Not a standard tea room, The Met Bar is the legendary bar at the five star Metropolitan Hotel on Old Park Lane.
They have chosen to celebrate a 'Best of British' approach with the Brit Rocks and Tea Pots afternoon tea. (The previous offering, Afternoon De-Light is no longer available.)
For more afternoon tea reviews see:
Best Afternoon Tea in London.
Afternoon Tea Information
The Met Bar
The Metropolitan Hotel
Old Park Lane
London W1Y 4LB
Nearest Tube Station: Hyde Park Corner.
Use Journey Planner to plan your route by public transport.
Days and Times: Thursday to Sunday, 2pm-5.30pm.
Cost: From £29 per person. (12.5% service added.)
Dress Code: Wealthy casual.
Photography: Permitted. Staff will help.
Be aware, the lighting is quite low so it's not the easiest place to get good snaps.
Children: This is more of an adults venue so best for couples and friends. Groups up to 12 welcome. Resident's children welcome.
Music: There was supposed to be a 'Best of British' soundtrack but it was more of a funky background muzak kind of thing.
Brit Rocks & Tea Pots at The Met Bar Review
We received excellent service. Staff are friendly, polite and confident in what they are doing. Exactly as they should be.
Many hotels and restaurants look to afternoon tea to deal with an underused time between lunch and dinner. Looking around the ground floor of The Metropolitan Hotel, the more obvious choice of venue would be the lobby which is lighter and more relaxed. It has cream comfy chairs, light walls and a large clear window, plus a sumptuously-soft carpet. The Met Bar is just that - a bar - so it's not a tea venue but this is a chance to be in a legendary venue. (While I was there a couple came in saying they'd been to The Met Bar 20 years ago when they were last in London. They had now returned with the family.)
The red leather has gone and the interior now has orange and brown leather seating. There's a tinted window so it is lighter inside during the daytime but the lights go down at 5pm as the early evening becomes cocktail hour.
(2013 update) The tea is now by Jing and is loose leaf. The range has been increased since my last visit in 2012 although there is still no Lapsang Souchong available.
Individual silver teapots are brought to the table and the crockery is all plain white.
Not a standard "finger sandwiches, scones and cakes" offering, the Brit Rocks and Tea Pots has more unusual choices too. Yes, there are sandwiches but these were circular. The two fillings were mildly spiced Coronation Chicken and Free Range Egg & Cress. (Vegetarian alternatives can be arranged with notice.)
There's a mini crumpet - well, a quarter of a normal crumpet - with English Cheddar and an onion chutney.
And then the options I'd never seen at afternoon tea: a mini pork pie with Piccalilli, a sausage roll, and prawn cocktail salad. It did seem odd eating a salad at this usually gluttonous meal but this all adds to the quirkiness of the offering.
Scones aren't forgotten and homemade strawberry preserve and Cornish clotted cream are provided. The scones are small and it's one each. They are described as "crumbly and buttery" and that's exactly what they are. They sliced in half easily but were thin and more reminiscent of shortbread. We were advised to eat our scones after our sandwiches as they were still warm and if left may harden.
- The three traditional British sweet treats are:
- Individual Sherry Trifle with soft fruits, custard, and whipped cream
- A Butterfly cake - a small light sponge 'cup cake' with smooth buttercream and fresh summer berries
- A slice of Battenburg cake
The Met Bar have come up with a fun tea to enjoy with friends. A quirky twist on the traditional there isn't an excessive amount of food but it's just right for a couple of hours in good company. I generally think it's a bit late to try and be healthy once you've booked an afternoon tea but the Brit Rocks & Tea Pots is great for those who don't want too much but do want to enjoy the quality treats on offer.
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.