One of the most well-known is at Claridge's, a five star hotel in the Mayfair district, which is apparently visited regularly by members of the royal family. We found it to be suitably posh, with a gorgeous art deco theme crowned by a white-frosted Chihuly chandelier. (I often find his work to be too garish, but the pearly white color makes this one very elegant.)
|Claridge's Hotel in London|
We had three children with us, ages 12, 13, and 16, and they were warned ahead of time that this was Best Behavior Time. They enjoyed getting dressed up and going out to dine "like the royals." When we arrived, we were seated on little settees, with a low table. I had mentioned that I was gluten free when I made the reservation, and they were prepared for me with no explanations needed.
|The kids sat on a sofa|
|Sandy at Claridge's Foyer for Afternoon Tea|
|This was my gluten free version, with slightly different desserts.|
I would be remiss if I did not mention the tea itself. Claridge's actually has a tea sommelier! I had Claridge's Blend, which is a traditional English Breakfast style tea. My 13 year old had a cup of Second Flush Muscatel Darjeeling after interrogating the waitress about his options. Like most waitstaff we encounter, she was unable to hide her amusement at the contrast between Colin's sophisticated palate and his tiny size. He pronounced it "amazing." In the meantime the girls (12 and 16) were asking for hot chocolate instead of tea (which they provided). The hot chocolate came in two pitchers -- one of chocolate sauce and the other steamed milk, which they poured together at the table to make your drink. It even had a cute toasted marshmallow on a stick! The 16 year old thought it was divine. The 12 year old added sugar. (It was definitely a bittersweet chocolate, but I only had a lick, as I wasn't sure if it was GF, and it seemed impolite to ask, as it wasn't even my drink.)
The total bill for 5 people with tip came to $440 in US dollars. That was the most expensive meal we ate in Europe by far, but it was a once in a lifetime experience, and my son counts it as one of the best parts of the trip.
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