Going for afternoon tea is a must-do if you’re visiting England. If you’re lucky enough to be spending time in London, there are plenty of lovely afternoon teas to choose from, spanning from traditional seatings to fun interpretations.
My current favorite interpretation is the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory inspired afternoon tea at One Aldwych.
As a kid, I always wished Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was a real place- lickable wallpaper, a whole room devoted to chocolate, gum that never loses its taste, and plenty of other treats to satisfy every sweet craving. What could be better?
So, I was excited to try the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory inspired tea when my sister visited from the States. The entire experience was memorable, earning the event a place on my list of favorite afternoon teas.
Held in One Aldwych’s Indigo restaurant, the tea room overlooks the lobby bar but still feels like you’re tucked away in a quiet corner. The plush oversize arm chairs cue relaxation the moment you sit down.
Everything, including the menus, supports the theme. Each menu has a character on the back of it- mine had Veruca Salt, which made me excited for my own golden goose egg.
First thing, you’ll choose from a modern or traditional tea- my sister and I both opted for modern teas, choosing the rose and chocolate ones. We also decided to try the smoking Cocktail Charlie, a whisky, champagne, cherry and chocolate concoction that was delicious.
With your tea at the table, savory finger sandwiches follow. My sister had the regular menu, while I opted for the vegetarian fare.
She had: cucumber and smoked salmon on poppy seed bread, egg mayonnaise with watercress on tomato bread, coronation chicken in a brioche bun, vegetable Wellington, and a leek, walnut and Montgomery cheddar quiche. Instead of chicken and salmon, I had cheese and chutney, and cucumber and creme fraiche sandwiches. Before moving onto sweets, you’re asked if you’d like to order additional complimentary sandwiches- we both opted for one more of our favorites- the quiche, and cheese and chutney.
Next, the reason we came- the sweets. As with all afternoon teas, there’s a heavy emphasis on the dessert portion of the menu.
Luckily, we were prepared. 😉
First up: Warm scones with berry jam, apple and meadowsweet compote and Devonshire clotted cream, as well as blueberry brioche, and cocoa bean financier.
The jams were good, but the cocoa bean financier was the real star- we loved these.
Then, we moved on to our pyramid of sweets, which included: golden chocolate eggs filled with vanilla cheesecake and mango, chocolate caramel milk, Eton mess, homemade candy floss, and lemon and white chocolate cake pops.
Everything was delicious, but the candy floss and chocolate egg were my favorites. The staff asks you to guess the flavor of the candy floss, and although I’ve never really been one for candy floss, I have to say I was really into the flavor of this one. I won’t spoil the surprise for you though.
Throughout the afternoon, the staff were extremely attentive, ensuring we had whatever we needed.
One Aldwych takes reservations, which are recommended since they’re usually pretty busy. And, if you’re a vegetarian, gluten-free, or have any food allergies, just specify that info at the time of reserving- they’re more than happy to accommodate.
Have you ever been to a themed tea you enjoyed? Any can’t miss teas I should experience while I live in London?