So January is the month after we've all overdone it at Christmas: spent too much money, eaten too much food, drank too much booze...and now we're all paying for it. So to be honest, the last thing my wallet or my waistline needed right now was another afternoon tea. However, this one was already paid for as I'd already bought a Groupon voucher for it before Christmas. And in all honesty, the tea itself wasn't so much the focus as a good gossip with a mate and a day out of the house during this austere month.
I wouldn't have chosen the venue myself. Tophams is a hotel in Belgravia that has just undergone a 2 year refurbishment, and although it was very nicely done that was the problem really - it was just, well, nice. It was far too homogenous for me as the decor was 'neutral' and me and my friend were very un-neutral so we really stood out. And that was before we'd started talking...
The place was completely chocka as it was predictably full of people taking advantage of the Groupon offer, so I was glad I'd booked us in late in the day so we'd gradually see people leave.
We started with a pink champagne and at £26 for two champagne afternoon teas I feel I can't complain too much about the wait between the bubbly and the actual tea itself, especially as the staff were rushed off their feet. But when it did come it was a lovely selection of finger sandwiches and scones, as well as many little mini cakes.
The problem was the cakes were all different and there was no duplication: queue much diplomatic discussion about who was going to get the cheesecake with the cherries in and who would get plain, who'd have the little choccy cake and who'd have 'vanilla' (I got that and it was even worse...lemon!) Then most importantly, who was going to have the cake that looked exactly like a little nipple..!
All in all it was OK, but it was my friend's first Afternoon Tea experience and I really wished I'd been able to take her somewhere a bit more subvert or full of character. Some of the old dears in their practically had a coronary at our conversation, and the most interesting thing I'm sure happened there all day was when I got up to go powder my nose and Heather had to pull me back as I had a MASSIVE split up the back of my skirt that I had no idea about. (I'm sure that must have happened when I was beating up a man in it 2 weeks ago but honestly, he deserved it...)
So, the proof is in the (chocolate) pudding....afternoon tea is what YOU make it, and this time all the glamour and drama came from us :)
"Sip"-Tease Rating: **
Pa"Tease"erie Rating: **
Boudoir or Boring? Rating: *
Service with (Nothing But a) Smile Rating: **
Cheap or Chic? Rating: **
Until next time...xox