It is the time of year when we all celebrate our mothers. Last year the pub we chose for lunch had a hidden surprise, the beer garden was tidal. We thought that having to climb up a fire escape clutching our roast dinners to avoid rising Thames water would make the most memorable Mother’s day yet. We might have been wrong.
This year we pre-planned. We booked an afternoon tea at the Knightsbridge Green Hotel. We had a voucher from TimeOut. It should have gone perfectly. We turned up at the hotel at the appointed time. There was a small room of full tables and no members of staff. The hotel receptionist said she was unable to help us, we needed to wait for dining room staff. They didn’t come. Eventually the only table for 6 became available so we sat down. A waitress turned up and looked confused. She told us we hadn’t booked. She insisted that our e-mail confirmation was for yesterday, even though it clearly said Sunday. She said they didn’t have enough cake to feed us. This was unacceptable – not enough cake! She went to get the manager, and after she left two women seated nearby called over to us. ‘Escape while you still can’ they said, ‘we have been here half an hour and we only have water so far.’ We needed no extra encouragement, we up and left.
Oh dear. Mother’s day not going well again. Rude waitress and no afternoon tea, mothers displaced in London with no cake in sight.We headed down the road and went to a safe haven, Harvey Nicks. We were offered chocolate alcohol to taste as soon as we entered. Much happier mothers! Thanks Harvey Nicks.
Soon we were all sat down waiting for an afternoon tea! The Easter themed chocolate tea was a good treat. Strangely presented not in the normal tiers but on a large piece of plastic, but it looked impressive and sprawling. With so many of us, there were many opinions to be dealt with. Mothers always do have high expectations, and rightly so. Main areas we all agreed on; the savoury options were good but we needed more of it, the scones were too big because we couldn’t finish it, and the cake was a little heavy, also because none of us managed to get through it all! So in summary, a generous amount of cake that would have been easier to eat if it was a little lighter! For me the headline act was the homemade candy floss bedding for the chocolate eggs and macarons. The best presented part of the tea. The sandwiches were fine but nothing too special, the poached salmon on dark rye was the best. The scones were tasty, too large for us to eat two each! They did come with sultanas however which would not have been my preference if I were asked and I had to pick them all out. The various cakes were all nice and moist and tasty although still rather too raisiny for my liking. The one with orange curd was unusual in a good way and a dark chocolate tart was the perfect amount of not too sweet and not too bitter.The cake was let down by some very inviting looking chocolate Easter biscuits sprayed with gold which turned out to be inedibly burnt.
The service was very polite compared to our first experience. Our order didn’t turn up as quickly as our stomachs wanted and there was an incident with a mistaken tea, but we were given doggy bags with not a hint of judgement. The waiter even went back and fetched us Harvey Nichols carrier bags to display our doggy bags in high style. The atmosphere was lively as we were in the cafe but beautifully decorated with flowers and very spring like. Not a cosy tea shop, but far better than your average cafe in a department store experience. Truly another memorable adventure of a mother’s day – can’t wait for next year!
Ratings: I hope i have remembered these correctly! Tell me if not.
Cake: Me: 5.5/7 Clare: 4.5/7 Nicki: 5/7 Jane (my mother) 5.5/7 Alison (mother of Clare) 5/7 Margaret (mater to Nicola): 6/7
Atmosphere: 5.5/7 – an average.