Stafford London is a five star hotel in St. James's serving a traditional afternoon tea in their lounge. You can sit by the fireplace on plump sofas and enjoy the peace of secluded central London while indulging in all that an afternoon tea should offer.
For more afternoon tea reviews see:
Best Afternoon Tea in London.
Afternoon Tea Information
The Stafford, St. James's Place, London SW1A 1NJ
Days and Times: Daily 3pm-5pm.
Cost: From around £30 per person.
Dress Code: Smart casual (no shorts).
Reservations: 020 7493 0111.
Music: No music.
Stafford London Afternoon Tea Review
Afternoon tea is served in the Lounge on the ground floor. It's not a large room which adds to the intimate feeling of knowing you are someone special having tea here today. The Stafford London does not wish to attract celebrities as they would prefer to make every guest feel special in their own right and also many guests appreciate the privacy this hotel can offer.
The Lounge is very English. The room is duck egg blue and cream with original cornices and coving, plus select pieces of antiquities around the room. Seating is all sofas with large coffee tables and I chose to sit by the fireplace, which can be lit on cold days. The room may be grand but it still feels comfortable with the plump sofas and squishy cushions. There is no music so this is a good option for those who like to chat with friends without background noise.
All the staff I met at The Stafford London were friendly and courteous. The waiting staff were not afternoon tea specialists but took our order quickly and poured our first cup of tea for us. Service is subtle and not obtrusive.
There are more than ten teas on offer with two hotel blends. I tried their afternoon tea blend which was strong and fitting to the location. Thankfully hot water was also provided to stop it getting too strong.
Tea is served in a silver teapot with a hotel-engraved tea strainer plus a silver pot for hot water. Crockery is plain white and the tablecloth is white too.
I forgot to let staff know when I booked that I'm vegetarian but they were able to prepare something for me, after I'd explained smoked salmon isn't vegetarian. The sandwiches were disappointing as the soft cheese or egg fillings were not exciting and the bread was too chewy. My companion's sandwiches had the same bread.
The Cake Stand
The silver three-tiered cake stand is as lovely as you would hope. Sadly staff didn't explain the fancies on the top to us but we simply tried them all to find out what was there. We think we had a lemon tart and a lemon cake, pistachio fancies, an indulgent dark chocolate cake and a tall shot glass cheesecake which was divine, although spoons were not provided. We resourcefully used our teaspoons.
The scones are brought out on the silver tiered cake stand, wrapped in a napkin to keep them warm. Sadly, this never works but they still tasted delicious with the abundance of clotted cream and dark homemade strawberry preserve that was provided.
Afternoon tea at The Stafford London is a lovely way to spend an afternoon. It's not formal but it still feels grand, and it is certainly luxurious yet comfortable.