London themed Afternoon Tea at The Dilly: A scrumptious experience
- Published on Tuesday, 06 June 2023 11:21
- Last Updated on 06 June 2023
- Monica Costa
- 0 Comments
As the day before my birthday approached, I knew I wanted to create lasting memories with my best friend Laura. We decided to indulge in the London themed Afternoon Tea at The Dilly, a renowned hotel nestled in the heart of Piccadilly. From the moment we entered the beautiful terrace overlooking Piccadilly, we were greeted by friendly staff who made us feel instantly welcome.
Ambiance and Atmosphere
The glass room where we were seated was adorned with beautiful decorations and had a refreshing green ambiance. Bathed in natural light, it provided the perfect backdrop for our afternoon tea adventure.
As I entered The Terrace, I was immediately captivated by its stunning interior. The Edwardian conservatory creates a sense of grandeur, while still maintaining an inviting and cosy atmosphere. Bathed in natural light, the spacious dining area is adorned with vibrant colors, creating a cheerful and uplifting ambiance. The lush greenery that surrounds the space adds a touch of tranquility, transporting guests to a serene oasis within the bustling city.
The family-friendly menu
One of the first things that caught our attention was the fact that this Afternoon Tea catered to everyone, including children. Not only did they offer a kid-friendly menu, but the drinks were also thoughtfully designed to appeal to younger guests. The unlimited drinks and teas were a pleasant surprise, allowing us to sample a variety of delightful flavours throughout our visit. The attention to detail in the presentation of the food was truly magnificent, further enhancing our dining experience. Although not cheap, the quality and overall experience made it worth every penny.
Despite not being a vegetarian myself, I appreciated the fact that The Dilly offered a vegetarian and vegan menus alongside the traditional British spread.
As a self-proclaimed connoisseur of afternoon teas, I can confidently say the attention to detail was evident from the moment we made our way to the first floor, where the beautifully designed Terrace restaurant & bar awaited us. The spacious Edwardian conservatory exuded warmth and elegance, with vibrant colours, paintings, lush greenery, and an inviting atmosphere.
We were served tea on two-tiered metal stands, which added a touch of whimsy to the experience. The tea selection was extensive, featuring eight loose-leaf teas. Being Italian, I was immediately drawn to the Earl Grey with Calabrian bergamot and mango tea, which offered a refreshing twist with its citrus and fruity notes. We also had a cappuccino made with Illy caffe, a top Italian coffee brand.
The journey began with four savory offerings to awaken our taste buds. While the finger sandwiches were reasonably plain, with traditional ham and cheese on granary bread and deviled eggs on wholemeal bread, the classic smoked salmon sandwich added a touch of sophistication.
The highlight of any afternoon tea experience is undoubtedly the scones, and Terrace at The Dilly did not disappoint. Each guest was served two warm freshly baked scones. The clotted cream and strawberry jam, presented in charming pots, added an elegant touch to the overall theme. It was a delightful experience to indulge in these quintessentially British treats.
The real stars of the show were the sweet treats. Expertly crafted and themed to perfection to London Calling, they took our already wonderful afternoon tea to new heights. The little patisserie-sized cakes were artfully shaped as iconic London symbols, including the Big Ben, the red telephone box, the black cab, and even a macaron designed as a tube sign. Each bite was a delicious reminder of the vibrant city we were immersed in.
Following our tea, we decided to step out onto the Terrace’s balcony, which is an additional gem that enhances the overall experience. In good weather, guests can enjoy dining and drinks on the balcony, offering a breathtaking view of the surroundings. During my visit, the balcony was adorned with beautiful floral backdrops, adding an extra touch of elegance. It was the perfect spot to savour a glass of prosecco and conclude my experience at The Terrace, basking in the warm London sunshine.
History and Tradition
The tradition of afternoon tea holds a special place in British history, and The Terrace at The Dilly pays homage to this cherished custom. The concept of afternoon tea can be traced back to 1840 when Anna Russell, the seventh Duchess of Bedford and a close friend of Queen Victoria, initiated the practice. During a time when the evening meal was served late at 8 pm, Anna would often experience a “sinking feeling” in the afternoon. To curb her hunger, she began requesting tea, bread and butter, and cake around 4 pm. This ritual quickly gained popularity, with Anna inviting friends to join her, including Queen Victoria herself, who adored the idea.
The Terrace embraces this tradition, offering guests a taste of history while immersed in an elegant setting. The staff’s attention to detail and knowledge of the history behind afternoon tea added an extra layer of appreciation to the experience. It was a delightful way to connect with English heritage and indulge in a cherished custom that has stood the test of time.
Sunday to Tuesday
12:30pm – 3pm
Wednesday to Saturday
12:30pm – 5pm
Nearest Tube: Piccadilly
Monica Costa founded London Mums in September 2006 after her son Diego’s birth together with a group of mothers who felt the need of meeting up regularly to share the challenges and joys of motherhood in metropolitan and multicultural London. London Mums is the FREE and independent peer support group for mums and mumpreneurs based in London https://londonmumsmagazine.com and you can connect on Twitter @londonmums