We are back to one of my favourite blog post-series here on Decades of Elegance: Afternoon Tea! This time we are visiting The Colonnade Hotel by Warwick Avenue, Little Venice:
The beautifully arranged hotel garden
The Colonnade Hotel is a luxurious boutique hotel based in a beautiful part of London called Little Venice. You will find Little Venice just north of Paddington and the river that runs through the area is in fact the Grand Union and Regent’s Canals meeting up – and creating such a picturesque place. I very much enjoyed the short walk down Warrington Crescent to the hotel from Warwick Avenue underground station, as I passed these beautiful Victorian houses so peacefully resting in the shades from the tall trees lining the street. A set of stairs takes you down to the restaurant, which is nice and bright as the daylight comes in through the glass ceiling:
The staircase leading down to the hotel restaurant
Now first of all, I didn’t have my camera, so we will have to make do with photos from my iPhone. Please note that everything is 20 times more beautiful in real life than in these pictures!
We started out with a glass of bubbly each, which is obviously always a fabulous start to any tea party. Now, I must confess that we didn’t make it very easy for the restaurant, as one of us was allergic to mayonnaise and mustard, and another one was gluten intolerant – and then there was of course my allergy to shellfish, but I am delighted to say that this didn’t create any problems, and they did a wonderful job coming up with suitable sandwiches and cakes for all of us.
Amazing selection of cakes, sandwiches and of course scones…
In the photo above you can see an afternoon tea-stand to the left. My cakes, scone and sandwiches are at the back of the stand, and the gluten free delicacies at the front. The scone had been substituted with a bunch of grapes for my friend who is gluten intolerant, and that is the only thing that I think they could have done differently. I am pretty sure that you can make gluten free scones, so that might be an alternative for the future, but my friend was very happy with the cakes and sandwiches that she was served.
Afternoon Tea at the Colonnade Hotel, Little Venice, London
In the photo above here you can see my other two friends’ cakes and scones, and the restaurant did a great job sorting out mayo- and mustard-free sandwiches.
We ordered a pot of tea each and since we spent almost three hours there, our teas obviously went cold towards the end, as they always do. However, the waitresses were very quick and helpful and brought in new tea pots with fresh, hot tea, and we were able to continue enjoying the rest of our cakes. Three of us had English Breakfast and one of us went for Green Tea and it was all delicious, although we would have loved to see a few more choices, like Jasmine Tea, which is such a lovely accompaniment to scones – and maybe some more exotic choices as well.
A chocolate éclair from heaven…
Here is a close up of the cakes, and guys honestly, those chocolate éclairs are to die for – they just melted in my mouth! Definitely my favourite part. The other ladies were swept off their feet by the carrot cake and the other cakes went down a treat as well.
I was being a veteran-afternoon tea’er, as I didn’t eat all my sandwiches and was therefore able to enjoy a whole scone with clotted cream and strawberry jam (sooo good!) – but one of the other ladies was heartbroken as she just couldn’t finish her scone since she had already had all her sandwiches! So just a word of warning – pace yourself, or have the scones before the sweets, if you adore scones!
The perfect strawberry jam and Cornish clotted cream to accompany our scones…
We had the most delicious strawberry jam, so I was very pleased since I have recently been to two different Afternoon Teas where they had run out of strawberry jam. Instead they served black forest berry jam or raspberry jam, which really takes away from the experience, but here everything was just perfect!
Two of my friends wanted to give this Afternoon Tea 4,5 Decades of Elegance rings, whereas another one of the ladies and I would like to give it 4. The Afternoon Tea is £32 but we found an offer and much less than that, which I thought was very reasonable. I personally would have liked for the interior to be a bit warmer and more Afternoon Tea’ish – the place is beautiful for a restaurant, but it could do with a bit more kitsch or luxury for the tea, to enhance the experience. They could also add a few more tea choices to the list. However, they did an amazing job catering for all of needs and the range of cakes was great – and delicious… I will be dreaming about that chocolate éclair for a long time…. mm-mm-mmm!
Unfortunately I am unable to create a 1/2 ring below, but we will give the Colonnade Hotel 4,5 Decades of Elegance rings: