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London’s finest afternoon teas

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One quintessentially English thing to enjoy on a visit to London is the full-service afternoon tea. This is less of meal and more of an experience, where diners are served delicate sandwiches and fancy cakes with pots of tea. Although at first glance the cost of an afternoon tea might seem steep, an afternoon tea is time unlimited and if there’s a particular sandwich or cake that takes your fancy, you’re welcome to request as many more as you can manage.

There are some exceptionally fine places in London to enjoy an afternoon tea, ranging from the expensive and prestigious through to the homely and welcoming.

 

Tea at the Ritz

One of the most famous afternoon teas in the world is that served at the Ritz Hotel in Piccadilly. Known the world over, the Ritz’s teas are served in the hotel’s spectacular Palm Court and include a selection of 17 different types of loose leaf tea and a selection of freshly cut traditional finger sandwiches.

ritz hotel london

The Ritz Hotel in London

Tea at the Ritz is a formal affair. Reservations are always needed and gentlemen are required to wear a shirt and tie at all times. At £45 per person, or £57 with a glass of fine champagne, it’s not a cheap way to have tea by any stretch of the imagination. However, with superb service, enormous prestige and a wonderfully fresh and delicious selection of sandwiches, cakes and teas you won’t be disappointed. For a celebration or event, it really can’t be beaten.

 

Diamond Jubilee Tea Salon

Also in Piccadilly, fans of the afternoon tea will find another fine menu at the Diamond Jubilee Tea Salon. On the fourth floor of Royal Charter epicureans Fortnum and Mason, the Salon was renovated to co-incide with the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and re-opened by the Queen and her daughter- and granddaughter-in-law the Duchess of Cornwall and the Duchess of Cambridge in 2012.

 

tea fortnum mason

Fine tea at Fortnum and Mason

The Royal seal of approval is entirely warranted by the quality of the tea served. The afternoon tea menu is complemented by a full a la carte tea menu stretching to 12 pages and offering a variety of sweet and savoury goodies along with teas, wines and homemade lemonade. At £40 for tea it’s a little less expensive than the Ritz and comes with the cachet of having dined where Her Majesty the Queen has recently taken tea with her family.

 

The Modern Pantry

An altogether more modest price but no less fine fare is offered at The Modern Pantry on St John’s Square near Farringdon Tube Station offers a delicious selection of home-made sweet and savoury bites to tempt you. Although the setting isn’t as salubrious as the Ritz or as prestigious as Fortnum and Mason, the price tag of £15 for afternoon tea is much more reasonable and allows almost anyone visiting the city to get a feel for this traditional genteel way to spend an afternoon.

With a modern twist on the traditional favourites, green tea scones and triple-decker sandwiches with mouth-watering fillings, you won’t feel short-changed. You’ll also find a range of carefully selected teas from a local supplier to go with your nibbles, which are also made from locally sourced produce wherever possible.

 

Conclusion

While there are some extremely extravagant and opulent ways to experience afternoon tea in London in fancy surroundings, enjoying the experience doesn’t have to mean breaking the bank. If you have a special occasion to celebrate on your trip to the city, choosing one of London’s finest establishments to enjoy your afternoon tea is a great way to mark the day. However, there are plenty of alternatives that allow you to have your cake and eat it.

 

 

Image Credits: azeemaazeez and Rosie Tulips

Eating Out in London – 5 Great Restaurants

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London is a bustling city overflowing with activity. Whether you’re there visiting friends, sightseeing, or you live there, it is very likely that you’ll want to eat out at some point.

In a city that has so much going on, where do you begin when you’re looking for a restaurant? Below is a guide to some highly recommended places that you and your friends, family or loved ones, could enjoy eating out at in the big city.

 

1) Balthazar

This fantastic restaurant has come from the successful brand in New York, USA. A Londoner, who found fabulous success state-side, came back to replica that success in England. The food itself is truly a reverie of France, and a beautiful tribute to Paris.

This 5 star restaurant echoes the same red themed set-up as the New York brand, and produces food that is second to none. If you want delicious French food while you’re in London, then you definitely need to visit Balthazar. It is located in London’s West End, and is the perfect place to go before seeing a show.

 

2) Koba

Koba is one of London’s best Korean restaurants, so if you’re in search of a scrumptious Asian meal then this where you need to go. It is located within walking distance of 3 Tube stations, but the closest is Goodge Street.

 

koba restaurant london

Example cuisine at the Koba restaurant, London

The menu offers a wide range of food including stir-fry and barbecued Kalbi beef. The service is absolutely brilliant in Koba, and you will get a friendly, yet professional service along with a scrumptious meal from this unique London restaurant. 

 

3) Roast Restaurant

Roast restaurant is located just a 2 minute walk from London Bridge Tube station and specialises in great British food. It has won many awards for its classic and tasty dishes and is enjoyed by locals and tourists alike.

If you’re looking for a traditional English, or Scottish, breakfast then this is the place to go. They also serve traditional roast dinners, as well as many other delicious British meals. Roast restaurant is a great place to go for choice; even the wine and cocktail list is very extensive.

 

roast restaurant borough market

The Roast Restaurant above Borough Market

Opened in 2005, this top class London Bridge based restaurant is definitely a great place to eat out in London, whether you’re just visiting the city, or even if you live there.

 

4) Koya

Koya is a wonderful Japanese restaurant situated in the heart of England’s capital city. The food is freshly made everyday, and the prices are very affordable and reasonable, especially considering the top quality of every meal. You can get hot and cold food in Koya, so whatever the weather you can pop into this great restaurant for a meal.

Udon dominates the menu, but the slow cooked pork-belly and other great meals are also available and definitely worth trying. If you’re looking for a delectable Japanese dish, Koya is the place to be.

 

5) The Ledbury      

The modern European menu offered at the Ledbury is absolutely brilliant. Their menu definitely has an interesting flair, but unlike many high end restaurants, you can still recognise and understand what each meal consists of.

It is great value for money with well-sized portions, wonderful surroundings and friendly staff. It’s a great place to pop in for lunch during the week, and you don’t need to book too far in advance, which is also very beneficial – you can even drop in to see if they have space on the day.

 

Conclusion

All of these wonderful restaurants offer delicious food and top class service. They are definitely great eating out options when you’re in London.

 

Image Credits: Suzie Depingu and alalsacienne

Top 5 Reasons to Visit London

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England’s capital city, London, is a bustling place bursting with life. Thousands of visitors flock to this brilliant city every year to enjoy the exciting activities, stunning skyline and lush green areas. Whether you’re looking for a packed sightseeing break, relaxing weekend or a mixture of both, London is the perfect destination.

The city is a great place to visit with family and friends, and you’ll never be bored. There are many fantastic things to see and do in London; below is a guide to five of the top reasons people visit this great place.

 

1) Shopping

If you love to shop in the high street stores, then London’s Oxford Street is definitely the place you should visit. It has approximately 300 shops and is Europe’s busiest shopping street. Many large department stores and retail chain stores’ ‘flagship’ branches are on Oxford Street.

However, if you love a bargain and aren’t afraid to barter then you should definitely visit Camden Market. This eclectic mixture of stalls will give you a once in a lifetime experience of London’s markets and you might just bag a bonanza.

london underground

London has one of the best transport systems in the world with its famed underground.

If you’re looking for more expensive, upper class stores, then you should check out Bond Street and Regent Street. Bond Street in particular has been home to high end fashion stores since the 18th century, and you’ll find many unique shops as well as recognisable brands.

 

2) Food

Another fantastic reason to visit London is the food. At one point in every lifetime, everybody should taste a famous Great British Roast. Many Brits enjoy this scrumptious meal every week, and you can’t leave London without tasting this iconic dish.

As well as the British Roast there are many other fantastic English meals that you can feast upon. London is full of great restaurants specialising in British food, catering for every budget, so there’s really no excuse. Britain is famous for its delicious cuisine, and this is definitely a great reason to visit London.

 

3) Tourist Attractions

If the food and shopping aren’t good enough reasons, then the vast amount of tourist attractions are sure to pull you in. Whether you want to visit Buckingham Palace, the official London residence of Royalty, or take a river cruise down the Thames, you’re spoilt for choice.

The most popular attractions include; The London Eye – a giant ferris wheel offering spectacular views of the big city – and Big Ben, the famous clock tower attached to the Houses of Parliament. You may also want to visit the Tower of London to see the Crown Jewels, or take lots of photos with wax works of celebrities at Madame Tussaud’s.

If art, museums and libraries are more your style, then why not visit The Tate Modern or the National Art Gallery, both of which offer free entry. You can also take a look at the British History Museum, the National Library to name just two more in the area.

 

4) Theatre

After New York’s Broadway, arguably the next most famous theatre area in the entire world is London’s West End. With musicals, plays and dance showing every night of the week – and most afternoons – you are sure to find something you enjoy.

thames london

The river Thames flows through London.

If you are a theatre lover then this reason in itself should draw you to London. Many famous actors and actresses have taken to the stage in London’s West End, and it’s definitely worth catching a show if you’re around. Be aware though that you may have to book quite far in advance, especially for the most popular musicals.

 

5) Always Something New

Even if you’ve been to London before, there is always something new to do or see. Whether you go to see a different show at the theatre, experience an exciting event at the O2 arena, or explore some of London’s hidden treasures, there is always something new to do in England’s capital.

 

Conclusion

With so much going on it’s easy to see why so many people love visiting London. Whatever kind of holiday you’re looking for, and whoever you’re going with, London is a great destination.

 

 

Image credits: _dchris and Trodel

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