite.
Following on from your sandwiches, the personable staff will deliver warm scones to your table and will provide you with an explanation on the different ways that scones can be eaten according to tradition. You will be presented with both sultana and buttermilk scones, which will be served with clotted Devonshire cream and a strawberry preserve. The delectable scones are firm on the outside and soft, light and airy on the inside; they will definitely melt in your mouth.
Reason 6: a royal dessert plate
The sixth top secret is that the Wellington Lounge has the most exceptional desserts that are meticulously decorated.
The desserts are well thought out and consist of different flavors and textures, which adds to the culinary party occurring in one’s mouth. Having sampled the “Royal Tea”, my dessert plate included the Queen’s hat, which was a tipsy cake covered in marzipan, and the Queen’s handbag, which was a heavenly coffee and walnut cake with an exceptionally sweet and well glossed chocolate shine. I absolutely loved the elegant lemon tart with the purple edible flower and I am confident that you would equally feel the same.
Reason 7: surprises to make you smile
The seventh top secret is that the staff at the Wellington Lounge are full of surprises and will roll-out all the stops to make you feel special.
For example, if you’re celebrating an occasion such as a birthday, they will make sure that you have the most wonderful seat in the Wellington Lounge and that no other birthday celebration could truly be comparable. If you’ve just reserved afternoon tea to spend some quality time with your family members, they will bring you complimentary drinks that they’re testing out in the Wellington Lounge to enhance your experience, obtain your feedback and make you feel that extra bit valued, which is absolutely wonderful.
At the end of your afternoon tea experience, if there are any items remaining, they will also happily offer to create a “goodie-bag” for your consumption at home, which I completely adore. This is something that I have not experienced at many other establishments and is another reason that you really must visit the Intercontinental Hotel.
Superb value for money
Now that I have shared the 7 top secret reasons why afternoon tea at the Intercontinental London Park Lane is one of the best you will ever experience, you must make your reservation immediately so you can sample delectable teas and savoury and sweet treats! The cost for afternoon tea at the Wellington Lounge varies due to the different types of afternoon tea available. However, if you want to sample the, “Royal Tea” it costs 32 GBP per person (approximately 43 USD), which is superb value for money and a must-do for any local or tourist.
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