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Our double afternoon tea indulgence at The Landmark London.

by Rajul on July 13, 2016

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The Winter Garden at The Landmark London is one of the city’s most spectacular venues. The moment you enter from busy Marylebone Road you are in a sanctuary cocooned by its gentle palm trees over decidedly English architecture, with natural light flooding in from the huge glass roof.

Afternoon tea did after all originate in an English garden, and this setting offers the ideal solution to the unpredictable riddle of the British weather.

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It never fails to take my breath away as I walk in, and this time was no different. We walked onto the slightly-raised afternoon tea area, past a harpist already tuning up – a pleasing appetiser of the experience to come.

Our table was right next to a display showcasing the many varieties of tea on offer, as well as the Castelnau champagne which would soon tickle our tastebuds. Our anticipation grew as we inspected the labels of the different teas and sampled the subtle aromas wafting through the little jars.

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On perusing the menu, we discovered two different afternoon teas: the traditional Winter Garden afternoon tea and a Chocolate version. The latter offered a more chocolate-y interpretation of the classic pastries, cakes and scones that everyone loves, so we naturally sidestepped this potentially painful dilemma by ordering one of each.

When asked to select our preferred tea blend, we chose the Winter Garden blend (created bespoke for this venue – a mix of China and India black teas, aromatic yet robust enough to counter the sweets) as well as a fruity Midsummer Mango variety. There were lots of other intriguing options.

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As we eagerly anticipated the delights to come and took in the gentle notes of the harpist who began playing discreetly, a smiling waitress asked if we preferred classic or rose champagne as a prelude.

Once again we were happily indecisive and picked one of each, noting that our glasses of bubbly were brought to the table in perfect symphony with the arrival of the sandwiches.

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Unlike in many other afternoon tea venues, sandwiches were served using tongs and trays by our smiling waitress, giving you freedom to mix & match your favourites rather than go with the standard formula.

Variety was again the watchword, with egg mayo & mustard cress, corn-fed chicken with tarragon crème fraiche, Lapsang Souchong smoked salmon and classic cucumber offering satisfaction to all palettes.


Next the scones…two raisin and apple ones from the traditional tea and two chocolate chip & zesty fruit peel versions from the chocolatey one, both accompanied by generous dollops of clotted cream, blackcurrant jam and strawberry jam. The delicate, zesty blackcurrant jam was our favourite!

The preserves are also chosen at the guest’s discretion and can be readily rotated – another example of the bespoke nature of this tea.

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The scones were freshly-baked with amazing taste and texture. We savoured them slowly and deliberately so as not to lose a single crumb.

The experience at The Landmark London was dynamic with team members attending us in rotation, all working in harmony, never intrusive. One person (I think from the concierge team) kindly offered to take our picture as a memento, flourishing a smile as he did so.

The harpist and general hubbub of the conversation around us – with tables thoughtfully spaced out, you felt privacy as well as a sense of belonging – further enhanced the experience, as well as the streaming natural light from the glass roof shielding us from a rainy day outside.

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We were then serenaded with pastries and cakes, sumptuously presented in two little rows to represent the traditional and chocolate teas.

Opting to start on the traditional path, we sunk our teeth into a delightful raspberry and lime macaroon, adorned with a cute little raspberry. The touch of citrus moderated its sweetness to the optimal pleasure point.


A carrot, raisin and cinnamon cake came with cream cheese icing. Though not quite carrot-y enough for my personal tastebuds, it was thoughtfully-executed with the cinnamon leaving a pleasing aftertaste.

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The dark chocolate choux with Valrhona custard was probably one of the highlights of our whole afternoon tea experience, with a mango and mint mousse on mango sponge adding a different texture and combining naturally with the mango tea we had ordered.

Moving onto the chocolate tea sweets, we felt equally spoilt, with a coconut & chocolate macaroon, a blood orange & white chocolate mousse, an exquisite pistachio & chocolate gateau and a banana, pecan nut and milk chocolate cake providing a tempting array of harmonious flavours.


Chocolate overload? Not really – the combinations were all subtle enough and with sufficient foils provided in terms of texture, aftertaste and balance to ensure that nothing was sickly sweet.

The strong Landmark tea blend which we were refilled with was also well-conceived to offset any excesses, leaving our palettes refreshed and happy at the end of the experience.

All in all, a perfect afternoon tea experience in one of the most spectacular settings in London – why do afternoon tea in a closed room when you can enjoy it in London’s only proper Winter Garden? Book it here.

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Above all, the service was impeccable, with smiling team members, effortless refills and calm assurance projected throughout our time at The Landmark London. Recommended as a true 5-star afternoon tea experience…but you are well-advised to skip lunch beforehand!

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Photo credits: LHI blogger Rajul.

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