high tea at Brown's Hotel

The high tea consists of tea, obviously, which you choose from a long and ultimately silly list of teas - well, some people have a favorite, others are curious or adventurous... but the list is 3 pages long, plus a supplement. If you wish you may consult with one of the resident experts before making your choice. I might do that if the subject were a small glass of single malt, but I did have to suppress giggles at the thought of being directed toward the tea I needed by a tea master. It almost sounded like having one's horoscope cast. I pointed at the Darjeeling and moved on.

The food is the star. First, tea sandwiches, replenished at will.

From left, cucumber , tomato-chutney-cheddar, smoked salmon, egg, ham.

Next, scones, plain or currant, with luvvly clotted cream and house-made strawberry jam. These are not the mis-named enormous crumbly crunchy "scones" we see where I live. The texture and taste are more like those of an old-fashioned beaten biscuit, and they are served warm from the oven, and again "subject to replenishment." So we replenished.

Last, pastries. A rosewater ├ęclair, a violet Madeleine, a carrot cake and a Pimm's Cup jelly (jello to us peasants). There were also large cakes being wheeled around, I grabbed some of the chocolate. I mean, a meal without chocolate two days in a row? C'mon.

An English family was enjoying tea behind us, nice mom and dad, sullen teenage daughter with eyeliner (Kate has a lot to answer for), older brother with shaved head, leather vest, middle daughter about 10 and not eating anything pink (wrong day for that) and keeping herself busy by poking and pinching youngest daughter. Then another couple arrived, adult friends of the parents. ALL FOUR KIDS JUMPED UP, STOOD UP STRAIGHT AND SHOOK HANDS.

There'll always be an England.


  1. There will indeed! My children know how to behave too, most of the time ;-)
    That tea looks delicious - a good scone is a wondrous thing!

    1. I just loved the sight of the Whining Four leaping to attention... and. I loved how the parents had obviously been completely confident that the kids would come through. What a nice family.

  2. great story! my children would whine to us, but never to others, thank goodness!

    More yummy treats! Lots of sightseeing?

    1. yes, astoundingly there seem to be buildings and gardens scattered among the restaurants.

  3. "All you can eat scones" becomes "subject to replenishment"--wonderful!

    Teas are out of control currently, aren't they? I should probably stop offering guests supplements of house dried herbs in tea, but I can't help myself. Coffee too. The WSJ yesterday had news of a class one can elect in NY instructing us to weigh out 1.75 grams of beans per 28grams of water etc. Sheeesh.

    1. a few years ago I almost had a tantrum when a guest - someone's date or cousin, I forget - asked for a skinny half-caf latte. My house is not Starbucks.

  4. when I went to London on my own in 2011, I booked tea at Fortnum and Mason and yes to the "replenishment": they were happy to feed me for AGES. I didn't eat much before going so that I could enjoy everything but yes, they would bring me more of whatever I wanted. At first I was nervous it was adding to the bill but nope! It was Fabulous!

  5. I completely overindulge at tea, so much so that we only do one every few years. Fortnums is a wonderful choice!


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