On my birthday Jonas and I went to have afternoon tea at the London Threadneedles Hotel – the Marco Pierre Oyster bar. Let’s just say the beautiful dome and the themed desserts caught my eye online so I chose this place. It’s centred in the bank centre of London where it’s quite busy but the actual hotel and restaurant are a wonderful place to go and unwind in. Whilst we were there we noticed a number of bussiness meetings in the dome area of the hotel and weren’t surprised why people went there.
The beautiful glass dome and floral centrepiece was in the middle of the room where we had our afternoon tea. Upon sitting at our table we chose some teas and soon enough the platter arrived. The selection of teas wasn’t that big – only the standard english breakfast, early grey, fruit and green tea…. but I was fine with that as I actually prefer a simple english breakfast or earl grey tea to compliment all those sweets we eat during afternoon teas.
The platted consisted of quite a few sandwiches to choose from and a mini quiche of the day. I believe we got a broccoli- cheese one and it was lovely. The sandwiches were really really good- some of them still had some crust left on them which was a surprise.
Then we dug into the scones. This was the first time we tried savoury scones. There was one savoury and one sweet for each of us and the savoury ones came with a herb butter which was delicious. There was 1 sweet scone for each of us- they were a bit burnt and quite small but they were still quite good. The jam was a standard strawberry and the clotted cream was alright – I wish it was a bit more thick as it was a bit too runny for both of our liking. This is probably the one part of the tea that kind of disappointed me. The lack of tea selection may not be too bad, but not getting big scones with a lovely rich cream was a bit of a let down. Other places we have been to have also made it clear that we can ask for more of anything else we need, which we weren’t offered at the Threadneedles Hotel.
The desserts were my favourite part! The hotel has a selection of great Britons inspired cakes. It was really fun to read about the cakes inspired by Queen Elizabeth I, Princess Diana, Sir Winston Churchill and others. Below I pasted in a description of all the cakes that you can find on the hotel’s website:
Great Britons Pastries Selection:
SIR WINSTON CHURCHILL
30th November 1874 – 24th January 1965
A British Conservative politician and statesman known for his leadership of the United Kingdom during the Second World War and widely regarded as one of the world’s greatest wartime leaders and known for his wit, wisdom and watercolours.
A true cake lover, Sir Winston commissioned his 80th birthday cake to be based on The Queen’s wedding cake. This Dundee cake is an individual fruit cake made with whisky, topped with marzipan and fondant icing, and finished with a sugar Bowler hat.
DIANA, PRINCESS OF WALES
1st July 1961 – 31st August 1997
England’s Rose and the first wife of Charles, Prince of Wales, whom she married on 29th July 1981. Diana was well known for her fundraising work with charities across the globe.
An English classic – a soft vanilla Victoria Sponge filled with homemade raspberry jam and topped with rosewater cream and a sugar rose.
7th September 1533 – 24th March 1603
Queen of England and Ireland from 17th November 1558 until her death in 1603. Elizabeth’s reign is known as the Elizabethan era, famous above all for the flourishing of English drama, led by playwrights such as William Shakespeare and Christopher Marlowe and for the seafaring prowess of English adventurers such as Sir Francis Drake.
Elizabeth’s notorious sweet tooth is the inspiration behind our Lavender Cup Cakes, topped with lavender cream and a silver and lilac sugar crown. Lavender was a popular herb at Court – the sweet-smelling herbs were used to ward off the foul smells of the Tudor age.
SIR ISAAC NEWTON
25th December 1642 – 20th March 1727
An English physicist and mathematician who is widely regarded as one of the most influential scientists of all time and as a key figure in the scientific revolution. His work formulated the laws of motion and gravity that dominated scientists’ view of the universe for the next three centuries.
In Newton’s honour, the Threadneedles team has created a caramelised apple and lemon thyme tart using Cox’s apples from Buckinghamshire, encased in a sweet vanilla pastry.
9th October 1940 – 8th December 1980
Lennon was an English musician, singer, songwriter and peace activist who rose to worldwide fame with The Beatles. Together with Paul McCartney, he formed one of the most celebrated song writing partnerships of the 20th century.
An Opera gateau marks the 60’s icon’s penchant for chocolate and cornflakes. The pastry team has conjured a layered coffee and chocolate gateau with a cornflake base and a sugar LP to top it all off.
ADMIRAL LORD NELSON
29th September 1758 – 21st October 1805
Famed for his inspirational leadership and innovative tactics during the Napoleonic wars. What became known as “The Nelson Touch” lead to great victories at Copenhagen, The Nile and Trafalgar, losing both an eye and an arm in combat. He died aboard HMS Victory during his finest hour and his body was brought home, preserved in a barrel of rum.
Nelson’s time stationed in the spice islands is remembered in our rich spice cake soaked in Navy Rum and topped with a chocolate barrel.
As I was a bit full I only tried two cakes – the Elizabeth I lavender cupcake which was quite nice but a bit too sweet and the cake inspired by John Lennon. I LOVED that one! It was rich yet really light and creamy- just right! Jonas tried the churchill cake and said it was really good! I think we were both a bit too full to try all of these cakes, but I do think the idea of them is really sweet and something special, especially for tourists!
Overall, the day was lovely. The service was incredible – the waiter was really nice and made sure we had everything we needed. The cakes left a lasting impression, yet the sweet scones could be improved on. I think it’s a lovely place with a wonderful atmosphere, but I have had better afternoon teas in London…although I wouldn’t say no to coming back here.