The Mandeville Hotel is located in the trendy Marylebone Village, within a few minutes’ walk of some of London’s most exciting shops, art galleries and Mayfair hotspots. The hotel is on Mandeville Place which must be one of the most elegant yet overlooked corners of this neighbourhood – known by locals but passed by tourists.
The Mandeville’s classic facade hides a contemporary gem. A well-appointed hotel, a bar that will soon have the reputation as the place to be seen, and a restaurant that is a striking and versatile space designed by world-celebrated interior designer Stephen Ryan. De Ville Restaurant is both relaxed and sophisticated with an ambiance that changes as the day passes.
The décor of the dining room is of monochrome floral wallpaper of bold design with unique wall lights in the form of Venetian masks. The lounge area where tea is mostly taken offers the visitor sofas in chunky cord upholstery, puffy cushions and some truly original furniture. A comfy spot yet one that does make a fashion statement.
Men’s Afternoon Tea at The Mandeville Hotel is the only Afternoon Tea especially for men in London. It’s a suitably masculine event but one which panders to refined taste. This particular tea also offers the guest a range of whiskies as well as the usual champagne. The Tiffany blue china is devoid of those chintzy roses that manly sorts often find intimidating.
Men’s Afternoon Tea has robust sandwiches such as Crab and Shrimp in basil bread, Roasted Sirloin with red onion thyme jam in foccacia bread ( a particular hit with my manly guest), Beef and Chicken Satay with chilli créme fraiche for dipping, Grilled Mediterranean vegetables with tallegio, gratinated, on black olive ciabatta (an open sandwich and full of favour). Morecombe Bay Potted Shrimps were served with Gentlemen’s Relish and toast, which made this savoury selection a worthy meal in its own right.
Man cannot live by savoury snacks alone so this tea offered an assortment of pastries and cakes. Double Chocolate Brownie, Fruit Cake with Buffalo Trace Bourbon, Lemon-Basil Tarts, Chocolate-Blueberry Cheesecake, Fig Chocolate Beignets, could all be garnishing your personal masculine three-tier stand. Scones, in my opinion, should always be included and they were here, freshly baked, with bowls of Devonshire clotted cream and strawberry jam. A splendid show.
Special mention must go to the Fig Chocolate Beignet. Looking like a small doughnut, the soft and spongy jacket protected a layer of chocolate and a whole fruit. This was quite a delicious innovation and one that I will be driven to replicate in my own home. Far from mundane.
Selected teas and herbal infusions are served to help down the mounds of savouries and sweets. The Mandeville Special Blend is a good standard tea, but the delicate Jing vanilla black tea was my guest’s beverage for the afternoon. There are a couple of whiskies here to add even more to the male teatime experience. Choose from Lowland Rosebank 12yr Old, Highland Glen Garioch 15yr Old, or Speyside Balvenie 12yr Old, any of which might appeal to those who arrive frozen after arduous hours accompanying enthusiastic shoppers – they have an excuse for a warming glass.
Afternoon Tea for the ladies includes a selection of traditional sandwiches such as Scottish Smoked Salmon, Free Range Egg Mayonnaise with Cress, Home Cooked Ham with Grain Mustard, Roasted Organic Chicken, and Cucumber. The Freshly Baked Raisin Scones, etc, are also a fixture along with a decadent and substantial assortment of pastries and cakes. The Zandra’s Pink Meringues are show-stoppers and big enough to defeat even the most ardent meringue lover. You might find a cupcake with delicate icing (these are also presented garnished with a candle for those special surprise occasions that one always dreads). Miniature éclairs and rose macaroons could also put in an appearance along with the ever-popular chocolate brownie.
You will obviously want a cup of reviving tea with your indulgent treat. Flowering Osmanthus, Whole Chamomile Flowers, Peppermint Leaf, Whole Rose Buds, Jing Blackcurrant & Hibiscus are all suitably feminine. The rose tea is perfumed and seems somehow appropriate for the china, designed by the aforementioned Zandra – none other than the celebrated Zandra Rhodes. Perhaps a glass of fizz would help the sweets along and the Champagne Afternoon Tea here is rather good value.
De Ville restaurant is contemporary but with the classic attentive service that one always hopes to find in boutique London hotels. It offers an island of tranquillity just a stone’s throw from the throb of city energy from the capital’s retail hub. Fine food with a touch of innovation at a reasonable price. An accessible gem.
Visit here for Afternoon Tea at the Mandeville.
Men’s Afternoon Tea £23.50
Whisky Afternoon Tea £31.00
Champagne Cocktail Afternoon Tea £33.00
Champagne Afternoon Tea £31.00
Laurent Perrier Rose by the Bottle £93.00
Afternoon tea is available from 3pm to 5.30pm Monday to Saturday
Monday to Friday from 7.00am to 10.00am
Saturday and Sunday from 8.00am to 11.00am
Lunch is served between 12.30pm and 3.00pm
Dinner is served between 7.00pm and 11.00pm
Reservations: +44 (0)20 7935 4040
De Ville Restaurant
The Mandeville Hotel, Mandeville Place, London W1U 2BE
Telephone: +44 (0)207 935 5599
Facsimile: +44 (0)207 935 9588
Visit The Mandeville Hotel here
Restaurant review by Chrissie Walker © 2018