Restaurants Reviews

Afternoon Tea at the Thistle Marble Arch Hotel

I am fortunate enough to have friends who sometimes bring me to the amazing things they are doing. And last week Lindsay let me tag along to an afternoon tea at the Thistle Marble Arch Hotel with her. I thought the layout of the hotel was beautiful. It’s a classic art deco hotel, and it’s been kept in pristine condition.

We had the champagne tea and, on the whole, I was impressed. They had perfected their cucumber sandwiches. (Cucumber slices just thin enough, not too much spread. Delicious.) Typically, my favourite tier of afternoon tea was the scones. Clotted cream is one of life’s true pleasures, it can’t be denied. And I give definite props to the macarons, which were the perfect texture!

The amount of food that was offered was generous without feeling too wasteful, like some afternoon teas are wont to be. I’d say our experience was excellent, but poor Lindsay had a hard time booking our tea; numbers on the website didn’t work and it seemed a bit unsure that our reservation actually existed.  But the food itself was great and we were well looked after once we were there.

pouring tealindsay
The cast of characters. Above: the beautiful Lindsay.

me at tea
Lindsay took her gremlin-pal to tea, apparently.

champagnetraysandwichessconesdessertscaketea pot

Champagne afternoon tea is Β£30 per person.
The hotel is located at Bryanston Street, W1H 7EH.

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  • Marju V

    Everything looks absolutely delicious!

  • Champagne tea is one of my favourite things about England!!

  • sophie warner

    They always have this hotel on groupon I think – might have to take the plunge!
    Sophie
    X

    • It’s definitely good value for money. I was Lindsay’s plus one and she was given it as a thank you gift so technically neither of us paid, but still. I do have to say that the only serious drawback was booking the damn thing. That was problematic! x

  • Champagne tea sounds right up my alley!

  • It seems that you had a great time. I am always looking forward to enjoy an afternoon tea, but my friends are too busy to join with me. By the way, the cost of an afternoon tea is also expensive in my city.

  • GB

    Fancy snacks! YES. Well done, English people. We should formalize our extreme snacking habits and come up with an American tea time menu: diet coke with ice, candy, sopapillas, triscuts. Perhaps if one day I am ever on Top Chef, I will offer this idea to the world.

    • Exactly. That’s why afternoon tea is the best in between meal ever. So many snacks and it’s socially acceptable to eat them all. Sam still has zero concept of what a sopapilla is and I am forever being disappointed by that. What would you call your American tea time restaurant? Let’s brainstorm ideas over Skype asap. x

  • Oooh, yummy! You made me crave afternoon tea!

  • I’d love to experience Afternoon Tea one day! For some reason, we never went while my boyfriend still lived in London… one more reason to return! πŸ™‚

  • Afternoon tea is so wonderful! I wish I had the discipline to do it more often.

    • I couldn’t have it more often. I can’t put the clotted cream pot down and I’d die of a coronary far too young! x

  • One of my favorite experiences in London was Afternoon Tea. πŸ™‚ I loved all the finger foods.

    • There’s almost nothing better than formalised snacking (in my opinion.) x

    • Me too! American ‘Afternoon Tea’ just isn’t right…not the same at all. I just had a tea at the Ritz Carlton the other week and the clotted cream came in a sealed jar!!! *gasp*

      V
      Life+1

      • That is blasphemy! (Especially because the clotted cream is usually my favourite part – true story.) x

  • Julie @ Artwork by JM

    Oh my gosh, that looks amazing…all of it. I’m so jealous.

  • Ok, I read champagne tea and was like wuuuut?! but now I get it and I want to go! You do all the awesome things I SHOULD have done when I lived in England!

  • Betsy

    High tea is totally on my 101 list! The food looks delicious not usual an eclair person but it looks so good.

  • Ashley Angle

    Wow, it all looks very delicious! What a fun outing!
    ~Ashley @ A Cute Angle
    acutelifestyle.blogspot.com

  • Not to sounds tooo whiny here but – WHHHHHYYYY CAN’T THE US BE COOL AND HAVE AFTERNOON TEA?!

    • I totally agree. This formal, institutionalised method of snacking should definitely be a worldwide thing! x

  • Robert @ablogbyrobert

    Afternoon tea has become so popular in London there seem to be hundreds of places offering it now, which makes it just about impossible to choose where to go! The Thistle looks like a great choice though and somewhere I’d not heard about before πŸ™‚ x

    • I’d rate as a through “good option”. They aren’t reinventing the wheel when it comes to afternoon tea, by any means, but you’ll know what you’re getting when you go there. I’m also quite keen on afternoon tea (basically because it’s the Olympics of snacking) so if you ever need any interesting recommendations just shoot me a message. x

  • That looks delicious! I would love to do a this

  • Everything right down to the china is so cute! The colors are lovely together. Afternoon Tea is one of the first things I’m doing when I get there. I love it. Those tiny eats actually force me to eat like a human being. I’m pretty sure I usually look like the Beast when Lumiere and Cogsworth try to teach him how to eat properly.

    • Hahahaha even though I’m sure that you don’t eat like that at all, I properly guffawed outloud reading your comment! x

  • amitygardens

    Everything looks so good!

    • And it all went into out tummies. Well, that’s not entirely true. We both left the salmon sandwiches. x

  • I haven’t had high tea in so long! I love the patterns of the tea pots, cups, and plates. This really makes me want to come to London and hang out with y’all.

    • Do it! Come visit! Lindsay and I have both been watching “Lost Girl” on netflix so that and the Kindsey scale dominated our conversation. x

  • I’ve stayed at the Thistle in barbican, it’s a lovely hotel! I like that this tea doesn’t look too pretentious, just a nice way to spend an afternoon. I would expect a bit more for Β£30 though I think, just a little fancier.

    • Was it expensive to say there? Great location though if you were staying there after a concert! I think if you opted for the non-Champagne tea it would have only been about Β£20. Damn that delicious bubbly! x

      • It wasn’t too bad actually, I think we got it for under Β£100 a night. and yeah, we were staying there for a concert! There weren’t a lot of options. Forgot you said champagne tea, that’s not bad then!

  • I can feel the “sticking to the roof of your mouth” feeling while responding to your comment. Ugh. Gag. I had braces for awhile too, maybe it’s a thing we are extra aware of because of it?

    And thank you! Hehe, I have the tendency to pull faces and look a bit crazed with excitement at times though. xx

  • This afternoon tea looks delicious, I am still upset about the our trip to London last Saturday – we went to the OXO tower for the “not afternoon tea experience’, it was rubbish! x

    • I’ve heard really mixed things about the OXO Tower, so that’s really disappointing! I’m so sorry! xx

  • Oh my gosh it looks delicious and I’m currently drooling! I have to say that usually the pastries really disappoint me – but all these pastries look so good, I mean give me an eclair, a macaron and a millefeuille and I’m all in! πŸ™‚

  • I love tea time! I’m all over cucumber sandwiches and scones with clotted cream. Yum! This is one of my favorite ways to spend an afternoon with girlfriends…and I’ve never even done it properly in Britian, just a pretty tea house back in the states! It’s for sure on my bucket list!

    • It’s the best with girlfriends- that way you can sit and chat for hours and they just keep bringing snacks! x

  • ah, this looks fabulous! I’ve never really done a proper tea before

  • Did you happen to book with afternoontea.co.uk per chance? I booked tea through them last week and my reservation was lost as well. Your tea looks much nicer than ours was!

    • It wasn’t – it was just through the hotels website itself. The number on the hotel’s website either a) didn’t work or b) sent Lindsay to a switchboard for the wrong department within the hotel. It took multiple phone calls to iron everything out which s a bit ridiculous. I take it afternoontea.co.uk wasn’t worth it then?! x

  • Yes, it was a great afternoon tea…expect for making the reservation. That kind of thing does bother me…why did nobody answer the restaurant phone?? Kind of irritating to have to book through a switchboard operator who tells you that they’ll put it down but if it can’t be done then they’ll call me. … Seriously? Very odd. But other than that they were great when we were there! This is a perfect review of our experience, you said it better than I could have! xx

    • I think your experience with that is truly ridiculous, but you were the champ who took care of everything so I literally have nothing to complain about πŸ™‚ xx

  • afternoon tea should always involve champagne and beautiful friends, methinks πŸ™‚

  • I just love the colors and patterns on the dishes–it looks like it was a very picturesque tea, indeed!