Try Afternoon Tea at The Guardsman Hotel, Westminster, London

An afternoon tea is the perfect indulgent way to catch up with friends and family and now The Guardsman is opening its elegant dining room to non-hotel guests. Situated in the heart of St. James’s, six minutes walk from Buckingham Palace, The Guardsman is a new boutique hotel with the feel of a member’s club.

Taking her inspiration from the beautiful nearby Royal Parks, the hotel’s pastry chef has created a mouthwatering afternoon tea menu which has a contemporary feel but doesn’t omit the traditional features that would leave one feeling disappointed if they weren’t there. A colourful platter of fresh sandwiches includes Burford brown egg mimosa and rocket mayonnaise on a turmeric loaf, Goldstein Scottish salmon, cream cheese and lemon butter on sourdough and (my favourite) truffled chicken mayonnaise in a sugar glaze tin loaf.

Freshly baked fruit and plain scones are accompanied by Dorset clotted cream and strawberry and raspberry preserve. Our waitress had seemingly perfected the most diplomatic of pronunciations of this afternoon tea essential: landing exactly halfway between rhymes with ‘gone’ and rhymes with ‘stone’ in order not to upset any guests. This leaves your party free to argue about whether one should apply the cream or the jam first!

No afternoon tea is complete without a cake stand full of eye-catching patisseries and the Royal Parks theme is most evident in a delicious rich chocolate ganache with black cherry compote shaped as an exquisite rose and in a striking toadstool made from delicate strawberry and cream sponge.

The same attention to detail has gone into vegetarian, vegan and gluten free menus so everyone in your party will leave feeling pampered.

The Guardsman proudly serves an extensive selection of teas by Canton. Most of these are beyond organic, some are biodynamic, and several are from abandoned tea farms where the plants now grow wild. You can, of course, choose from a variety of coffees if you prefer.

The Guardsman likes their guests to feel pampered not pressured and throughout my visit the staff were – like the soldiers outside Buckingham Palace from which the hotel takes its name – discreet, attentive but not intrusive.

Situated in one of London’s most iconic neighbourhoods, The Guardsman is the perfect venue to meet friends and enjoy a leisurely afternoon tea after exploring the nearby Royal Parks, Tate Britain or monuments of Westminster. St. James’s Park Underground station is just 100m away whilst the central hub that is Victoria Station is also within close walking distance.

Afternoon tea served with a glass of Perrier-Jouet Champagne costs £45.00 per person. The hotel also has beautiful rooms and one, two or three bedroomed residences if you decide to make a weekend of it.

For reservations call 0207 309 9200 or