After an incredibly enriching morning, it was time to experience the first proper English Afternoon Tea of our Trafalgar trip. Honestly, this was the thing I was most excited about, as it is quite difficult to find good tea in my hometown and I am a huge fan of it. En route to the restaurant I admired the gorgeous architecture that we encountered along the way. I have always had a fascination with windows and doors. I suppose it is because I love to daydream about what is happening behind them. Are the people inside about to partake in an Afternoon Tea as well?
The restaurant in which we were visiting was located in The Chesterfield Mayfair. This hidden treasure is part of the Red Carnation Boutique Hotel Collection — an assortment of luxury properties that Trafalgar has a deep and personal connection with.
A member of the prestigious organization, The Tea Guild, The Chesterfield Mayfair is committed to only serving tea that is of the highest specifications according to the United Kingdom Tea Council. In fact, they have received an ‘Award of Excellence’ every year for the last three years in recognition of their superb quality of tea and standards of tea service. What sets them apart from the rest is that while they still pay respect to the longstanding ritual of Afternoon Tea, they do offer some exciting variations on the original as well. The menu consists of various teas with homemade cakes, scones, and pastries all prepared by Tom, the Chef Pâtissier. Our special guest during this unforgettable experience was Gavin Tollman, Trafalgar’s global CEO, who shared with us his own insider tips and favorite spots throughout Britain.
Some of us were not ready to end the day just yet and decided that we should visit another Red Carnation property, the Egerton House Hotel, for what we were told were simply the best martinis in London. I knew we had come to the perfect place, when Antonio, the infamous Italian barman, greeted us with a huge smile and said, “Would you like your martini dirty or filthy Signora?”
We chose a seat next to the fireplace and snacked on the best grilled cheese I have ever tasted. Antonio prepared his ice cold martinis in front of us to assure our satisfaction. He warned us, “Two is not enough and three is too many.“ It is because of him that James Bond always orders a “shaken not stirred” martini, since he first served to Ian Fleming, James Bond’s creator, at a bar before it became the libation of choice for the world’s most famous spy.
What better way to end my short time in London, than with delectable drinks served by “Mr Martini”? Antonio pours more than forty years of experience and charm into every single glass.