London's Capital Hotel Afternoon Tea - Review

The Capital Hotel is located in Knightsbridge within walking distance of Harrods. The Capital is a member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World and holds 4 AA Red Stars, 3 Rosettes, RAC 4 Star and Gold Ribbon accreditation. Their restaurant was awarded the title of the UK's best hotel for food in Conde Nast Traveller's second annual Gold List for 2006.

         

The restaurant, under Eric Chavot has won two Michelin stars for its Modern French cuisine. Panellist Raymond Blanc described Chavot's food as 'Fabulous and stylish: definitely some of the best cuisine in any London Hotel'.

On my last visit to London I had the pleasure of taking afternoon tea at the quaint and beautiful Capital Hotel. I arrived late in the afternoon on a wet rainy London day.  Not wanting to drag my soggy umbrella into the hotel I left it among the small collection of hotel umbrellas just outside the main door. I entered the hotel and was greeted by a warm cheery fire in the fireplace and an even warmer 'Good afternoon, Madame' by the doorman. He offered to take my coat for me and announced my arrival to Sara Buttery, the hotel sales director, with whom I was to be having tea.

         

I was lead into the hotel down a side corridor to a seating area where they serve tea. I was the only one there at the time and so was able to have a good peek around, without disturbing anyone.  The tea room was a small intimate area with picture windows looking out onto the hustling London street.

Sara arrived and we ordered tea. There were sandwiches, scones, clotted cream, fresh strawberries, and the house specialty homemade jam. Their jams and preserves are all made on site and packaged to sell as a Capital Hotel tasty souvenir.  Being an American whose favored hot beverage is coffee, when I held the steamy cup of tea I began to understand the love affair that the British have with this warm aromatic liquid. It comforts the soul while delighting the senses.

         

Besides being a tourist destination as a spot to get a nice English tea, it is popular among locals, especially favorite for women who have spent the day shopping at Harrods. Here you will find elements of a traditional English tea but with a modern twist. For an extra treat try their champagne tea.

I left with a new understanding of the popularity of the British ritual of afternoon tea. It is almost an act of meditation, stopping your daily routine, and sipping a cup of hot serenity.

After tea was over I stepped outside and noticed my umbrella was missing, I panicked thinking that a hotel guest had picked it up. I went inside to ask if they could keep their eyes open for when it was returned, the doorman then told me that he had removed it and checked it with my coat so it wouldn't get lost. It is this kind of service and attention to detail which sets the Capital Hotel apart and has earned them their accolades.

The Capital Hotel
22 BASIL STREET
LONDON SW3 1AT
Tel: +44 (0)20 7589 5171
Fax: +44 (0)20 7225 0011
http://www.capital-london.net

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