Whenever someone says "high tea" I picture a group of perfectly styled women, wearing lace gloves, smoking joints and munching on finger sandwiches...which sounds divine to me! So it's no surprise that a tea time was at the top of my to-do list when I went to England, but I had no idea how much fun a proper spot of tea could be!
The concept of afternoon tea, or high tea, came from the 7th Duchess of Bedford, Anna Maria Russell, one of Queen Victoria's ladies in waiting. Noticing that she always became hungry around 5pm, but had to wait another 4 hours until the 8pm dinnertime, the duchess decided to bridge the gap. It all began when Anna started to order tea, bread and cake to her suite everyday to avoid the "sinking feeling" she would inevitably feel several hours after lunch. Using any excuse to have tea, the British royals and public took to the ritual quickly.
Most people think of afternoon tea in London as an elegant, and perhaps boring, event. While London certainly has plenty of those, they also have places that shun tradition and offer up a tea time that's infused with a little fun! I opted to seek out the unique, quirky tea experiences because I'm a unique and quirky kinda girl :)
Since I wanted to have a "high" tea, I decided to elevate whichever tea experience I chose by bringing along some of my live resin THC syrup from Lime (limecannabis.co). It's the perfect way to add a sweet infusion to any beverage, so I made sure to bring plenty of it when I went across the pond. This product travels so discreetly, which made it easy to bring abroad. I poured it into my travel shower gel containers and was able to have it right there in my carry-on. I would recommend bringing a small medicine syringe so you can dose it out properly. The syringe will also make it easier for you to add into your drinks ;)
Once I learned that The Chesterfield Mayfair hotel had a candy themed afternoon tea, I knew that was going to be the perfect one for me. Not only did they have a great menu, but they also have an old time candy shop that creates the perfect atmosphere to enjoy it in.
Located on the first floor of the hotel, Mr. Simm's Sweetshop definitely gives throwback vibes with its vintage signs and candy shop decor straight out of the early 1900's. There was a private event in the candy shop on my visit so I couldn't get the full vibe, but the regular dining room had me feeling quite fancy, so it was fine. Head over to chesterfieldmayfair.com for all the details on how to plan your own visit to their candy themed afternoon tea.
One of the things that caught my eye on the menu was a bespoke fruit tea, so that's the one I decided to try. Before they brought out the tea, they gave me a shot of sparkling pink lemonade with a gummy bear chaser. It came nestled in dry ice, which made for a very whimsical start to the meal, so I was loving it!
In addition to teas, most places have the option to add champagne or a mimosa to your meal for an extra charge, usually around €10. Depending on the type of food and environment you're looking for, be prepared to spend anywhere from €45-€85 for your afternoon tea. The price tends to include refills on food and drinks, so be sure to go there hungry!
The menu for this tea was pretty traditional, but that was perfect for me. I'm not an adventurous eater, and even though I've been told how much I'm "missing out" on, I still haven't been swayed to change my ways. Traditionally the food comes out on a 3 tier tray arranged in a specific order: finger sandwiches/savory bites on the bottom, scones in the middle and sweet treats on the top. The quintessential finger sandwich has to be cucumber & cream cheese, it's a tasty combo and easily my fave. They also had ham & cheese, egg salad and roast chicken. There was also a smoked salmon option, but ya girl is allergic to fish so they swapped it out for me. After the scones (I got a refill on them!) I barely had room for the sweets, which were perfectly themed.
Overall it was such a lovely way to experience a meal. There's just something about slowly pouring tea and savoring bites of delectable treats that makes me feel good. I was a little worried about doing it alone, but I was definitely transported into my own elegant world once the Lime syrup hit ;) I took pictures, vibed out, and soaked in all the elegance that surrounded me. If you get the chance to go to an afternoon tea, I would high-ly recommend it!
If you're not into the candy thing but you like the idea of a themed tea experience, then you'll be happy to learn that there are an array of themes for you to choose from! Check out these other afternoon teas that were on my list:
Charlie & the Chocolate Factory Tea
Mad Hatter Tea
Sometimes it feels good to romanticize your life, and what better way to do that than a fancy afternoon tea. I hope this inspires you to get out into the world and experience something new.