Festive Afternoon Tea at The Tea Lounge in St. Ermin’s Hotel, London

I moved to Colchester last December so I rarely travel to London now during the weekends. As a result, I do not see my friends often. As Christmas is approaching fast, I took my friend – Verity to a delicious and stylish afternoon tea in the pretty Tea Lounge at the St. Ermin’s hotel. I had a dinner this hotel at their Caxton Grill restaurant last month and absolutely loved it so I was really looking forward to having our Festive Afternoon Tea there.

Venue and location:

The Tea Lounge is located inside of Westminster’s exclusive St. Ermin’s Hotel which was voted a ‘Top London Hotel’ in Condé Nast Traveller Reader’s Choice Awards.

On my way to the venue, I decided to walk through St. James Park which is just around the corner but other attractions such as the Buckingham Palace, Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland and the Houses of Parliament are only a short walk away. St. Ermin’s Hotel can be easily reachable by tube, bus or walking if you are exploring the central London.

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Service and atmosphere:

The Afternoon Tea is served daily from 12 noon to 6pm and sittings last 1.5hrs. We arrived at around 1 p.m. and we were welcomed by a friendly waitress. The St. Ermin’s Tea Lounge offers its guests a relaxing environment where you can indulge in the delights of afternoon tea whilst catching-up with a friend or spoiling someone you love. There was a soft, relaxing music playing in the background which was soothing after shopping on Oxford Street in the morning.

The menu: 

The St. Ermin’s Tea Lounge offers a variety of Afternoon Tea menus including gluten free and vegetarian options which are available on request. As soon as we sat down, we received a tea menu where we discovered a large selection of ‘Tea Makers of London’ teas. We both decided to have a pot of Festive Tea.

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Our tea arrived in no time and was followed by a beautifully presented stand of the sweet and savoury delicacies. We started with a range of finger sandwiches including:

  • Turkey, cranberry stuffing & baby spinach
  • Crayfish, rocket & lemon mayonnaise
  • Roasted squash, nut-free pesto & Somerset brie
  • Red pepper, hummus, mint & coriander
  • Salt beef, horseradish & mustard cress

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They were all tasty and presented well. Once we finished our savoury treats, we moved to a selection of sweet cakes and pastries. I enjoyed them all but my favourite 3 were:

  • Cranberry & vanilla verrine
  • Ginger mousse with mulled berry compote
  • Chestnut sponge, spiced pear jam, nutmeg custard & brandy cream

Lastly, we had some delightful freshly baked scones (Plain & fruit) which were served with some clotted cream and a selection of jams. What a perfect end to our festive Afternoon Tea experience!

Overall experience:

The St. Ermin’s Tea Lounge not only offers a welcoming atmosphere whilst being set in pretty surrounds but also offers a great selection of sweet and savoury treats which were all beautifully presented and tasty. What a great way to refuel after shopping all morning!

This was my second visit to St.Ermin’s hotel and once again I left impressed. I will definitely visit again soon!

Price:

£49 per person with unlimited prosecco is available throughout December.

Website:

For more information and to book visit:
https://www.sterminshotel.co.uk/eating-drinking/afternoon-tea/

Address:
Tea Lounge at St. Ermin’s Hotel, Autograph Collection
2 Caxton Street
Westminster
London SW1H 0QW

I hope that you enjoyed reading this review!

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Pauline

Holiday destinations: 24 hours in Berlin, Germany.

Berlin is one of my favourite capitals. Last time I stayed there was during a week-long business trip and even though my spare time was limited, I made sure that I spent it discovering the hidden germs of this beautiful city.

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Berlin is the capital of Germany and has a population of approximately 3.5 million people. It is located in north-eastern Germany on the banks of Rivers Spree and Havel.

So what should you see if you were there only for 24 hours?

There are a number of different historical points worth visiting in Berlin: Unter den Linden and the glorious Brandenburger Tor speak of the city’s Prussian heritage, the Topography of Terror is a chilling reminder of its brutal Nazi years, and the East Side Gallery is a colourful tribute to a once divided city (and the largest remaining section of the Berlin Wall still standing).

In addition, Berlin has over 200 museums, from world-class collections of Classical art at the beautifully restored Neues Museum, to the striking Liebeskind-designed Jewish Museum and plenty more irreverent affairs. What I was fond of the most is the fact that it is a very green city and around one-third of its area is composed of forests, parks, gardens, rivers and lakes.

I hope you enjoyed reading this post!

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Pauline

Holiday destinations: Corfu, Greece

I recently stopped at Corfu Island for a day. Corfu is the second largest of the Ionian Islands Greek island in the Ionian Sea.

It is also among the most beautiful and popular islands of the country. Due to its strong historical connection with Europe, Corfu was among the first Greek islands to open to tourism.

Located on the north western side of the country, Corfu island has a cosmopolitan feeling combined with a special traditional character. We had a traditional Greek meal cooked for us by a ‘Greek mama’ in a restaurant that felt like a kitchen of your relatives. Portions were really generous and the attitude of the staff was lovely-they were all extremely friendly and smiley.

There are a lot of lovely beaches around the island and if you like discovering new places then you should definitely go for a walking trip around the city as there are some lovely ruins and castles worth seeing there. We decided to climb on top of the hill at midday which was quite challenging as it was extremely hot but as a results we were able to admire the island from its highest points.

My advice would be to do all the sightseeing during the late afternoon hours.

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I hope you enjoyed reading this short review.

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Pauline

Holiday destinations: Venice, Italy

This week I would like to tell you about one of the most romantic destinations in the world-Venice. I love Italy and it is definitely one of the cities you need to visit at least once in your lifetime.

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Venice is located in northeastern Italy and is sited on a group of 117 small islands that are separated by canals and linked by bridges. Venice is known for its beautiful setting, architecture and artwork. Both the lagoon and a part of the city are listed as a World Heritage Site.

I’ve been to Venice 3 times. My latest visit to Venice was in June and summer brings some of the most daunting crowds… nevertheless there’s a reason why they come: you are never more than a bridge and an alley away from beautiful palaces, squares and monuments.

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Venice has a very lively neighborhood full of restaurants, wine bars and famous Italian gelaterias. I adore Italian food so I am always looking forward to trying some local food. Main squares (especially St. Marco Square) are quite pricey and you might end up paying 4-5 times more than in the other parts of Venice so I would always advice to check the menu and prices if you are on a tight budget. You need to be also aware of the ‘coperto’ charge-it is basically a fee for sitting down in the restaurants. We ended up paying 30 Euros for a bottle of water and a beer as we weren’t made aware of this fee…

Unquestionably, it is a great destination for a short break but you should go there for a minimum of 3 nights to see all the famous sites.

Time to start thinking, who would you take with you?

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Pauline

Lovely afternoon Tea at Amba Hotel Marble Arch, London

As promised, please find another review of my Afternoon Tea experience listed below. Last week, I visited Amba Hotel Marble Arch in London.

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Venue and location:

Amba Hotel Marble Arch is located just off Oxford Street-a buzzy shopping district in central London. It is easily accessible by public transport and the nearest tube station-Marble Arch is around 3 minutes away. After a shopping trip with one of my friends (Sylwia) we decided to unwind during a relaxing afternoon tea.

Times:

Afternoon tea is served at the Grill restaurant, between 2pm and 5pm daily.

Service:

We were served by a few different staff members who were all professional and friendly. They all looked very chic and classy. One of the staff members-Kelvin made our experience extra special by being very attentive and welcoming. His customer service skills were simply excellent.

Atmosphere:

We reached Amba Hotel Marble Arch at around 2:15 p.m. The atmosphere and staff were both pleasant. On our arrival, we were acknowledged by a friendly receptionist who then asked one of the waitresses to take us to our table. There was a soft, relaxing music playing in the background which was enjoyable and soothing after our shopping trip.

The menu:

Our waitress took us to a table and asked us if we would like to start our Afternoon Tea experience with a glass of champagne. A few minutes later, we received a chilled glass of bubbly each and then we started considering what to pick from an excessive tea menu. We both decided to have a pot of green tea.

Our tea arrived in no time and was followed by a beautifully presented stand of the sweet and savoury treats. We started with a range of finger sandwiches including some salmon, egg and cucumber savoury bites. We then moved to a selection of delicious cakes, pastries and macaroons. Subsequently, we had a delightful, homemade scone each which was accompanied by some homemade strawberry preserve and some Devonshire clotted cream. All cakes were simply wonderful.

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Dress code:

The dress code at The Grill restaurant in Amba Hotel Marble Arch is smart casual. I decided to wear one of my colour block dresses with a pair of Kurt Geiger kitten hills.

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Overall experience:

What a great way to start our afternoon! The Grill restaurant at Amba Hotel Marble Arch offers a welcoming atmosphere in a beautiful surroundings. I would love to visit again try some lunch, dinner next.

You should definitely go there next time you are shopping on Oxford Street as it will help you to relax before you hit the shops again.

Price: £35 per person for an Afternoon Tea with a glass of Champagne

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Website: http://www.amba-hotel.com/hotels/united_kingdom/london/marble_arch/restaurants_and_bars/afternoon_tea.html

Address: Bryanston Street, London W1H 7EH

I hope that you enjoyed reading this review!

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Pauline

Holiday destinations: Dubrovnik, Croatia

I visited Dubrovnik recently and it was simply breath-taking.

Dubrovnik is one of the best known Croatian cities on the Adriatic Sea. It is one of the most prominent tourist destinations in the Mediterranean, referred to often as ‘the pearl of the Adriatic’. It was also recently featured in the popular ‘Game of Thrones’ series so it’s a must-see for any fan who wishes to discover the settings of this fantasy series.

As I was there with my fiancée only for a day, we decided to take one of the guided walking tours on top of the walls. In spite of the heat, humidity and heavy crowds, this was undeniably one of the most spectacular walks in the cities we’ve ever seen. Our guide was very knowledgeable and it was very interesting to listen to the tales she told us about the city.

We loved it and would love to visit the city again. Next time we will definitely stay for longer to see all the beautiful sides.

I hope you enjoyed reading this review.

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Pauline

 


					

Holiday destinations:Barcelona, Spain

A few months ago, I joined my parents for a few days break to Barcelona.

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There are lots of places to visit and things to do while in Barcelona but in my opinion these are the top 3 attractions you definitely need to see:

1. Basilica of the Sagrada Familia

The Basílica i Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família is a large Roman Catholic church in Barcelona, designed by Spanish architect Antoni Gaudí. It is absolutely stunning and if you ever visit Barcelona then you should definitely put it on your list of places worth seeing.

2. Park Guell

Located in the city of Barcelona, the Park Guell is one of the most beautiful icons of the city. It’s a work of Antoni Gaudi located in the upper part of Barcelona, which has wonderful views of the city. You can enjoy a fantastic green walk surrounded by a modernist works.

3. Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya

The Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya is the national museum of the arts located in Barcelona. It is one of the largest museums in Spain, housed in a huge Palau Nacional dating back to 1929. The museum is situated on Montjuïc hill and leading down to the famous Placa Espanya. If you are into art then this museum is especially notable for its outstanding collection of church paintings, and some Catalan art and design from the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

 

Food:

We went to many local restaurants and bars but to be honest I wasn’t ‘wowed’ by any of them so I am afraid that I won’t be able to recommend any places in particular. Although, the food we had in Barcelona was average, I would definitely recommend you go to any local cuisine i.e. some tapas or paella accompanied by the Sangria.

Hotel:

We stayed in the city centre in the Barri Gothic area in NH hotel. Hotel was very conveniently located-just 5 minutes’ walk from the tube station. It had a nice, artistic décor and very friendly staff. We arrived around 9p.m. and were greeted by extremely friendly receptionist who checked us in quickly and made us feel welcome. When we arrived in our rooms-they were really spacious and had a clean, modern décor. I would definitely consider staying there again the future.

Overall experience:

Once again, I really enjoyed my stay in Barcelona with my parents. It is still one of my favorite cities in Europe and I will definitely visit again soon.