When my friend and I decided to meet for afternoon tea in London, she told me it would be her first proper British one in the UK, so I decided to go for a classic one. I’d never been to The Montagu at the Hyatt Regency before, but the menu and presentation looked promising. We were seated at the window in what was a large, open space with high ceilings, a bar to one end of the room, an open kitchen to the other. Divided by only a few pillars, the more lounge-like area next to the restaurant/afternoon tea space was alive with people chatting away. In our more quiet space, the atmosphere was relaxed, free from any disturbances.
At £30 per person, pricewise this was a mid-range afternoon tea. They had a special offer going on at the time, where a glass of champagne each was included in the price as well. If you book a place through OpenTable during the month of May, the deal still stands (just make sure to choose the special deal when booking).
While they recommend you to stick with one tea throughout the whole experience, the staff there were very accommodating and prepared all the tea leaves on offer on a tray for us to smell. After taking a good ten minutes to decide, we went for the Ginseng Oolong and the Lapsang Souchong tea, but (I’m guessing since we took so long to reach this very difficult decision) they assured us that if we wanted to, they would prepare another tea for us to try. It goes without saying that we did, and so we had a more classic black tea, the Earl Grey as well. When a place serves such a high quality tea as the Newby Teas they’ve practically already won me over. I have now tried a considerable number of teas at afternoon teas, in lands far away where they originate, and hell, I even have a whole drawer of mostly loose leaf teas at home which are part of everyday life. I can say with confidence that the Newby Teas varieties are definitely up there amongst the best. You can taste the quality, and I appreciate this quality being served at the Montagu Hyatt Regency.
If you’re looking for a classic afternoon tea with no quirky experimentations, the one offered at the Hyatt Regency is a pretty decent one. The sandwiches are not just mediocre ingredients put together, as sadly is the case in some places. Rather, ingredients are fresh and of a high quality (if you’re wondering how exactly we can define quality food, do check out this brilliant article here), which lead me to happily ask for a refill.
I decided to review this afternoon tea because I thought the tea served there was not only worth a mention, but definitely worth a recommendation. I was also impressed by the service and thought the space was grand yet cosy enough to have an enjoyable tea experience. The sandwiches were classic and delicious, but unfortunately I was somewhat disappointed by the pastries. They were too similar in terms of taste and lacked complexity.
Having said all that, I think afternoon tea at the Hyatt Regency is still worth a visit, and who knows, maybe they will come across reviews such as these and decide to spice things up in the pastry department. If you visit and you find they have, I’m always happy to hear about it.
Area: Marylebone, West London
Closest tube: Marble Arch (Central line); Bond Street (Central, and Jubilee line)
Address: The Montagu at Hyatt Regency London – The Churchill
30 Portman Square
London W1H 7BH