The London Silver Vaults was the first stop in our triangle. I have never been even though I used to work nearby. It is a hidden secret with lots of shops housing a king’s ransom in silverware.
We talked to several shop owners, especially about silver teapots and discovered that not only are they very decorative, they are quite affordable. We were shown some priceless apostle spoons that date back to Henry VIII’s court. You can learn about silver hallmarks from any of the shop owners and take away a little booklet that has all the known silver hallmarks in existence.
We didn’t have a lot of time to explore but I will have to return, especially to check out the vaults which have a wide selection of silver homewares.
The London Silver Vaults
53-64 Chancery Ln,
London WC2A 1QS
Traditional Afternoon Tea at The Savoy Hotel
The second stop was the Savoy Hotel on the Strand for a quintessential traditional English afternoon tea. This is perfect for the ultimate luxury English Afternoon Tea experience in a hotel steeped in history. This is the perfect place for a celebration.
Afternoon Tea at the Savoy is served in the grand Thames Foyer, with its imposing proportions, glass-domed ceiling over the central indoor arbour. A pianist on the grand piano serenades the room as we take our seats for our Afternoon Tea. Although they were quite busy, you never felt crowded or rushed.
For this occasion, the Silver Vaults supplied a beautiful silver tea set, dominating the linen covered table. They have also set out very pretty pale green Wedgewood plates and tea cups. Our waiter in an elegant tail coat begins by serving us glasses of perfectly chilled Roederer Champagne in tall crystal champagne flutes.
The tea menu at the Savoy is quite extensive. I enjoyed their Savoy Afternoon Tea blend, a combination of robust Assam and aromatic Darjeeling. The Ceylon tea is a classic Sri Lankan profile, full bodied, smooth and fragrant. The attentive service meant that out teacups and champagne flutes were not left empty for long.
In true Traditional Afternoon Tea tradition, finger sandwiches are served, of course with the crusts cut off. The in-house baked breads were light and fresh, making the generously filled sandwiches truly delicious. The Coronation Chicken sandwich on olive bread was the stand out favourite, pieces of chicken in a very lightly spiced mayo. We all asked for seconds. This does not mean that the other savouries were not delicious too, especially the goat’s cheese tartlet on the lightest pastry. For those that don’t like the idea of coronation chicken, Scottish smoked salmon, roast beef, egg and cress and of the quintissential cucumber on a caraway seed bread are the other choices.
The best part of an indulgent Afternoon Tea are the cakes. Our tail-coated waiter delivered the three-tiered cake stand with great ceremony. On the top tier was a Cornish Strawberry Tartlet, Dark Chocolate cake made with 60% Ghanaian cacao sprinkled with Amareno cherries, Choux pastry creation with roasted apricot compote, passion fruit, and homemade pistachio praline, peach macaron with almond velvet cream topped with white, yellow and blood peaches. Each little cake was exquisite, bursting with layers of flavour.
Unlike some other hotels, each person gets one of each cake and if you like any more, they will refill the plates too.
The ultimate test of the pastry chefs is the execution of the scones. Everyone has their own opinion of how the scones should be made. At the Savoy, they deliver on the cream tea tradition by serving both plain and raisin scones, both very light and short. Served with a home made lemon curd or strawberry jam with a pot of clotted cream.
There are gluten free and vegetarian options too, with prior notice.
The Afternoon Tea at the Savoy Hotel is one of the best I’ve had in London and it was a lovely way to spend an afternoon.
The Savoy Hotel
London WC2R 0EZ
Dr. Johnson’s House – the third and final stop on the ‘Tea Triangle Tour’.
Dr. Johnson’s House is a writer’s house museum in London in the former home of the 18th-century English writer and lexicographer Samuel Johnson. The house is a Grade I listed building and is the last remaining 17th-century building in the Square Mile. This is where he compiles the A Dictionary of the English Language.
Dr. Johnson’s House
17 Gough Square,
London EC4A 3DE
EatCookExplore was a guest of The London Silver Vaults and The Savoy Hotel