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23 October 2017


london marriott county hall is probably my favourite hotel in london. the rooms are gorgeous, the staff are impeccably dressed, and the service is beyond exceptional. the door man is one of those traditionally dressed, top hat sorts, who calls everyone miss, madam or sir, no matter how tacky their shoes are, and despite the colour of their hair, and the view from every part of their hotel is beyond incredible. so, with a voucher for one of the hotel's famed afternoon teas burning a hole in my back pocket, i made plans with an old friend to catch up after a few months apart, in the hotel's iconic library lounge.

with free-flowing bubbles and a pot of the "county hall" black tea each, we stared at the tower of food in front of us in awe. three tiers of sweet and savoury goodies, with all the condiments one could need for all of the above. the staff were happy to oblige our interesting dietary requirements without a care in the world, and the description of the food in front of us left us curious as to where to start...

well, i started with the savoury. it was a late reservation (4:30pm) so we were both pretty peckish once the food arrived, and the tomato and basil bread finger sandwich with ham and pesto was calling to me. with one down and two to go, i kept my fingers on those mini sandwiches, and followed up the tasty italian-style sandwich with a spicy coronation chicken on rye, and finally the egg and cress on plain old white. the cherry on the top of the already-tasty proverbial cake, was the smoked salmon and creme mini brioche roll that took one bite to demolish.

but then, there was still more. as well as three tasty sandwiches and the brioche roll, there was a miniature baked cheese quiche each before we'd finished the first of the three tiers of scrumptious treats in front of us. the next tier? scones. two types of still-warm scones. the first was another savoury offering: cheese, chives, and basil with a sundried tomato and creme spread, and the sweet was a taste sensation of lemon and poppyseed, with lemon sugar dusted on the top. traditional strawberry compote and thick clotted cream was served alongside, and truth be told, the scones were so fresh and filling that neither of us managed to finish both.

we left the sweets until the end, as is custom for normal humans, though i did sneak a small raspberry meringue in between sandwiches. the mini lemon tart was easily the tastiest thing we ate all afternoon, as the shell was perfectly crumbly while the inside almost melted onto your tongue, and was a fresh kick of sweet and bitter in one. the sugared raspberry on top was tart, but complimented the other flavours so well, and i was mega sad that there was only one of those each - and mega mad at myself for filling up on scones before discovering this little gem. 

hours passed before we had finished our last glasses of bubbles (refilled every ten minutes or so without asking, for the more than two hours we were there.. thank you very much!), and sampled everything that had been on offer, and it was absolutely satisfying to watch the sun set over the thames as we sat and chatted. all in all, i've got to say that i was bloody chuffed to have found that voucher lying around my room, but even still, the £41 ask for bottomless food and drink (yup - they bring you more food if you ask for it too!), is pretty bloody reasonable, don'tcha think?

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