London has so much to offer that it can be overwhelming. Someone said to me today that you can pick a new place to visit in London every week and not run out of ideas for several years. So I've spent the last week putting together my "must-do" list. Somewhere along the way I also figured that eating out at just another restaurant isn't going to cut it when the city has so much going on. So back to me and my lists - I now have a wishlist going for cafes and restaurants too.
Pretty much near the top of this eating out list was an afternoon tea experience. The Tea is more than just a drink at 3 pm in London. It's a tradition, an institution. And this tea for me last week was at the Langham, the Regent Street hotel that claims to be one of the first to start this tradition in the 19th century.
Like all tea places in London, Langham's tea is served in an ornate, chandelier lit cafe called the Palm Court. Our tea experience began with the restaurant offering us choices of beverages from the exotic white needle tea from China to my favorite Assam. This time around, I settled for a black tea from Ceylon.
But before tea arrived, there was a pre-dessert of rhubarb custard.
Then came sandwiches. I'd said in advance that I was a vegetarian and they rustled up a sample to match.
The scones, when they showed up in the next round, were warm and straight out of the oven. Just around this time, the server brought out our cakes. Pay attention to the tall cake stand - a feature I loved at the Langham. At other places, this rests on the table and you can't see your friends.
Aren't these gorgeous pastries! But by this time, given our rounds of sandwiches and scones, we just couldn't finish these. The hotel knows this happens and they have a solution: a take away bag to carry the rest of the memories (and cakes!) back home.