The Lanesborough Festive Afternoon Tea

by Nathan Rollinson

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Once again, I am visiting one of my favourite London hotels, The Lanesborough, and I am delighted to be immediately greeted with an opulent façade, framed by a pair of Christmas trees, decorated with hues of gold and red bringing a luxury art traditional touch.



Walking into the immaculate lobby, the “Alberto Pinto” designed interiors are re-imagined in the Regency style of 18th-century, with high-ceilinged rooms a picture of greens, yellows and blues, trimmed by white Baroque-style cornicing and 23-carat gold-leaf gilding– how could interior design be any more luxurious than this? All the hotel’s communal areas are completely filled with Christmas decorations throughout and, to continue The Lanesborough’s long-standing tradition of partnership with a wide variety of Christmas collaborations, this year The House of Garrard and the Lanesborough Hotel proudly present a very special festive partnership. Drama is on display in the decorative masks that would have been worn at the elaborate masquerade balls, and delicate crystal ornaments reflect the magnificent chandeliers. In places, Garrard’s signature designs are present too – the regal motif from the monarch’s sceptre makes an appearance in delicate golden ornaments, bringing another layer of history to this re-imagining of the House of Garrard’s past.



On this special occasion, I will be hosting an intimate Festive Afternoon Tea in the richly decorated dining room at the Céleste restaurant. The room is naturally illuminated during the day by a domed glass roof with three crystal chandeliers sparkling across the room. The Lanesborough is serving afternoon tea, inspired by the holidays and complemented by live piano music in a jaw-dropping interior – there is nothing more magical than visiting around Christmas time. With lots of luxury gifts waiting inside the goody bag for guests to discover. The table is covered with the finest crystal, sets of silver cutlery and a bespoke name place, designed by the talented Ruth Kaye Design.



An immaculately dressed waitress pours champagne to set the festive mood, as we all take a few minutes selecting our tea blend which will accompany the delicate sweets and savouries to come. The Lanesborough afternoon tea stands out from the rest just by the variety of colours presented by their sandwiches, the most delectable thing on the table and one which caught me off guard – in the nicest possible way. They add the traditional choice of finger sandwiches to something a little more contemporary, such as salmon wasabi mayonnaise on matcha bread and it tastes simply divine.



Shall we move forward to the pastries section? There are so many treats to go for – chocolate bauble hazelnut snowball; Mont Blanc chestnut and blackcurrant; pear and almond tartelette; traditional Lebkuchen. The most preferred choice is Mont Blanc chestnut and blackcurrant, which brings a creamy texture inside the meringue (amazing!) and, of course, there are scones to enjoy with your chosen tea to finish off your afternoon tea experience. The portions are excellent and the Lanesborough staff are always on hand to make sure you’re never left dehydrated by topping up your tea and water, and of course, champagne, if you have gone for that option.



While the guests excitedly open the goody bags, it feels as if Christmas has come early! I would like to say thank you to Roja Parfums, Wedgwood, Moët, Aspinal of London, Charbonnel et Walker, and Ruth Kaye Design for your kind contributions. Also, a big thanks to The Lanesborough team for giving me this opportunity, to Victoria for taking so many beautiful images and to Robert for his continuing support on this visit. Lastly, thank you to all the fabulous guests who came to this Festive Afternoon Tea and made it an afternoon to remember.


I wish you a wonderful Festive Afternoon Tea at The Lanesborough Hotel.


Festive afternoon tea prices start from £55 per person and can be enjoyed at The Lanesborough at Hyde Park Corner, London SW1X 7TA. Afternoon tea is served on weekdays from 2:30 pm to 4:30 pm and weekends from 3:00 pm to 4:30 pm.

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