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London Bus and Afternoon Tea at The Howard
Londoners love London. Tourists love London. It’s a city
that is vibrant but with nooks of tranquillity, historic with a veneer
of contemporary, a city for the young and young at heart. A magnet for
families and couples. A dream destination for the discerning. And now
London offers one more attraction to its raft of must-sees and
must-dos: Afternoon Tea at The Howard.
Visitors want an authentic London experience. A trip on the Underground (a good way to
meet authentic Londoners). A ride in a black London cab (a good way to
learn all about the state of the world in general and Oxford Street in
particular and football results). A tour of famous sites (Big Ben is,
in fact, the name of the bell inside the tower). Afternoon Tea.
Pretty much every nation has breakfast, lunch and dinner at traditional
times but Britain has evolved a civilised pause from the day’s trials
in the form of Afternoon Tea. This isn’t a variety of leaf akin to,
say, Breakfast tea. No, dear reader, this is an event that is enjoying
something of a well-deserved renaissance. This is a chance to unwind
and to appreciate some pampering.
The Howard Hotel (part of the Swissôtel group) provides a classic
teatime experience but with a special London twist. You’ll enjoy a
selection of refreshing teas from the celebrated Twining's tea company,
finger sandwiches (this refers to the shape of the sandwich rather than
the filling), scones with clotted cream and jam, and a selection of
cakes and macaroons presented on a three-tier cake stand.
But the Howard offers a unique chance to eat London. Chef Brian Spark
has pulled out all the culinary and artistic stops to present an array
of London’s most iconic landmarks in edible form. Try a nibble of the
right-hand corner of Saint Paul’s. A bite or two of the Crown Jewels
would be welcome around 4pm, and you could even share Tower Bridge with
your companion. The Temple Underground sign, a red post box, London
cab, double-deck bus and the London Eye are also immortalised in sweet
confection. These little treats are a delight to behold and even more
delightful to eat. The ingredients are high quality and the execution
of each cake, chocolate or cookie is quite masterful. These events are
called TLSee, a pun on TLC – Tender Loving Care. A change in name but
not in notion, this is Tea, London, Sightseeing.
You’ll be looking for a quiet corner of charm and elegance to enjoy
your refreshments. The Howard offers a lounge that boasts moulded
plaster ceilings, a good amount of marble and comfy seats (you’ll want
to linger). This isn’t a Victorian mausoleum but rather a contemporary
take on the traditional city hotel.
Why not consider even just a day in London. Plan a walking tour of the
city. Soak up the atmosphere of one of Europe’s finest destinations.
Visit the famous buildings and then put your feet up in the comfort of
The Howard (right next to Temple Underground station) for a memorable
Afternoon Tea. Monday to Friday - 1:00pm to 5:30pm
Saturday - 2:30pm to 7:00pm
Sunday - 2:30pm to 5:30pm
For reservations call +44 20 7300 1700 or visit www.tlsee.co.uk
Restaurant review: Swissôtel The Howard