To paraphrase Dorothy: 'There is no place like London.' I hope I can convince you of that here. Also check out my blog at damselwithadulcimer.wordpress.com and my theatre reviews at www.playstosee.com
Published September 29th 2012
Tea Time at the Courthouse
Why do some hotels and restaurants in big cities not try to offer the best in catering? They may think they don't need to bother as today's visitor will be replaced by another one tomorrow, but what about residents who might return if they were impressed?
We had booked a table for afternoon tea at the Courthouse, a hotel that prides itself on its location close to London's Regent Street, Oxford Circus and Oxford Street, as well as being a stone's throw from Carnaby Street and the famous London Palladium. The hotel is situated in a former Magistrates' Court, and the brass signs are still in evidence when you enter from the street. Tea is served, from 1pm, in the Carnaby; if you have a table facing the window you can watch Londoners and visitors passing by.
Our tea consisted of a couple of finger sandwiches and two mini scones with clotted cream and jam. There were also some small pastries, a choice of teas and a glass of champagne each.
The sandwiches were fine, except I always expect to have cucumber sandwiches for tea, but perhaps I'm too much of a traditionalist. The scones were rather heavy and dense and the little chocolate topped cake was similarly rather dry, but the shortbread was crisp, light and short as it should have been.
The patisserie couldn't be faulted; ours were fruit tartlets filled with patisserie cream and strawberries, plus a little sponge cake with a creamy pistachio filling. Likewise the champagne was crisp and dry, but we had to be careful to sip slowly as we ate, just in case we were tempted to book a room and sleep it off at that time in the afternoon.
There wasn't a huge choice of teas, and several of them were tisanes or infusions. My traditional English tea and my friend's Earl Grey were made from tea bags and not from leaves, although we were topped up as and when we wanted more. The service was fine and unobtrusive so there were a few plus points.
My Afternoon Tea at the Courthouse
Okay, so I've been there and done that, didn't buy the tee shirt, and won't be going back again at their prices. If you've been there for tea let me know what you think.