Built in 1927 by developer Sir Bracewell Smith, the Sheraton Grand London Park Lane is one of the most opulent buildings in the capital. The hotel reopened in 2016 after a multi million pound refurbishment that took two years. Having attended the reopening night party, I was intrigued to go along and see how well this magnificent establishment had taken to its new fresh look.
Walking in through the Green park lobby, the hotel looked as pristine as I since the night of the reopening only change is that now it feels busier and intimate with beautiful well heeled guest everywhere and attentive staff on stand by to help with your every need.
The Palm court where I had booked a spot of jazz afternoon tea looks just as magnificent as it did on opening night with its Art Deco pillars, the walls adorned with Bronze and copper palm trees, snugly burnt orange sofas under a stained glass roof, gorgeous looking waiters in purple jackets with perma-smiles on their faces ready to wait on you hand and foot.
Paolo one of the restaurant supervisors who surprisingly remembered me from the hotel’s reopening night approached myself and y guest and directed us to our table right in the middle of the vast palatial palm court with the best view to watch to watch the evening’s festivities without obstraction.
The Palm court jazz afternoon tea which is running for 30 days at theSheraton Grand London Park Lane brings a new twist to the traditional afternoon tea. I have been to many grand establishments around the world for afternoon tea in my time and believe me sometimes the whole affair can drag on for hours with either impatient staff, dull ambiance, too many elderly people that you feel like you are sipping tea from a care home lounge.
The Palm court jazz afternoon tea is none of the above. There is no blaring music from a DJ or loud music to put you off your scone but there is soothing live music playing softly in the background to set the mood. From my seat I noticed a most of the guest where very well dressed middle aged couples and groups of friends all happily chatting and listening to the smooth live jazz.
A welcome glass of champagne was followed by Paolo informing us that hotel had over 25 different types of teas served to guests; we were spoilt for choice at this point however being the pro that he is Paolo stepped in to recommend one of the hotel’s most popular teas for me the ‘Zanzibar chai’ which is a tasty blend of Rwandan black tea, rooibos from South Africa’s Cederberg mountains completed with flavours of fennel seeds, pepper cloves. The aroma from my Zanzibar chai was so pleasant that it overpowered my guest’s peppermint tea.
Our light meals of the sinfully delicious spinach and crayfish omelette for myself and a scrumptious potted Scottish salmon with compressed cucumber and watercress where consumed in no time one would think we had been going without food for weeks.
The afternoon tea as is tradition comes with a selection of finger sandwiches, plain and sultans scones and a variety of pastries all beautifully presented.
The sandwiches included Cajun chicken with jalapeño mayonnaise, spicy sirloin of beef sandwich with bacon and onion chutney, free range egg, paprika sandwich, honey roast salmon with pickled cucumber sandwich as well as the crayfish Po boy sandwich with green tomato relish.
The plate of pastries had my favourite, the delicious coconut dacquoise with pinacolada Creme and tropical compote, a red velvet cake with orange butter, sable Breton with honey mousse and saffron Creme with blackberry gelee and my guest’s favourite the chocolate tart with basil lime ganache.
Sitting there in these magnificent surrounding it dawned on me that the whole afternoon tea affair regardless of where you are is just not about the food but also the place, the vibe, the service all of which we could and cannot criticise.
Would I recommend theSheraton Grand London Park Lane Palm court afternoon tea, yes I would and very highly so but hurry up to make a booking because as I have mentioned it will only last 30 days with only limited spots remaining.
Sheraton Grand London Park Lane
London, W1J 7BX