Afternoon tea in the classically beautiful Corinthia
As impressive as modern glass structures are, I’m more fond of the striking beauty of historical architecture: The century-old facades, worn and coloured; the romantic carved figurines; the cavernous sash windows. One such building is now home to Corinthia, possibly London’s loveliest 5-star hotel. Located between The Thames and The National Gallery, Corinthia is housed in a grand Victorian building dating back to 1885. Above the yawning entrances are those pluming stone details that are characteristic of this type of building, and beyond the threshold the awaits an afternoon tea that fits in well with the indulgence and drama of the setting.
Tea at Corinthia is served in The Lobby Lounge, an area which is delicately partitioned off from the main reception with floral arrangements and clever seating plans. A bespoke Chafik Gasmi chandelier, made of 1000 baccarat crystals, hangs under a domed glass cupola and spills light across the room. The elegance of the interior is mirrored in a peripheral maple-lined courtyard – the perfect setting for tea in the warmer months.
To begin, choose from a variety of tea’s from master blenders Harney & Sons. Dainty finger sandwiches follow, filled with Loch Var smoked salmon, cheese and piccalilli, roast Buccluech beef with creamed horseradish and smoked trout with cucumber. Although the sandwiches are refillable it would be more advisable to leave room for scones served hot-out-of-the-oven, wafting with the ever-familiar fragrance of baked goodies. Spread these with the downy clotted cream and preserves before moving on to doll-sized cakes.
The miniature fancies include an exquisite pistachio cream cake, layered with tempered chocolate, or a chocolate cheesecake. Although the sandwiches, scones and cakes are all of a good quality at Corinthia, the afternoon tea is about so much more than its composite parts – it’s the mood and panache of the place itself that forms a solid foundation for what follows.
The traditional afternoon tea can be had for £45.
Address: 232-236 Brompton Road, SW3 2BB
Tel: 020 7930 8181
I was invited to review afternoon tea at Corinthia