We LOVE afternoon tea! It’s a wonderful treat for the grown ups isn’t it. Steaming hot tea, sandwiches for days and those all important indulgent sweet bites. But what about for the little ones? I’ve really struggled to find any London afternoon tea venues that specifically cater for families. There’s plenty around for the nearly tweens, but not much for under 8’s, who may not be tea connoisseurs… just yet anyway.
When we were invited out to afternoon tea by Red Letter Days I had presumed it would be for just myself and Mr Button. But oh, happy days! Red Letter Days have a special gift voucher for afternoon tea in London, especially for families. Hooray!
Here’s what we got up to today when we went for a Family Royal Afternoon Tea at The Rubens in London with Red Letter Days.
Once we had our Red Letter Days voucher for a Family Royal Afternoon Tea at The Rubens in London, I was able to easily book directly with the hotel via email (or telephone if preferred). Unfortunately Mr Button was pretty poorly when we originally had our booking set for, but The Rubens reception staff were very kind and helpfully jiggled our date (to today) so we didn’t miss out. I was really impressed by their customer service and how it was no trouble at all to make the date switch.
The Rubens is a beautiful hotel in London opposite The Royal Mews of Buckingham Palace. It really is only a few minutes walk from Victoria station and very easy to find. So easy, that even with little legs in tow, we ended up getting there super early! But that was OK, the welcoming staff lead us through to the New York Bar so we could relax in comfort and wait for our 12 noon afternoon tea sitting.
Afternoon Tea at The Rubens takes place in The Palace Lounge, which gives you a view straight out onto The Royal Mews. It’s absolutely stunning, plush and hands down has the best table arrangements and most comfortable seating that we have had for afternoon tea so far. It was an intimate setting and we didn’t feel too close to any of the other tables. *We were sat quite close to the window.
Little Button was thrilled to have a huge sofa to sit on for her afternoon tea, complete with rich squashy cushions, perfect for a princess! And, her very own tea set with a prince and princess theme decorating it. The little touches made her feel very special indeed.
Before afternoon tea got under way, we were brought the food menu and were given the option to replace any items if something wasn’t to taste. We were also offered a tea menu and selected our pick from a vast list.
Little Button was offered tea, a hot chocolate or a milkshake. And, fresh iced water and fruit infused water was brought out and offered to us all too – love this!
The staff member bringing the tea out was very knowledgeable in the history of the different teas, and this all positively added to the rich experience.
As like most afternoon teas, the course started with fresh finger sandwiches. Little Button was having the Princess Afternoon Tea menu and I was grateful to see firm favourites of strawberry jam and peanut butter, ham and cheese, chocolate, and cucumber and cream cheese sandwiches available to her. She is by no means a fussy eater, but having simpler fillings meant I knew she could dive right in.
The adults sandwiches were much more adventurous. Mr Button went for the meat sandwiches, and I opted for vegetarian.
Everything tasted light and fresh and at least one sandwich from each of our menus completely knocked our socks off, so to speak. But overall, the sandwiches were all very impressive.
Next came the scones. Traditional plain scones and chocolate chip ones were offered, accompanied by a pot of cream and a pot of strawberry jam. These were very sweet, especially the chocolate ones. The scones were quite substantial and a little heavy, but very tasty indeed.
Finally it was dessert time! Little Button had a beautiful plate that she was thrilled to tuck into. Pretty donuts, a chocolate cupcake and the much anticipated queens jammie dodger had her grinning from ear to ear. She oohed and arrhhed, giving the desserts the biggest thumbs up of the day.
As like the sandwiches, the grown ups sweet treats were a touch more adventurous. We shared a pretty plate of chocolate biscuit cake, gin and tonic cheesecake, an English rose macaroon, lemon meringue slice, white chocolate and peach mousse and the queens jammy dodger. They were all quite unusual and distinctive in taste, making for an interesting sharing platter!
Something that everyone wants to know when it comes to afternoon tea is did they bring out more food and tea? And in answer, yes, they did. We felt the extra sandwich offering was a little conservative in comparison to what we’ve had elsewhere (they offered 2 extra finger sandwiches each). But, I’m sure if we had asked for more, it would have been brought out. No further scones were offered. But extra tea was offered at the end of our afternoon tea, as were further desserts (which we declined).
We had a lovely day out at The Rubens and it was a fantastic way of introducing Little Button to afternoon tea! I was very impressed by the spacious tables, comfortable seating and how we were never made to feel rushed to finish. The menus were good, and the food very delicious and fresh. Everything that you could have wanted really. There was even a pianist playing and singing just behind our table, and this made for a lovely atmosphere and an unforgettable experience.
Looking for more afternoon tea reviews? Here’s another.
Disclosure: We were invited to afternoon tea by Red Letter Days. All views are my own. #ADGifted