Tea for you and me

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The Dorchester

Park Lane, Mayfair, London, W1K 1QA

An out of focus ballerina at the Dorchester

The Dorchester is another of the big name hotels in London that is famous for providing a good afternoon tea. We went there for Dad’s birthday and weren’t disappointed. I booked the tea well in advance so that we could get space and booked it earlier than Dad’s birthday so that we wouldn’t pay the very high price for Christmas Carol singers. When we arrived we were met by ballerinas in outfits relating to Alice in Wonderland. Apparently October was the month of the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party. This was all well and good, but sent me into a panic as I’d booked the standard afternoon tea which was considerably cheaper than the Mad Hatter’s Afternoon Tea and we hadn’t allowed for an increase in price. My Mum took over and spoke to the MaÎtre d’ and they said we had booked before the special event was planned and that they would give us the normal price. As it was a birthday they also offered my Dad a complimentary glass of champagne.

Tea pots and cake stands at the Dorchester

We had our own waiter who was superb and served us tea and then a succession of waiters and waitresses served us sandwiches and scones followed by beautiful cakes all themed round Alice in Wonderland. The students from the school of ballet also gave a short performance/reading from Alice in Wonderland which we couldn’t see from where we were. We were near the pianist though who asked us for any requests and happily played them. My Dad was also presented with a glorious chocolate birthday cake and boxes of the cakes we couldn’t eat. The service was impeccable.

The Dorchester is well worth a visit but I was more impressed with the Ritz. The waiter there knew the tea by smell and didn’t have labels on the pots. And the messing up of the booking also took the shine off the Dorchester. There was also the glitz of the Ritz. If you’re going to spend a lot of money on afternoon tea it may as well be the most gilded afternoon tea you can find.

The Alice in Wonderland themed patisserie items at the Dorchester

Teapot? Yes.
Leaf tea? Yes.
Milk jug? Yes.
Price? £34.50 for afternoon tea.
Cake? Yes.
Go again? Not at the moment, I’d like to try some of the other big London hotels first or maybe the Ritz again.