Isn’t it fun every so often to spend a leisurely afternoon taking tea in your own little secret hideaway? Particularly when the hotel is a boutique gem you’ve been tipped off about (one of the perks of being a hotel blogger!). And even more so when it is round the corner from Harrods so you can partake in some shopping therapy immediately after that beautiful moment of self-indulgence which the English call “teatime”.
The Beaufort is a small luxury hotel nestled away in a peaceful side street in Knightsbridge, with a reputation for being amazingly generous to its guests as I was soon to experience at first hand.
Popular with discerning tourists, particularly those on a shopping mission, as well as business guests looking for somewhere central and yet intimate, recent TripAdvisor users have described it as ‘a home away from home’ and a ‘super little hotel” so my expectations were pretty high as I approached.
I arrived at The Beaufort to try out their cream tea, which interestingly is offered complimentary to hotel guests every single afternoon. You read that right – free traditional tea at a posh London hotel! The hotel’s friendly, smiling staff were ready and waiting. This is the sort of place where they remember your name and note your preferences even for future visits.
The cream tea can be taken in your room or in the homely lobby with its big comfy sofas. The scones were freshly made, in fact following the hotel owner’s personal recipe. And the whole cream tea was presented beautifully, complete with premium conserves and unlimited refills.
On the day that I visited, there was a casting taking place and the lobby was being used as a waiting room for lots of glamorous people; that felt so Knightsbridge! We were therefore shown to one of the hotel’s rooms and immediately noticed its boutique-style decor, replete with personal touches including some charming watercolour paintings that caught our eye.
We were then invited to help ourselves to the hotel’s well-stocked self service bar with its host of alcoholic and soft drinks. As part of the hotel’s generous ethos, all drinks are offered free to guests during their stay.
Once shown to our room, we found it a fair size despite being told that it was in fact the smallest of the hotel’s 29 individual rooms. The bathroom came complete with designer toiletries and felt warm and welcoming.
The cream tea was promptly brought up to us in a tray with lovely cutlery.
We had chosen the breakfast tea and found the scones still warm and fresh from the oven – crumbly and delicious. Our room had a small but ornate desk and a bijou coffee table which we squeezed our tray onto and two comfy chairs. I reflected on how this little ritual would offer an especially refreshing and welcome break during a full-on day of shopping.
We dabbed our wonderfully soft scones with clotted cream and Thursday Cottage strawberry jam and finished our generously big pot of breakfast tea at a leisurely pace. The gold leaf china was an added touch of class. While you sip on your cream tea, you can also enjoy free WiFi.
On finishing, we called reception to have our tray removed and were offered another drink from the bar before going on a tour of the hotel. As we were shown around, we were also serenaded with ideas for activities and attractions near the hotel. For example, the Saatchi Gallery near Sloane Square is a short ride away with Buckingham Palace also easy to reach via public transport. Best of all, there is a cluster of museums (including the Science Museum and Natural History Museum) in nearby South Kensington, as well as fantastic shopping in Chelsea a short walk away, helping to make this one of the best-located Knightsbridge hotels.
Our tour of the hotel covered all types of room available in the 29 room hotel, which confirmed the impression of a ‘home away from home’ environment. All the staff we met were friendly and well-informed about the area, particularly on places to eat out locally (the hotel doesn’t have its own restaurant). We left feeling rather struck by the generosity of both the self service bar and the complimentary cream tea we had just enjoyed – would many other hotels dare to follow suit?
We think not, which is one reason why this little hotel gem deserves to be better known. So long as you don’t tell too many people…
Photo credits: The Beaufort Hotel, London Hotels Insight blogger Saloni.