Reform Social and Grill is in central London, in Marylebone, at the Mandeville Hotel. The restaurant is inspired by classic British gentlemen's clubs for both the restaurant's interior design, and food and drink menus.
I've visited before for the Gentlemen's Afternoon Tea which includes a steak and snail sandwich and a fish finger sandwich.
This time I returned with my nine year old daughter to try the Mini Afternoon Tea which also includes a fish finger sandwich (but, thankfully, no snails!) It's good to see more Kid's Afternoon Teas in London and this one has an assortment of special children’s sweet and savory favourites in their very own TeaTime lunch box.
For more afternoon tea reviews see: Best Afternoon Tea in London.
Afternoon Tea Information
Venue: Reform Social & Grill, Mandeville Place, London W1U 2BE
Nearest Tube Station: Bond Street or Oxford Circus
Cost: £12.50 for mini afternoon tea as of 2019 (£26.50 for the traditional tea)
Dress Code: Smart casual.
Reservations: 020 7224 1624
Official Website: www.reformsocialgrill.co.uk
Mini Afternoon Tea Menu
Smooth peanut butter and homemade jam sandwich
Fish finger and sweet ketchup sandwich
BBQ chicken slider
Fruit and chocolate scone
Strawberry milkshake with gingerbread man dipper
Chocolate and marshmallow lollipop
Jelly and custard pot
Reform jammy dodger
Mini Afternoon Tea Review
We got a lovely welcome when we arrived and staff were wonderfully polite. The dark restaurant has red leather seating around the edge of the room and we sat in one of the booths. The whitewashed brick walls have original artwork on display that is all for sale.
Even though we booked ahead for the Mini Afternoon Tea (it was our whole reason for traveling into central London that day) after a 30-minute wait someone came over to apologize and offered us bread and butter. My daughter was hungry so accepted but I thought this an odd suggestion. Surely more tea would have been a better idea as my pot was finished as I shared with my daughter (a lovely non-caffeine Chamomile Citrus tea) and she hadn't been offered a drink as hers was due to come with her Mini Afternoon Tea.
We had spilled some tea too (I cleared it up) but that also meant we had less to drink. I had informed staff of the spillage to ask for a clean napkin but the suggestion of more tea was not offered then either.
During this wait, we had no distractions and I felt the music was too loud and just not suited to the occasion. I'll be honest, I don't want to hear Radiohead during afternoon tea.
Eventually, after a wait of 45 minutes, the Mini Afternoon Tea and Vintage Afternoon Tea arrived.
But it wasn't in the "TeaTime Lunchbox" we were expecting but on a strawberry printed tray. We didn't get the gingerbread man dipper and when I asked for it the waitress returned with sticky ginger cake. Not the same thing at all. And there wasn't a BBQ chicken slider but instead a standard white bread chicken sandwich.
After eating the bread and butter from earlier my daughter didn't finish her Mini Afternoon Tea. She said the sandwiches were nice (although she doesn't like peanut butter). She would have preferred the chocolate and marshmallow lolly to have been milk chocolate as she found the dark chocolate too bitter. (And does that really look like a lolly to you?) And she didn't like the 'jammy dodger' at all. I don't even think it was a take on the classic biscuit but something else entirely. She also didn't like the strawberry milkshake although I will say I thought it was quite nice and tasted like real berries had been used. But overall, it wasn't a success and we left a lot.
I had the Vintage Afternoon Tea and my finger sandwiches, on white bread only, were dry as if they had clearly been made sometime before. The one fruit scone I received was nice and the fancies included a small Battenburg which we both liked.
But after the long wait, we were ready to leave in under 15 minutes. I love afternoon tea and like to take my time. The shortest amount of time we've ever taken before is about an hour so, sadly, this tells you it wasn't really a success.
I saw others in the restaurant enjoying the adult Vintage Afternoon Tea. Actually, I watched them eating for 45 minutes while we were waiting. But I think the combination of the long wait and then not actually receiving what we ordered will, sadly, make this not one I can recommend.
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.