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“Afternoon Tea Disappointment”

The Goring Bar & Lounge
Ranked #637 of 24,831 Restaurants in London
Certificate of Excellence
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast, Outdoor Seating, Reservations
Neighborhood: Westminster
Reviewed June 16, 2018

Myself and friends recently visited for a birthday afternoon tea. We have all experienced afternoon tea at various London hotels and unanimously agreed this sadly was the worst. Firstly, the seating was so uncomfortable. We were seated at very big, squashy sofas which meant we had to perch on the end in order to be able to reach the table which got very uncomfortable after a while. The table was not large enough for the amount of teapots and crockery that comes with an afternoon tea so an extra table had been added at one end for the teapots. However the teapots were large and heavy and we constantly had to keep passing them down the table to the people at the other end who could not reach them. The teapots were made of metal and the handles got very hot and my friend picked one up and unfortunately dropped it due to the hot handle. Thankfully it was quite empty and it fell to the floor rather than on anyone. However our main issue related to the service. When we arrived a member of staff came over to welcome us and explained about the different options for tea and asked about dietary requirements. We explained and she went away. Five minutes later another staff member arrived and started explaining the same thing again. The food was nice but portions were quite small and so and one of our party asked if she could possibly have more sandwiches. Around 10 minutes later a large plate arrived with one sandwich in the middle. It looked absurd to say the least. Service was also extremely slow. It was difficult to get the attention of the staff who all seemed to huddle around the till at the entrance. We resorted to standing up and waving our arms in the air. The party at the next table joked that it would be quicker to ring the hotel and speak to the waiting staff on the phone. Overall it was an extremely disappointing afternoon, especially given the price and the fact that it was a special occasion. Sadly I would not recommend to anyone.

    • Service
1  Thank Ralph149
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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6 - 10 of 740 reviews

Reviewed June 9, 2018

Afternoon tea, at a top London hotel, is one of my favourite things. Beautiful surroundings, excellent service, a great selection of sandwiches, warm scones that melt in your mouth, patisserie that is just out of this world ......you know the sort of thing.
The Goring should do it so well. The lounge is without question one of the nicest tea venues in London. The decor and the furnishings are perfect. The menu arrived and the choice of teas was excellent. This was going to be a good afternoon.
But then the food arrived. 4 different sandwiches on sliced bread - albeit white, wholemeal etc. This is fine in a mid priced tea shop but this was costing around £65 a head. Other places offer different breads, maybe rolls or foccacia, or even mini quiches. These sandwiches were boring, standard fillings on ordinary breads. I noticed for the first time ever eating afternoon tea - no one asked for more.
We moved onto the scones - there were 3 of us but they brought 4 scones. Not when we were ready so they were warm and fresh, but same time as the bread so they were already cold. They were fine, though we had to order more so we each got two and they did bring more cream without us asking.
The patisserie - again they need to learn to count 5 cakes between 3. So immediately someone goes without something unless we re-order. But at this price I would expect a selection each, not a selection shared. I am used to 4 or 5 little pastries each.
The service was most odd - getting the bill at the end took 20 minutes. They did not offer to refresh the tea. The plates were not changed when they were covered in jam from the scones. This is just lack of attention to detail
And actually that was the issue. For this price every detail needs to be spot on and it simply wasn't.
It wasn't terrible but compared to other places it was simply not up to standard.

2  Thank Ken B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 9, 2018

The Bar is elegant and has a relaxing cosy feel. We had a cocktail here before going through for afternoon tea. This was delightful certainly at the top end for scoring.A fine afternoon tea with delightful goodies to work through! Service was excellent. The experience from start to finish was of the highest standard.

    • Value
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Lorraine C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 3, 2018

Chose this for a pre Hamilton dinner and decided to eat in the bar rather than the restaurant thinking it would be quicker...unfortunately that did not happen. I am not sure if the issue is not having dedicated bar wait staff or the bartender not paying attention. But the plan for a quick light dinner was not achieved. We were directed to a table and then we sat for 15 min before our drink orders were taken. Another 15 min before we got the drinks...we ordered food...bar food...and another lengthy wait plus part of my order was forgotten. The food itself was good but the whole experience took more than an hour and a half for 2 drinks each, cheese dip, salad and sandwich.

1  Thank Cdaae
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 1, 2018

Had a pre dinner cocktail
Just lovely
Super selection of nibbles
Wonderful service
Beautiful comfortable room

Thank David W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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