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Tea at The Langham
Back to the Roots
The Langham is the birthplace of afternoon tea. The Duchess of Bedford (a county just north of London) started the trend when she felt an urge for some tea one afternoon over 140 years ago. After that, she would request all the tea-making equipment everyday from her servants, and even take all her gear with her if she were to leave the house. She was like a walking advertisement for what would soon become one of Britain's most traditional of pastimes.
On the Menu
At the Langham they cater for every appetite and allergy with vegetarian, vegan, diabetic, gluten-free, dairy-free and nut-free options all tweaked to suit your needs. Otherwise there are three set menus to choose from, each advised upon by one of the skilled tea sommeliers: Wonderland Afternoon Tea (£38 or £50 with a glass of Laurent-Perrier NV), Stephen Webster Bijoux Afternoon Tea (£49, £63 with a choice of champagne, or £122 with a half bottle - this is the sharing option), or the 1865 Langham High Tea (£40 or £80 with a half bottle of Laurent-Perrier NV).
Both the Wonderland and the High Tea come with a similar selection of finger sandwiches: cucumber, cream cheese and chives, smoked salmon, tuna and egg and mustard among others, and the pastries bear reflections too with choices such as lemon drizzle, chocolate Chantilly and popcorn meringue with salted caramelia.
However, the Stephen Webster menu is something to behold. All the specialties are here in all different guises. Sandwiches include fillings such as foie gras and apple, duck egg mayo and caviar, and lobster. There are three different scones - plain, raisins and chocolate - and all come with clotted cream and strawberry preserve. While the pastry menu really is something else. It's inspired by a jewellery collection of Webster's called 'Murder She Wrote' and includes such concoctions as Razor Ribbon Ring (jasmine mousse with apricot), Dagger Dome (white chocolate creme with strawberry and white balsamic), and Armadillo Ring (roasted Pistachio Chantilly with meringue sponge).
You'll definitely get a feel of how it all began at The Langham. They want you to experience genuine tradition - albeit a little more stylish than simply bread & butter and a builder's brew. So, pack a spare wallet full of folding money and get yourself a seat at one of London's best places for this Great British occasion.
11.30am, 1pm, 3.15pm, 5.30pm, 7pm.