Afternoon teas at London hotels can sometimes feel ten a penny these days but stepping into the grand Oscar Wilde Bar at the Café Royal in Regent Street, you know you are in for a special treat. Dripping in gold leaf and mirrors, this stunning room has been restored to its original 1865 glory and pays homage to its most famous patron who liked to meet his society friends there to talk over all the latest London gossip.
In a tribute to Mr Wilde and his most famous play, the Importance of Being Earnest (which is playing just around the corner at the Harold Pinter Theatre), Executive Chef Andrew Turner has created a delicious afternoon tea.
Starting with a glass of chilled Veuve Clicquot, we turned our attention to a selection of savoury dainties including wild boar buns with crackling and pickled apple, and moreish cucumber sandwiches. Switching to tea (a fine selection of all your favourites), the pastries arrived on a very tall cake stand. Our favourites included the Lady Bracknell éclairs, Absinthe Green Fairy macaroons and lemon drizzle cake but special mention must go to the melt in the mouth scones with clotted cream and London honey that were fresh from the oven.
Washed down slowly with endless refills of tea by the delightful staff, this is a fantastic way to while away an afternoon with a friend where just like Oscar himself you can catch up on all the latest gossip.
Afternoon tea at the Oscar Wilde Bar is £42 per person; £55 with a glass of Veuve Clicquot