Looking for afternoon tea in London? Want traditional afternoon tea in London? Read our review of The Luggage Room afternoon in London, Mayfair for low tea.
The Luggage Room is a speakeasy-bar-cum-afternoon-tea-lounge hidden underneath the London Marriott hotel in Mayfair. The award-winning bar has won favour with tourists and socialites alike and the 1920s prohibition-inspired low tea menu, which, launched in March 2016, hopes to match this level of success and popularity.
Much of the draw comes from the setting and theatrics of it all: to gain entry we had to knock three times on an unimposing black door on the corner of Grosvenor Square and wait to be received by a maître d’. After taking our coats and stashing them in a secret cubbyhole, we were then led down a softly lit corridor papered with prints of antique luggage stacks, and out into the lounge. The décor here is grand but refined: white canvas and brass details (mimicking the design of hard front vintage suitcases) decorate the walls of the low slung, dusky room.
Oxblood leather sofas and soft cream armchairs sit round polished wooden tables. While bartenders in crisp shirts and suspenders rattle Boston shakers behind the sculpted black marble bar. Bag a table in the middle of the room and order an Alfonso (a wintery mix of spicy Dubonnet, champagne and aromatic Peychaud and orange bitters) to catch these suave cocktail connoisseurs in action.
Alcoholic beverages aren’t included in the price of your low tea, but the personalised tea sommelier treatment is. That Sunday afternoon, as we sunk back into the leather armchairs, we were introduced to a myriad of teas from Camellia’s Teahouse. Nine different leaves, of various flavours and intensity, were offered up in tapered nosing glasses. After smelling and learning about their origins, we opted for the award winning white apricot tea (a light and floral brew) and the lapsang souchong (strong and tobaccoy, it was not for the faint hearted).
Delicacies are also presented with considerable attention to detail, served in an aged, three tier, wooden medical box (a nod to an era of alcohol smuggling in 1920s America). Cucumber sandwiches didn’t get a look in here, thankfully. Instead, we dined on a generous selection of treats, such as salted caramelmeringues; horseradish and crème fraîche vol au vents; a huge devilled Balmoral venison and Clarence Court scotch egg; and a tiny button tin full of tea-infused smoked salmon with fresh caviar on top. Highlights of the box included a warm and peppery Devonshire wild boar sausage roll wrapped in flaky, crisp pastry, the fluffy rum syllabub and dreamy scone (click here for our best scone recipes) trifle served in a little jam jar.
Check out our best afternoon tea recipes here, including:
olive magazine podcast ep65 – Who will win the great scone debate? Jam or cream first?!
On this week’s podcast the team explore the British tradition of afternoon tea, sharing their favourites in London, and get into a debate on which is the right way to serve scones. (Psst, cream is the right way.)