Mummy, I really love peppermint tea!
-Hugo exclaimed in the car homeward bound.
This made me smile, especially as he usually shies away from drinking tea. In fact, all three of our kids do.
Yet on Sunday both Angelina and Hugo chose to enjoy a pot of tea as part of their Busy Bees tea at St Ermin’s hotel (where we were staying for a young 007 weekend).
Our lovely waiter, Diego, had a big hand at tempting the children to try so tea: From the moment Diego welcomed us and led us to our table, we, but the children even more so, were treated as VIPs (and I observed he did with all other guests too). He brought us the menus, including the tea menu and recommended the children could try some of theherbal teas, but if they didn’t like the idea of the teas they could have juice or hot chocolate.
We opted for a cold hot chocolate for Max (he hates all things hot).
After reading out the enticing descriptions of the herbal teas, Hugo ordered a pot of peppermint tea. Angelina was undecided and Diego suggested the berry tea to her.
“You look like a young lady who would enjoy that.”- he said
Dadonthebrink and I both chose from the black tea selection (though there were some excellent green tea options too). Dadonthebrink had a Lapsong Souchong and I chose the Massala Chai.
Our tea arrived soon after.
Each table in the tea room had a little sand timer with two hour glasses: a 3 minute timer for green tea and a 5 minute timer for black tea. We turned it over and timed the optimum brewing time for our pots of tea.
While we waited for the food to arrive we played with some StoryCubes I had in stashed in my handbag. These are the best compact travel toys I know! Each child got 3 cubes and they could make up stories with those.
First, the children’s busy bees tea bites arrived. Diego explained what each little compartment held. They had a selection of sandwiches and cakes. Hugo got his separate selection as we had asked for a dairy-free selection for him. The little yellow caddy holder with bees over it was so sweet and the children really enjoyed their little bites of food.
For us I’d ordered a regular and a gluten free afternoon tea. Neither of us is gluten intolerant, but I wanted to taste the flavours of the gluten free products. I can’t vouch for how gluten-free they were, but I can vouch for the taste: they tasted as good as they looked.
We were all offered a refill of our tea. At this point Dadonthebrink topped his tea up before giving the pot to Diego to refill. A moment later Diego appeared, as if a little flustered, and asked Dadonthebrink to check if by accident he’d refilled his Lapsong with Hugo’s peppermint tea. He had! 😀 So Diego took the cup away and came back with a clean cup and fresh pots of tea for all of us.
Just as we thought we’d finished, Diego showed up with a lovely selection of scones- gluten-free, sea salted, scones with raisins and scones with white chocolate-, clotted cream and jam. These were perfectly crumbly melt-in-your-mouth scones. We couldn’t finish them though, as we were too full despite having just had a snack since breakfast.
We had such a lovely Afternoon tea as guests of St Ermin’s hotel in London. The Tea Lounge at the mezzanine level in the hotel is a gorgeous setting for a nice quiet, civilised chat, drinking tea and eating (mostly) cake and scones.
At £29.50 for an adult and £12.50 for a child we did debate with Dadonthebrink about the value of enjoying an afternoon tea over a dinner out. We concluded that it’s probably not for every weekend, but the experience, the flavours and the atmosphere would warrant this treat every once in a while. Even with young children like ours, or maybe especially with young ones, the selection on offer is very good and suited us well. The selection was filling enough for us not to want to eat till breakfast next day.
Our surroundings and subdued opulence of St Ermin’s made the afternoon tea feel extra special and the children behaved impeccably. I wondered whether the environment had that effect on them with its soft music, hushed chatter from other tables and quiet colours or just the tiredness after completing the spy challenge.
I would highly recommend taking an hour or so during a busy trip to London with Afternoon Tea at St Ermin’s. It’s a lovely treat for young and old.
The hotel is perfectly located, being just a stone’s throw away from the Houses of Parliament, Big Ben, Westminster Catherdral, Victoria Station, St James’ Park and Buckingham Palace. Read our review of a family stay at St Ermin’s Hotel