We went in a group of 6 to celebrate my Mom's 60th birthday. I have been before but for the other 5 it was a new experience and from the welcome at the entrance, to the walk to the 'powder room' and then to our table to be seated, the look of wonder on their faces was priceless.
We were seated and the waiter came to us to explain how high tea worked and said he would be back to take our champagne request and tea order. The only niggle I had on this was that when I made reservations I specified 'Dorchester afternoon tea' (there are several choices including champagne afternoon tea) which was confirmed, so when the waiter returned and asked if we were having champagne and I replied no (as it was my choice as I was paying for everybody as treat) I was a little embarrassed at having to confirm this again infront of the people I was with.
However the sandwiches were delicious and excellent care was taken for our vegetarian with the waiter returning with a plate just for her so as not to use the same serving utensils. Something highly appreciated.
Again- the only niggle I had with this was that we were only offered 2 rounds (from previous experience I know that it is the norm to serve until the guest says no more). So I had told the other 5 that this would be the case so only 2 sandwiches were taken from the second round. The plates were whisked away whilst we were being explained how the scones and pastries would arrive soon. Tea was offered again but was a repeat of the 1st order when we would have liked to try anothther - something that was not offered.
I must stress that we had an absolutely fantastic time here and it was made special by the waiters bringing a cake with a candle for my Mom whilst singing happy birthday. The pianist then personally congratulated my Mom and offered to play her a song of her choice (which he knew by heart and played perfectly) - something that made the experience unforgettable.
Beautiful surroundings, immaculately dressed staff and an extremely elegant pianist. What more could you wish for?
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