Happy 90th birthday Ma’am! And what better way to celebrate our Queen’s birthday than with a royal afternoon tea on London’s Park Lane. And that’s just what my sister and I did two weeks ago – and what a superb treat it was.
We turned up at the hotel at around 3pm – the perfect time for afternoon tea – and spent almost two hours there indulging in a vast amount of tasty sandwiches and cakes. I was extremely impressed that they offered gluten-free substitutes to various parts of the afternoon tea.
We began with little sandwiches (they used gluten-free bread for myself) which were absolutely delicious. The fillings included:
- Speyside smoked salmon, cream cheese
- Scottish lobster and shrimp, Marie Rose sauce (*my favourite!)
- Hen egg and cress, carrot bread
- Honey roasted ham, English mustard
- Free range coronation chicken, curry mayonnaise, apricot
This was then followed by sultana and buttermilk scones (also gluten free scones) with strawberry preserve and Devon clotted cream – cream first and then the jam! These were particularly delicious as the scones were so light.
The final part of our Royal Tea were the cakes. Admittedly, by this point, my sister and I were pretty full to say the least, so we ended up taking a few of the cakes home with us instead. The cake selection, specially designed for the Queen’s 90th birthday, included:
- “The Queen’s Hat” – Tipsy cake
- “The Queen’s Handbag” – Coffee and walnut cake
- “The Queen’s Crown” – Victoria sponge, vanilla mousse, strawberry jelly
- “The Queen’s Summer Garden Party” – Champagne and gooseberry fool
I got to try the latter dessert as it was gluten-free. I was a particular fan as it was sweet enough but also quite tart with the gooseberries. Quite a nice contrast to the other cakes on the cake stand. As well as the cakes listed above which my sister enjoyed, they also arranged some delicious berry-topped gluten-free cakes (chocolate cake, carrot cake, cheesecake), which were a lovely treat.
Throughout our time at the InterContinental Hotel Park Lane, we were also given tea suggestions to complement each course. And these suggestions were very much appreciated – my favoutie was the tea (which I am struggling to remember the name of!) which went alongside the cakes. It was very sweet and had a caramel flavour; almost a dessert in itself.
With this, the service really was wonderful. We were given an explanation of each course and how it relates back to the Her Majesty, the history of the ‘afternoon tea’ and the Queen’s childhood history. The staff were very attentive and I was particularly grateful for the gluten-free substitutes throughout the afternoon. I can’t remember the last time I’ve indulged in an afternoon tea, solely for the fact that many don’t cater to those with intolerances and allergies. So, if you’re looking for something a little bit special – or if you’re wanting to celebrate the Queen’s birthday in style – then afternoon tea at the IneterContinental Hotel Park Lane is a great choice. You certainly won’t be disappointed.