Nestled in the Georgian enclave of Great Cumberland Place, The Montcalm Hotel looks promising from the outside. But on entering the foyer we're dismayed to see that the restaurant/tearoom IS the foyer itself, and the level of activity and bad acoustics give the area rather an impersonal feel.
We're finally seated after a bit of a wait resulting from some confusion over the booking... I think it's because we were booked in for the Chocolate Indulgence Tea (of course..!) But none of the staff seem to know what that means, and seem to think we're asking for "chocolate tea". As good as that combination sounds, I don't think the world is ready for it yet..!
The staff finally understand what we're requesting and we receive our pots of Earl Grey etc pretty quickly. We did wait a very long time for the food though - in fact we drank a lot of tea in the interim. So it was annoying that when we asked for more tea, once the food arrived, we were looked at again as though we were speaking in Chinese.
It's a good job the food was delicious, with delicate finger sandwiches, chocolate chip mini-scones and various mini macaroons and praline slices, and we were glad we'd opted for the chocolate version, as after all that waiting we did feel in need of an instant pick-me-up.
So all in all, the food and drink was fantastic quality, but the surroundings and staff left a lot to be desired:
"Sip"-Tease Rating: ***
Pa"Tease"erie Rating: ***
Boudoir or Boring? rating: **
Service With (nothing but) a Smile rating: *
Cheap or Chic? rating: ***