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One Aldwych Afternoon Tea

Afternoon Tea Inspired by Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

About.com Rating 4 Star Rating


One Aldwych Afternoon Tea
© Laura Porter, licensed to About.com, Inc.
Afternoon tea at One Aldwych is served in the spacious Lobby.

In celebration of their partnership with the West End musical Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, they have created a scrumdiddlyumptious afternoon tea. From decadent golden eggs to blueberry brioche and playful flavored candy floss, every item reflects the wit and wonder of Roald Dahl's classic tale.

For more afternoon tea reviews see: Best Afternoon Tea in London.

Afternoon Tea Information

The Lobby, One Aldwych, London WC2B 4BZ

Nearest Tube Station: Holborn.
Use Journey Planner to plan your route by public transport.

Days and Times: Daily 2-5pm.

Cost: From £29.50 per person.

Dress Code: Smart casual.

Reservations: 020 7300 1070

Photography: Permitted. Staff are happy to help.

Families: Welcome.

Music: Not really appropriate as it's covering the balcony Axis restaurant and the Lobby. I've visited Axis for Martini Movies.

Afternoon Tea Review

© Laura Porter, licensed to About.com, Inc.

This is a lovely light venue with incredibly high ceilings and large windows. There is a choice of seating from high-backed chairs to relaxing sofas. I visited with my seven year old daughter who is, obviously, a big fan of the Roald Dahl tale.

Staff are professional and the afternoon tea menus have fabulous drawings of the characters in the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory story.

Guests can upgrade and enjoy a glass of Champagne or a 'Cocktail Charlie' but we chose a non-alcoholic cocktail.

Tea Selection
There are four teas on offer on the special menu but you can choose from a wider selection from the standard afternoon tea menu too. All teas are, of course, loose leaf and individual strainers are provided for each guest. I chose Organic Lavender Grey which was a stunning golden colour and not dark as I was expecting. It wasn't too strong and was simply delicious. Hot water is also provided to add to the teapot.

Hot chocolate is available too which cheered up my daughter who was feeling tired after a day's sightseeing.

The sandwiches and savories arrive before the sweets on a separate long plate so there is no cake stand. As lovely as these were I have no idea what the connection to the Roald Dahl story might be. (Update: the roast beef sandwich, heritage tomato tart and blueberry brioche lightly reference Violet Beauregarde's three course meal chewing gum, which she describes as 'tomato soup, roast beef and blueberry pie'.) There are classic afternoon tea fillings with a twist such as cured smoked salmon and lemon mayonnaise on rye bread. I liked the Heritage Tomato Tart and my daughter preferred the cucumber sandwich best.

I'd definitely suggest they remove the salt and pepper from the table as it's unnecessary and takes up valuable space.

We waited twenty minutes for the sweets to arrive which would have been more manageable with an adult to talk to but my daughter was tired and lacking patience.

When the sweets did arrive there was no classic silver cake stand but a wooden platform and a bowl for the scones. But it looked wonderful and I have never seen homemade candy floss at afternoon tea before. Incredibly there were two flavours of candy floss reminiscent of traditional sweets: pear drops and lemon sherbet.

The vanilla cheesecake filled chocolate egg was brushed gold underneath and was a hit with my daughter although she removed most of the filling and devoured the chocolate. And the mini bottles of chocolate caramel milk with stripy straws looked perfect.

My daughter's favorite sweet was the blueberry brioche and mine was the candy floss. I didn't find any meringue pieces in the Eton Mess although it tasted great.

The scones are served with Devonshire clotted cream and summer berry preserve plus a wonderful apple and meadowsweet compote which was a real treat.

© Laura Porter, licensed to About.com, Inc.

There were many families with young children enjoying afternoon tea on a Saturday afternoon but I would say this is an adult afternoon tea as the flavours are rich. If you are looking for somewhere to take children I have this list: Afternoon Tea in London With Children.

The hotel lobby is an excellent venue for afternoon tea but the musical choice wasn't fitting – a sort of free-form jazz that probably works for the restaurant on the balcony but not for tea. The volume got quite high during the afternoon when the venue was busy with clinking cutlery and chatting making it hard to have much of a conversation. While staff were clearly working hard I wasn't offered more tea and the wait for sweets was quite a challenge with a tired child.

As the hotel's afternoon tea menu changes with the seasons the Charlie & The Chocolate Factory Afternoon Tea will be available until 2 September 2013.

Chesterfield Mayfair also has a Charlie and the Chocolate Factory themed afternoon tea: Charlie & The Chesterfield.

As is common in the travel industry, the writer was provided with complimentary services for review purposes. While it has not influenced this review, About.com believes in full disclosure of all potential conflicts of interest. For more information, see our Ethics Policy.

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