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In really important news, the Royal Opera House has announced they will be serving afternoon tea:

Severn & Wye smoked salmon blini
Salt beef, cornichon and sweet mustard sandwich
Free-range egg and cress sandwich
Cucumber and cream cheese sandwich
Traditional and fruit scones with
Dorset clotted cream and strawberry jam
Pistachio éclair with praline grains
Opéra Gâteau
Mandarin and kumquat amandine
Banoffee macaron
ROYAL OPERA HOUSE
AFTERNOON TEA
£37.50
WITH A GLASS OF
R DE RUINART CHAMPAGNE £47.50

 

£37.50 does not seem like a trifling (ha!) amount to me, unless of course I apply Bruce Wall's approach to exchange rates. How much can an egg and cress sammie set Covent Garden back? But I guess if you call a gherkin a cornichon, it raises the price dramatically.

Does this seem overpriced to y'all?

And in other news, should the Royal Opera House really be serving a champagne by the name of "Ruin art"?

 

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Oh, that's cheap.

 

Just down the road at Fortnum and Mason you'll be whacked with a £225 bill (+ discretionary 12.5% service charge) for tea for two - this is known as the Ruinart High Tea Experience.

 

In their defence in these hard times they also do a plebeian version for £40 a head, and of course you are paying for the superior ambience of the Diamond Jubilee Tea Salon which was opened by HM The Queen: I don't think the ROH can match that for snob appeal.

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Well I won't be partaking!! Not for all the atmosphere in the world!!

 

Well that's not quite true there might be just a few places around the world where I might be prepared to pay that!!

 

There's a hotel in Singapore somewhere with a huge infinity pool on the roof ......now after a swim there maybe I'd pay a lot for tea with the wonderful view over the city.

Anyone got any other places they think it's worth a good price for tea?

Edited by LinMM
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We adored the afternoon tea in the Intercontinental Hotel in Hong Kong (Kowloon).  Three years ago it was around £25, which we thought was fantastic value for quality, quantity and ambience.  The lounge has huge glass windows overlooking the harbour so is very spectacular.  We looked in the Penninsula but decided we didn't fancy it in there!

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Oh, that's cheap.

 

Just down the road at Fortnum and Mason you'll be whacked with a £225 bill (+ discretionary 12.5% service charge) for tea for two - this is known as the Ruinart High Tea Experience.

 

In their defence in these hard times they also do a plebeian version for £40 a head, and of course you are paying for the superior ambience of the Diamond Jubilee Tea Salon which was opened by HM The Queen: I don't think the ROH can match that for snob appeal.

We've had afternoon tea in the Fortnums' tea salon twice and it's lovely. Sandwiches, cakes and scones replenished on request, which I doubt will be the case at ROH. And a stunning tea list.

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The Ritz charges £47 pp so the ROH are not too far off with their pricing.

 

I find the savoury choices at The Ritz more appealing though - and as much as I love going to the ROH, IMHO nothing beats the Palm Court experience at The Ritz. Such a timeless and indulgent treat. They're not stingy either; the sandwiches and scones appear several times and it's easy to over eat before you even get to the cakes. :-)

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In really important news, the Royal Opera House has announced they will be serving afternoon tea:

Severn & Wye smoked salmon blini

Salt beef, cornichon and sweet mustard sandwich

Free-range egg and cress sandwich

Cucumber and cream cheese sandwich

Traditional and fruit scones with

Dorset clotted cream and strawberry jam

Pistachio éclair with praline grains

Opéra Gâteau

Mandarin and kumquat amandine

Banoffee macaron

ROYAL OPERA HOUSE

AFTERNOON TEA

£37.50

WITH A GLASS OF

R DE RUINART CHAMPAGNE £47.50

 

£37.50 does not seem like a trifling (ha!) amount to me, unless of course I apply Bruce Wall's approach to exchange rates. How much can an egg and cress sammie set Covent Garden back? But I guess if you call a gherkin a cornichon, it raises the price dramatically.

Does this seem overpriced to y'all?

 Do you get ALL that for your £37.50???  ;-)

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Well I won't be partaking!! Not for all the atmosphere in the world!!

Well that's not quite true there might be just a few places around the world where I might be prepared to pay that!!

There's a hotel in Singapore somewhere with a huge infinity pool on the roof ......now after a swim there maybe I'd pay a lot for tea with the wonderful view over the city.

Anyone got any other places they think it's worth a good price for tea?

 

Yesterday I stayed at the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore, swam in the infinity pool on the roof and had afternoon tea (no champagne option). The view is magnificent but the tea wasn't!

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The ROH is starting to feel like a restaurant with a theatre attached. Now that tables everywhere seem to laid ready for snacks or a full scale meal throughout the day and evening there are very few spaces remaining where non-eaters can sit and socialise.

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One of the things that really annoys me (there are a few) is the 30 minute intervals. I get the feeling this is so that the diners can have another course, bars sell more food and drink, more ice cream sales. Mind you, 30 mins does mean I can go out a grab a sandwich or coffee from Pret or indulge in a ginger ice cream from ROH.

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The ROH is starting to feel like a restaurant with a theatre attached. Now that tables everywhere seem to laid ready for snacks or a full scale meal throughout the day and evening there are very few spaces remaining where non-eaters can sit and socialise.

 

There have been grumbles about this for some time now.  It continues to annoy and seems to become more marked each season.

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Re:  Afternoon Tea

 

A couple of years ago I treated a friend visiting from Italy to Afternoon Tea at Fortnum and Mason.  Wonderful atmosphere and impressively dainty presentation of the food but the proof of the pudding etc ...Dry flavourless sandwiches - if they had curled they would have been just like those old British Rail ones we all used to chuckle about.  Not what I expected for the £80.00 bill.  On the other hand I had tea at the Waldorf in Aldwych (is it still there?) many years ago and it was delicious.  I think it was about £10 per head - expensive then but worth it.

 

I'd certainly be willing to try the ROH offering.

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Gottokeepworking I am well and truly jealous that you swam in that pool!!!!

 

What sort of equivalent price did you pay for the tea......and incidentally how much was it to swim?

 

I'm game to meet up for tea .......but not at £47 a time!!

Brighton is quite good for tea places if anyone fancies a trip to the coast!! ......preferably when there is some ballet/dance on!

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Highly recommend the Mock Turtle cafe near Pool Valley in Brighton. It's been there for years and hasn't changed it menu. Great cream teas and their meringues are heavenly.

 

I don't know how much the tea was as it was included in the price of the room. Therefore the swim (and tea) was extremely expensive!!!!

 

If anyone is ever in Warsaw I can recommend afternoon tea at the infamous Bristol Hotel. You don't get a massive amount but at less then £10 is it worth it. Lovely room restored to an Art Deco style complete the a pianist.

 

My god daughter is a pastry chef in London and I will ask her for her professional option on the best teas in town.

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God,I feel i`m being overly indulgent if I buy a sandwich to take out from Marks and Spencer instead of making my own at home.! Would love to take Afternoon Tea at The Ritz. Tell me,does everyone get really dolled up to go to these places? BTW,Is it true that at The Ritz there is a table especially reserved for The Queen, and if she hasn`t turned up by 9 or 9.30 pm they offer it to a latecomer? I thought it sounded a bit far fetched. It was what a French friend told me happened to him and his girlfriend at The Ritz. Maybe they  just say that to the tourists to make them feel special? I`ve no idea. But he was proper chuffed to have had dinner at "The Queen`s Table".

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God,I feel i`m being overly indulgent if I buy a sandwich to take out from Marks and Spencer instead of making my own at home.! Would love to take Afternoon Tea at The Ritz. Tell me,does everyone get really dolled up to go to these places? BTW,Is it true that at The Ritz there is a table especially reserved for The Queen, and if she hasn`t turned up by 9 or 9.30 pm they offer it to a latecomer? I thought it sounded a bit far fetched. It was what a French friend told me happened to him and his girlfriend at The Ritz. Maybe they just say that to the tourists to make them feel special? I`ve no idea. But he was proper chuffed to have had dinner at "The Queen`s Table".

Men have to wear ties at The Ritz. The story about The Queen's Table is balderdash.

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  • 2 weeks later...

M & S do an afternoon tea that's quite tasty, with sandwiches, scones, cream and jam and pastries and very good tea.  Can't remember how much it was but about £8.50 I think.  My sister treated me to a special tea in Fortnum and Mason for my birthday some years ago.  Verrrry expensive, but what a treat!  I thought the food in the ROH was very expensive.  We stuck to coffee and an ice cream!

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  • 1 month later...

Vouchers for afternoon teas sometimes appear in the daily deals (Groupon etc.) and as Experiences http://www.virginexperiencedays.co.uk/afternoon-tea-for-two). Often they work out more expensive than buying directly e.g. by bundling with something that you don't really want e.g. champagne, fancy certificate in a box. Heavily discounted vouchers often appear on ebay etc. though you do have to check that they are original, valid for transfer. Even with a voucher, some of the 'top' traditional places for afternoon tea require considerable advance booking. Reviews at Tripadvisor etc. can give useful ideas e.g whether there's a piano for playing 'Happy Birthday' .whether you can bring or they can provide your own birthday cake.

 

Another interesting combination of tea and nostalgia: the tea room at the Museum of Brands, Packaging and Advertising in Notting Hill: http://www.museumofbrands.com   

"Featuring over 12,000 original items from the unique Robert Opie Collection, discover how well-loved brands evolved through their creative use of packaging and advertising - and how we evolved with them."

 

The museum has free entry tomorrow, Sunday (11 a.m. to 5 p.m.) in the framework of Heritage Open Days taking place this weekend. http://www.heritageopendays.org.uk/directory/museum-of-brands , though I expect this isn't the best time to visit their small tea room. From their website: "We offer tea, coffee and biscuits in our small tea room. There are also cold drinks and retro style ice creams available for our visitors to enjoy on sunny days. While you relax you can watch a screening of some memorable television adverts from between 1955-1985."

 

They also have a nice quiz about old ads/brands:

http://www.museumofbrands.com/_assets/downloads/Quiz_for_Adult_Groups_2014.pdf

 

Yaffa (with no connection to the above - just passing on the info)

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I have to say I am a huge fan of afternoon tea for a special occasion. 

 

Having said that, I think the Ritz is disappointing - snooty staff, and they stick you in the inside room, rather than in the main dining room overlooking Green Park.  And they won't let you take away any cakes you cannot manage, which I think is a real swindle, considering the price you pay for it.

 

Other London hotels do it much better, and you don't have to book up 6 months in advance.  The Langham is wonderful - the sandwiches just kept coming until we begged them to stop, we stuffed down 2 scones each, complete with jam and cream,  and waddled out with a box full of cakes that we were too full to eat.  Browns is very nice too, completely different atmosphere, but a little like sitting in an old fashioned Gentlemens' Club. 

 

Cheaper offerings can be found at museums.  I can't remember whether it is the National or the National Portrait Gallery which has a terrific room on the top floor with a great view. 

 

But tea at the Opera House?  Not sure, but then I go to the ROH all the time.  Infrequent or foreign visitors might like it. 

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There have been grumbles about this for some time now.  It continues to annoy and seems to become more marked each season.

 

Here's hoping that Alex Beard (the ROH Chief Executive) will be apprised of this lack space for non-eaters to sit and socialise when he visits the London Ballet Circle on the 22nd September.

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I have to say I am a huge fan of afternoon tea for a special occasion.

 

Having said that, I think the Ritz is disappointing - snooty staff, and they stick you in the inside room, rather than in the main dining room overlooking Green Park. And they won't let you take away any cakes you cannot manage, which I think is a real swindle, considering the price you pay for it.

 

Other London hotels do it much better, and you don't have to book up 6 months in advance. The Langham is wonderful - the sandwiches just kept coming until we begged them to stop, we stuffed down 2 scones each, complete with jam and cream, and waddled out with a box full of cakes that we were too full to eat. Browns is very nice too, completely different atmosphere, but a little like sitting in an old fashioned Gentlemens' Club.

 

Cheaper offerings can be found at museums. I can't remember whether it is the National or the National Portrait Gallery which has a terrific room on the top floor with a great view.

 

But tea at the Opera House? Not sure, but then I go to the ROH all the time. Infrequent or foreign visitors might like it.

 

What a shame; I've never found the staff at The Ritz to be snooty; quite the opposite. Tea has always been held in the Palm Court as opposed to in the Restaurant, and I always find it a lovely place for people watching. We had the great pleasure of watching my daughter's school Chamber Choir perform for 2 hours during Afternoon Tea. The girls were given sandwiches and drinks prior to singing but sadly no cakes. I asked the Waiter if he could pop a couple of the cakes into a box for my dd as on a previous occasion they had boxed up my birthday cake. He said he was very sorry but he wasn't permitted to do so, and that they are only allowed to box special occasion cakes. I must have looked disappointed as he passed me some extra napkins and said - with a tiny wink - "However, Madam, if I were to look away, you could pop the cakes into your bag without my knowledge", which I did. He gave me a smile and topped up our cups. :-)
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Afternoon tea at The Landmark Hotel right by Marylebone Station has always been a fave of mine with top ups all the time and the Pret-a-Portea at The Berkeley is fun especially for fashionistas again free top ups. Claridges are v good too and they also do an afternoon tea masterclass with their pastry chef if you are feeling flush that is delish albeit taken in the kitchen - quite an experience!!

Edited by Don Q Fan
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What a delicious thread. My favourite in London is the Athenaeum but it's pretty pricey. The ROH tea doesn't sound very enticing :( Perhaps only if they had an event to look over into at the floral hall.

 

Yesterday I stayed at the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore, swam in the infinity pool on the roof and had afternoon tea (no champagne option). The view is magnificent but the tea wasn't!

 

Not too many good afternoon teas in Singapore I'm afraid, ;/ but I recommend the Shangri La, Fullerton or Grand Hyatt ones when you're here again!

 

Gottokeepworking I am well and truly jealous that you swam in that pool!!!!

What sort of equivalent price did you pay for the tea......and incidentally how much was it to swim?
 

 

Wasn't staying there, but once I wore wore my swimwear up and walked in confidently for a lovely dip ;) I think security's a little tighter these days though.

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Before they turned the Crush Bar at the ROH into an exclusive and very expensive restaurant, which is off bounds for the plebeians, I saw a lovely birthday party there at one of the matinees.  All the little girls were in old-fashioned "sticking-out" party dresses full of frills and ribbons and I could only think of how much I would have loved to have had a birthday tea there when I was a child.  I can't imagine a more perfect birthday treat!

Edited by Dance*is*life
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