Review: Afternoon Tea at The Dorchester Hotel

by Nadia Ismail

Afternoon Tea in 5 star surroundings at The Dorchester Hotel - Mayfair

As I stepped through the grand entrance of The Dorchester Hotel, I was instantly transported into a world of refined luxury and timeless elegance. My anticipation reached its peak as I made my way to The Promenade, where the famed Afternoon Tea is served. We went behind the scenes with executive pastry chef, Michael Kwan to gain a deeper insight into all the delicate details of the Afternoon Tea and redefine my understanding of indulgence.

We head to the kitchen that is so large, it has it’s own escalators! Every aspect of the Afternoon Tea is prepared separately: the sandwiches, finished in the bakery area where the bakers create the finest artisan bread to be sliced and filled with delectable flavours.

The scones and patisserie are born in different areas, with large teams focusing on every minute detail, ensuring an extremely high level of finesse. Finishing touches are added intricately with pastry  tweezers and everyone work together harmoniously with stunning results.

Seven years in the making, The Dorchester have just announced the arrival of The Dorchester Rose. This new variety is now showcased throughout all floral displays in The Promenade and is reflected in the China used to serve the Afternoon Tea. Kwan has also created the patisseries at the hotel’s beautiful boutique ‘Cake & Flowers’ showcasing exactly that: the space combines beautiful bouquets and sublime sweets. Upon discussing this with the executive pastry chef, he explains that the patisserie in the two outlets are very different. ‘They each have their own concepts’ he describes how the Afternoon Tea ‘is extremely traditional and reflects it’s British heritage,’ whereas the boutique is more inspired by its surrounding and has a more fruity and floral base.

We then take a seat The Promenade, where with its magnificent chandeliers, plush seating, and soft piano melodies, set the stage for a truly opulent affair.

As the tea arrived, so did the exquisite tiered stand adorned with delicate sandwiches, freshly baked scones, and an array of mouthwatering pastries. The attention to detail was simply remarkable. The sandwiches, filled with the finest ingredients, were a delightful prelude to the main event. From traditional cucumber and smoked salmon to the creative twists like beautiful cheddar and camomile scone, each bite was a testament to the culinary expertise that The Dorchester Hotel is renowned for.

The pre dessert arrived once the savoury course was completed and as this is a seasonal addition, it is created on produce that is most flavoursome at that time. Kwan explains that he focuses more on classic styles and flavours, rather than drowning the piece with unnecessary decorations. The strawberry macaron is a perfect pastel pink and between its delicate shell lies a velvety Earl Grey ice cream. Simple in design, the aromatic bergamot flavour marries beautifully with the sweetness of the strawberries. Kwan describes how this element changes regularly, but added a frozen element as the weather warms to refresh guests’ palettes before the sweet desserts.

Next, I turned my attention to the scones, which were a perfect embodiment of British tradition. Warm and fluffy, they were accompanied by clotted cream and a selection of homemade jams that added a touch of sweetness to each mouthful. It was impossible not to surrender to the sheer pleasure of indulging in these delectable treats.

Saving the best for last, the pastries on the top tier were true works of art. Intricately crafted, they showcased the skill and creativity of The Dorchester's pastry chefs. From delicate desserts to rich pistachio pieces and light-as-air lemon meringue, each offering delighted the palate and left me craving for more.

When asked what his favourite piece of the whole Afternoon Tea was, Kwan responded with the pistachio choux, and I could so see why. The rich flavours of the pastry cream, surrounded by crisp pistachio pieces was truly sublime.

The impeccable service throughout the Afternoon Tea experience made it truly exceptional. The attentive staff anticipated every need and offered personalized recommendations to ensure my preferences were met. Their knowledge and passion for the art of tea and the culinary creations were evident, elevating the experience to unparalleled heights.

In the elegant surroundings of The Dorchester Hotel, I found myself immersed in a world of sophistication and indulgence. The Afternoon Tea at The Dorchester is an experience that transcends the ordinary, leaving an indelible mark on one's memory. The combination of exquisite flavors, impeccable service, and an ambiance that whispers of timeless luxury truly sets The Dorchester Hotel apart.

Whether you're seeking an elegant escape from the bustling city or a memorable celebration, The Dorchester Hotel's Afternoon Tea is an experience that should not be missed. Prepare to be enchanted, pampered, and captivated by the sheer magnificence that awaits at this iconic establishment.

Afternoon Tea at The Dorchester Hotel is priced from £95pp, please click here for more details and to book.

Free Online Booking

Nadia Ismail

Nadia is a Londoner and dessert advocate. Passionate about showcasing the beauty within food and the memories they can evoke, she shares her sweet adventures on her Instagram page @southbankfoodie

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