London Travel Diary-A Royal Afternoon Tea at The Goring Hotel

Sunday, September 23, 2012

With only four days left on my tour de Europe, I'm reluctant to come home for two very good reasons. One, I'm on a travel high and have no desire to come down from it. Reality is just not as fabulous! Two, I'm eating way too well and way too much and am dreading the painful process of post trip detox. But oh how I've enjoyed the process of indulging.

Before even stepping foot on UK soil, I had already heard so many great things about The Goring, a regal and luxe five star hotel that famously serves afternoon tea steeped in grandeur, tradition, and beauty. The 102 year-old family owned hotel has long been a favorite of the Royal Family as its pastries frequently make appearances at Buckingham Palace and just last year Kate Middleton stayed at the hotel on her last night as a commoner. I've enjoyed afternoon tea at some of the most ritzy hotels and restaurants in the world but none trumps The Goring in authenticity as I felt just a tiny bit more royal and British while dining there.

Upon arriving at the hotel, a charming butler ushered us to our table in the center of the outdoor terrace which overlooks the private garden and croquet court. Tea service extends from the terrace to the ornate lobby that's decorated in opulent hues of yellow and gold accented with classical portraits of England's royal past. The tea service was immaculate as our server was both attentive and meticulous. The three tiers of traditional tea time delights were immensely devourable. As for the tea, I particularly enjoyed The Goring Afternoon blend, a mix of Assam and Darjeeling that's smooth and rich in flavor. The hotel's "tea master" tastes each of the fine teas on a weekly basis to control the quality and taste. Impeccable!

I'm usually a person of hasty efficiency when it comes to dining but on this occasion I took my time sipping on tea, enjoying the nibbles, and taking in each and every moment of my three hour tea time at The Goring Hotel. It was an experience of royal proportions.

The lobster gelatin aperitif was pleasantly refreshing

Jams in tiny jars always taste divine

top tier favs: the blueberry chocolate macaron and lemon raspberry swirl cake
middle tier: scones with clotted cream were the best I've ever had
bottom tier favs: the chicken sandwich was savory and sweet while the traditional egg sandwich made for a great contrast

live fabulously