If I had to pick one place to have afternoon tea in London then the St. Pancras Renaissance London Hotel would be it! This place oozes Victorian times glamour and it is one of the most iconic hotels in London. The interior is magnificent- burgundy wallpapers, beautiful arches, a wooden roof and beautifully heavy carpets that cover every inch of the staircase leading to the upper levels of the hotel. If you were born in the 90’s these stairs might look familiar to you, as this was the place were the Spice Girls ‘Wannabe’ videoclip was filmed, and nowadays this staircase has become the hotel’s landmark! Unfortunately, we weren’t staying there during our visit to London (not that this would stop me from getting up and down the stairs). However, we were lucky enough to be invited to enjoy the afternoon tea experience at the Hansom Lounge, the main sala of the building, and so we did.
Michelle from The Crazy Cat Lady joined in and we emerged into a world of luxury! The Hansom Lounge offers a unique setting, on the left and right side there are counters for the visitors and the people who are checking in. Scattered tables are surrounding the main table that is filled with flowers and cake! The room has high ceilings and so it is light and airy, making you feel as if you are somewhere outside in a garden. There’s a harpa in the corner, being played beautifully and the moment you are seated to your table the waitress hands you in the menu and asks you if you’d like something to drink before deciding. The menu has two options, the Classic Afternoon Tea and the St Pancras Afternoon Tea with the difference being that the former being alcohol free. And so, of course we chose the second option and ordered ourselves some delicious cocktails that were equally eye-catching!
I ordered the Tsar Alexander, a mixture of Bailey’s, vodka, white chocolate liqueur and coconut milk which was delighful! Not only it was tasty but it was also presented in the most beautiful ways with shredded coconut and a piece of white chocolate with the hotel’s print on top!
Then it was into the savoury treats-a tray of mini sandwiches arrived on the table and it included so many different flavours I am afraid I have to insert a briefing from the menu here:
-Roast Turkey, Chipolata and Smoked Bacon Cranberry relish in Brioche
-Lobster & Clementine Mayonnaise in Brioche (<– my absolute favourite)
Roast Pumpkin and Red onion with dill cream cheese in Brioche
Oak Smoked Scottish salmon, lemon creme fraiche on brown bread
Cashew, date and roast parsnip on cranberry bread (<– equally mouth-watering)
Rare Roast Beef with English Mustard on onion bread
The tea selection was huge, I am afraid I have never met such a vary selection before. It wasn’t just an English tea, Earl Grey and Peppermint tea kind of day. We opted for Cornish Manuka (from New Zealand), Malawi Lemongrass and Jamsine tea with the option to irder as much as we wished or as many different flavours as we liked. Heaven!
The music was wonderfully filling the room and after a mini breakf of eating and drinking we were presented with the (much anticipated) dessert selection that arrived on a beautiful royal dish. The waitress explained that we should eat clockwise as the Chef has placed them from lighter to heavier and if we wanted to have a break then we should start again with the salted caramel macaron (that was as huge as my head).
Having fallen in love with the interiors and food we let ourselves enjoy and breathe everything in. Before arriving to the hotel I had high expectations because St Pancras has such a big reputation, and to be honest there was nothing that let me down. From the music to the food and decoration everything had a genuine, welcoming vibe that made us feel at ease…
And then something totally unexpected happened!
Just before we left, the Chef prepared a beautiful dish with a nicely arranged selection of mini cakes for Michelle as it was her birthday! It was the most sweet gesture, and to think that we didn’t let them know beforehand and everything was prepared at the last minute. The staff sang the ‘Happy Birthday’ sogn to Michelle and everyone clapped their hands just as she was blowing the candles. It was such a beautiful moment that was made special because of the people at the hotel.
And just like that we left this beauty and got back into the fuss and buzz of the city. I cannot reccomend an afternoon tea at the Hansom Lounge enough! We were treated like royals and the food and service were exceptional! Even if you are heading to Euston or the St Pancras International railway and you have some spare time around, do pay a visit and have some tea and a slice of cake. The atmosphere will take any worries off and get you into a happy mood!
What a magical experience!
*Our Afternoon Tea was complimentary in exchange of a review but all opinions expressed are mine. Thanks for reading.