“There are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea.”- The Portrait of a Lady
Well, Henry James, I couldn’t agree more. Afternoon tea – or cream tea, or just tea and cake – is something I am positively obsessed with. I put it down to my Cornish roots; and the fact I grew up having ‘elevenses’ with my Welsh grandparents (and afternoonses).
I’m always up for trying out new places for Afternoon tea. A couple of weeks ago, after a very exciting (and somewhat drunken) bridal accessories appointment in Knightsbridge for my best friend, we all (bridesmaids, sisters and her lovely Mum), trundled off to Soho to try out Soho’s Secret Tea Room.
I’m all for quirky, but there’s a line, which this place just about managed to stay on the right side of. Having read up on it afterwards, the Coach and Horses itself is apparently a well-loved boozer that does a cracking Sunday roast. Anyway, back to the point in hand. We didn’t spot the sign straight away outside the Coach and Horses, yet Google Maps’ blue dot insisted we were there. To enter, you go into the pub itself, walk behind the bar and up the stairs. All a bit strange.
It was the day before Hallowe’en, so the upstairs room, which is the Secret Tea Room, was decked out accordingly. As a lover of antiques and old things, I was very taken with the crockery selection. Not so with the toilet, which had a shower in – but swiftly overcame this, thanks to the copious amount of bubbles we’d consumed (it was only 3pm, FYI).
We all opted for the Cream Tea option. You can’t really go wrong with scones, clotted cream, jam and a pot of tea; we were momentarily worried that it would be whipped cream, but thankfully it was clotted as is required! My only complaint was, the scones were heated up before serving – something I normally love, but not when it’s still cold in the middle. I understand they have a lot of people coming in a day, but scones don’t keep that well in the fridge. Anyway, it was still lovely – especially liked the blackcurrant jam. And a special mention must go to the bubbles, which were divine and apparently from the actual Prosecco region in Italy. Win, win.
All in all, a nice experience – but if you’re after a decadent / luxurious experience, then this isn’t for you. If you don’t mind quirky, random mismatched crockery and are into old buildings (not in the castle sense), then yep this will probably be for you. Just don’t expect high-end patisserie.