Tea for you and me

Join me on my epic quest to find the best tea ever

The Petersham Hotel and Restaurant

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Nightingale Lane, Richmond, Surrey, TW10 6UZ   (View on map)

The view from our table at The Petersham

I had never been to The Petersham before, but my Mum had and she recommended it as somewhere to go for my Dad’s birthday. S, R, Mum, Dad and I all met at The Petersham in order to have some afternoon tea. The hotel was hotel-like with squishy carpets and a big piano and grand staircase in the entrance hall.

We were squashed on two small tables put next to each other, in a corner, in fact everyone who was there for afternoon tea was in a corner area of the restaurant, with diners finishing off their Sunday lunches in the main section of the restaurant. We ordered our afternoon tea and chose the tea we wanted. The tea came about ten minutes later and then we waited another 35 minutes for the afternoon tea food to arrive. As we had specifically booked for afternoon tea and had eaten lunch a long time ago in order to fit the afternoon tea in, we were not that impressed.

The fake snow at The Petersham

The tea was Twinings teabags but I still thought mine tasted a bit odd. R had three teabags and the rest of us had one, or rather, R had three teabag strings and tags hanging out of his pot and the rest of us only had one. Later we discovered that we all had three, but only R had had the strings and tags taken out of the pot for all three teabags – the rest of us had the string and tag still wrapped round two of our three teabags. By the time we realised what had happened the cardboard tags were disintigrating and bits were floating around in our tea – so no wonder it tasted odd. We didn’t complain as we couldn’t get anyone’s attention in order to complain, so just gave up.

The jam came in tiny pots and the service was very slow; on the plus side there was a fake snow flurry just outside the window at one point (to keep with the festive theme) and the food was good. My Mum has been during the week and says it was much better then, but overall we were disappointed with The Petersham.

Afternoon tea at The Petersham - note the tiny jam pots and differing numbers of teabag tags.

Teapot? Yes.
Leaf tea? No, Twinings teabags that hadn’t been unwound properly. Not nice.
Milk jug? Yes.
Price? £19.50 each.
Cake? Yes, pastries and cake and scones.
Go again? No.

Author: tealeaves

I like tea and if possible, I'd like it to be loose leaf rooibos in a pot served with milk in a little jug. I'll try and find the places that do this and I'll tell you what they're like. Let me know if you can think of any cafes I haven't covered, I'll get to them if I can.

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