The Chesterfield Hotel is in the heart of Mayfair, easily distinguishable from its residential neighbours with bright red blinds and red geraniums which add colour to the smart black railings.
A quintessentially British hotel where service is key and guests feel like “they’ve come home” there’s a really warm welcome at The Chesterfield Hotel. Part of the Red Carnation stable, it’s consistently voted as one of TripAdvisor‘s top London hotels.
This Hotel is what I’d call traditional, there are lots of dark wood, white marble floors and the Afternoon Tea is served in the bright Conservatory. The cream and green striped decor compliments the space which is bathed in light. Outside there’s a small garden which isn’t accessible but adds to the charm with a small water fountain.
Enrique looks after us with such care and attention but then this Hotel is part of the Red Carnation collection – known for their excellent service and staff training programme.
We begin with an iced peppermint tea which is a great palate cleanser and most welcome after our fast-paced walk from Bond Street tube, which is about 15 minutes away.
There are three types of champagne on offer we cannot resist the rosé. I chose the Chesterfield Blend loose tea and Mum, a non-tea drinker, she was advised to try the Chocolate Tea from the Canton Tea Company. She falls in love with the taste and it’s because the staff actually bother to listen to the customer’s request, she asked for coffee and was advised of a tea blend that she might like.
The tea we’re trying this afternoon is the Bee Tea because up on the roof, here at The Chesterfield are two beehives housing 60,000 bees and all the honey on offer in the menu and on the table is from the rooftop bees.
The very clever Ben Kelliher, the Executive Chef, and his team, have worked up a menu of sweet treats which include this precious nectar and other fun pieces inspired by the great outdoors.
Traditional sandwiches were fresh and there was a choice of flavoured breads. The chicken sandwich was a wonderful creation were juicy chicken breast had been mixed with mayonnaise, rolled into a log, cut and rolled in flaked almonds.
The honey macaroons with rosemary tasted of a spring garden, and were sandwiched together with an excellent chocolate ganache. On the chocolate theme, the mousse flowerpots were too good to eat.
Once we dug the chocolate almond soil the rich ganache was smooth and moorish. The carrot cupcakes were moist, topped with a ginger and honey cream and dusted with pollen, finished with edible flowers.
The elderflower and vanilla cheesecake slice was super and the strawberry tart was crisp and filled with a creme Anglaise, topped with sweet strawberries.
The scones were delicious, especially drizzled with the house honey.
One of our favourites was a dome of chocolate, studded with honeycomb, better than any Crunchie bar I’ve tasted.
Throughout our experience we’re asked if we’d like to try other teas but I was more than happy with my inoffensive Chesterfield Blend and it was difficult to wrench the cup of chocolate tea away from Mum’s hand. There are 16 teas on offer which include a special rosebud infusion and a flowering tea of elderflower and lemon verbena. For those who don’t fancy tea or champagne there’s a cocktail on offer The English Mint Julep, gin, lemon juice, honey, mint and crushed ice, all served in a traditional Julep cup.
Afternoon Bee costs £34.50 per person, £41.50 includes a glass of champagne.
For smaller people, under 10 there’s a Busy Bees and Butterflies Afternoon Tea for £12.50. A bag of puzzle books and a small Carnation Hotels bear was a lovely touch and kept these two toddlers occupied.
For more information on the afternoon teas at the Chesterfield Hotel, Mayfair visit their website.
Chesterfield Hotel, 35 Charles Street, London, W1J 5EB. 020 7491 2622.