I had lunch in the Reading Room on 16th October, afternoon tea in the Foyer on 17th October and breakfast in the Reading Room on 18th October. I have been eating at Claridge’s of an on for slightly over 20 years and have therefore seen many changes. Having seen the many recent very positive comments on Tripadvisor I wondered if they really were as good as the vast majority of people say they are so as on each of the occasions I was eating alone I thought I would use my time to cast a very critical eye on the food and service.
Firstly on all the occasions I was addressed by my name throughout. Always a rather nice touch. At lunch I ate from the de jour menu. A choice from 5 starters, 5 main courses and 4 deserts. I asked how often the de jour menu was changes and was told it was changed twice a week. My maths suggests that is 520 starters, 520 main courses and 416 deserts throughout the year. Both the food and service was excellent.
Afternoon tea at Claridge’s is not a stuffy affair looking at the faces of those there most were obviously enjoying themselves and some were clearly having fun. I stumped for the non vegiterian sandwiches and there were 5 fillings I was asked if I wanted everything bringing to the table at once or did I want the items bringing as they were required. I plumped for the as required. I am not a tea drinker at all being a confirmed coffee drinker but thought I would have tea this time. I made that decision with some trepidation as I have found tea somewhat bitter for my taste. I discussed with the waitress and selected the gunpowder teas as being one my palate could cope with. The tea came and I went to pour it out and was advised to leave it a bit as she had only just poured the hot water into the pot, she looked in and said the leaves had not opened yet and suggested I leave it 3 or 4 minutes. When I got home I checked that advice on the Tea Council web site and that is exactly the time they suggest. The sandwiches were lovely the egg mayonnaise were the best I have ever tasted. Then came the scones with Marco Polo Jelly and a pot of clotted cream. I found the Marco Polo Jelly less sweet than jam and a much more refined taste to me but before that I was brought a glass of iced water so the taste of the sandwiches did not interfere with the taste of the things to come. Then there were the cakes. Refills were offered for everything. Throughout there was live music from a pianist and someone playing a violin. Afternoon Tea at Claridges is a substantial feed. From what I was told when I asked the do between 45,000 and 50,000 afternoon teas a year
For breakfast I chose the English one from the choice of 6 different types of breakfast. Mine consisted of pastries followed by bacon, sausage, mushrooms and fried eggs all done exactly how I asked them to be done. Coffee, orange juce and toast throughout. Another very substantial meal. I liked the rather dinky coffee pot jackets.
I looked for faults and could not find one at all so my thanks go to Glen, Dean, David, Sylvan, Angelica and Shamim. I hope the hotel management reads this and commends those members of their staff.
Advice engage with your waiter or waitress to enable them to provide the best of service to meet your individual wants.
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