One idyllic Sunday afternoon (by idyllic I meant wet and damp as a mofo) the four of us walked into Tophams Hotel in Belgravia and did not come out for four hours.
Those who were hoping that would be a premise for a horror film are going to be disappointed – although it very well could have been as far as our waitress was concerned – more on Sally3PO later.
The four-star venue was gorgeous to the point we felt a tad self conscious – we’re not used to such fancy-pancy places, see – with a rather cool knight in shining armour in the corner. By that I don’t mean an absolute hunk brandishing four towels waiting to dry us off, but a literal gleaming knight’s threads. Brilliant.
Food was everything you would expect from an afternoon tea. I had my very first macaroon (I am HOOKED on those little bastards like crack now, good grief), and the selection of sandwiches were so Enid Blyton it hurt: salmon and cream cheese, ham and cheese, and cucumber, all with the crusts off.
Working our way up the three tiers (very pretty Cath Kidston plates), the minature cakes were gorgeous. There was a mango cheesecake, chocolate cheesecake, a slice of dark forest gateaux, the aforementioned crack-macaroons (crackaroons!) and at the summit lay the nicest, crumbliest scone I’ve ever tasted during my time in this mortal coil so far.
No one held back on the clotted cream or the jam. At this point it’s worth mentioning Helen’s ingenius way of doing things – applying cream and jam to both damn sides of the scone, putting them together and having at it. So good.
Service was quick, but it would have been far nicer if it was with a smile. Sally3PO seemed to not understand any words that were not ‘tea’ or ‘coffee’. Ask for more milk and her eye seemed to stutter as a mechanical glitch set in – “DOES NOT COMPUTE” said Sally in a voice reminiscent of Kanye West’s Heartless as her motherboard fell to ruination. Bit of an exaggeration but you get the idea….
It’s pretty likely we’ll be repeating the experience somewhere else, and the £13 each we paid was definitely worth it. Some more food would have been nice, though. Maybe they saw us coming?