I recently spent a mighty indulgent afternoon devouring high tea at The Dilly Hotel. The interesting name of this five-star hotel is a nod to the area in which it lives – Piccadilly Circus.
Tea is served in the rather cavernous Terrace Restaurant on the second floor, a room full of daylight thanks to its high, elegant arches and slanting glass ceiling.
I start by sipping a mango mocktail tea while waiting for the accompanying food to be served. I was told I could have as much tea as I could sup and as there are 12 varieties of teas on offer and I acquiesced. I can report that the Lapsang souchong and the first flush blend Darjeeling are good choices, though if you want to stay traditional, breakfast tea and Earl Grey are available too.
After, I had eaten all the finger sandwiches (smoked salmon, ham and cheddar, egg mayo and roasted veg) and asked for seconds, I then went on to devour the fluffy and still slightly warm scones – both the one with raisins and the one without. I splurged them with jam and cream, and yet somehow still had room for Big Ben and a black taxi.
Of course, nothing can be more English than high tea, but this version inspired as it is by London’s icons is full of frivolity.
There’s Big Ben, that oozes delightful chocolate cream with salted caramel, a black taxi made of chocolate biscuit and chocolate icing, the London Underground sign of pistachio and raspberry-filled macaron as well as the iconic and now historic red phone boxes with lemon and poppy seed cake dressed in a crisp red tuile.
Need to know:
· Classic Afternoon Tea – £49 per person
· Classic Champagne Afternoon Tea – £65 per person including a glass of Pommery Brut Royal Brut NV
· Rosé Champagne Afternoon Tea – £67 per person including a glass of Pommery Brut Rosé Royal
More information here.
The Dilly, 21 Piccadilly, London.