It was Anna, 7th Duchess of Bedford, who in the late 18th century had the brilliant notion of asking her butler to bring her a light meal in the middle of the afternoon. The Park Room at Grosvenor House, A JW Marriott Hotel has named its tea in her honor. 'Anna's Tea' is as distinguished as its originator, with a large choice of tea blends from around the world.
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Afternoon Tea Information
Venue: Park Room, Grosvenor House, A JW Marriott Hotel.
The Park Room is very much in the hotel's tradition of understated elegance. The most popular tables are near the floor-to-ceiling windows with views of Hyde Park, but note these are all tables for two.
As the windows are not next to the pavement you do not feel like you are in a 'goldfish bowl'. You see more traffic than pedestrians but I found most passers-by smiled when they saw our beautiful table and this made us feel special.
The Park Room is bathed in natural light and is a fine setting for afternoon tea all year round.
Days and Times
Monday to Sunday: 2 pm to 6 pm.
Although Afternoon Tea is served from 2 pm and it is most popular from 3 pm. The room has a relaxed ambiance even with the buzz as the room fills up.
Cost: Anna's Tea is from £35.50 per person. (2015 rate)
Dress Code: No dress code as such but it is always nice to make an effort.
Reservations: For reservations call or visit www.parkroom.co.uk.
You can also book the Grosvenor House afternoon tea through Viator.
Music: Background music is played before the pianist arrives at 2.30pm to play contemporary classics.
Children: Families are welcome and a special 'Grover's Tea' is available for children. Named after the hotel's eponymous British Bulldog, children are also given their own cuddly Grover to take home.
About Grosvenor House, A JW Marriott Hotel
Grosvenor House, A JW Marriott Hotel is London's largest five star hotel. It first opened its doors to the public in May 1929 and quickly established itself as the glamorous home of the society set and wealthy Americans, attracting a fashionable crowd from Edward VIII and Mrs. Simpson to Ella Fitzgerald and Jacqueline Onassis.
Afternoon tea is one of Britain's great traditions and the Park Room's contribution to this delightful ritual is a treat not to miss.
Afternoon Tea Review
- The staff are superb - courteous, welcoming and attentive.
- The Park Room is very spacious so you can't be overheard by other tables.
- Tea advice is offered.
- Scones are not on the cake stand when it arrives but are instead are brought warm to the table when you have enjoyed the finger sandwiches
Staff and Service
The waiting staff are clearly silver service trained and are very well-presented. Our tea was poured for us and everything was placed on the table with skill.
The teas are by Twining's and there are plenty of varieties to choose from including flowering teas and decaffeinated.
Tea arrives at your table in white china tea pots and silver tea strainers are on the table. At other venues, a pot of hot water is also brought but there was no need here as the staff are very good at knowing when to ask if you'd like more tea.
The chinaware was white with a pale green and gold decoration. The green followed the theme of the room and the gold cleverly complimented the teas.
We enjoyed a tropical fruit starter which was tangy and delicious before our traditional three-tiered silver cake stand arrived.
The cake stand looked very pretty and the scones arrived later warm with a napkin to keep them so. The waiter subtly placed the cake stand on the diagonal so my view of my companion wasn't completely obscured.
We were offered a selection of jams/preserves for the scones and I chose strawberry and gooseberry for tradition and for the Englishness of gooseberries.
As with all of the best establishments, there is always more on offer so do ask if you have a favorite cake or adored the sandwiches as staff are happy to help.
As an added treat you can also choose a large slice of cake from the central table in the room which had lots of options. I chose a slice of Hummingbird Cake which was generous and delicious.
I have taken my daughter to try the children's Grover's Tea and here's more information and a review.
Official Website: www.parkroom.co.uk
As is common in the travel industry, the writer was provided with complimentary services for review purposes. While it has not influenced this review, About.com believes in full disclosure of all potential conflicts of interest. For more information, see our Ethics Policy.