A Very British Afternoon: Lunching in Covent Garden’s Whittard of Chelsea

Following the amazing Christmas event we attended in November that consisted of copious amounts of cake and unbelievable hot chocolate, we were kindly invited to head down to a Covent Garden, to try Whittard’s Afternoon Tea offerings in their very own tea bar. Of course, we jumped at the chance. Here’s how we got on. 

Although a busy day, heading to London for a spot of shopping and lunch in twelve hours is totally doable and when there’s the promise of a top notch afternoon tea involved, totally worth it as well. I’d heard great things about Whittard’s super quaint tea bar with all of the deliciousness of a traditional afternoon tea, with a few creative twists and turns to make it a little more up to date. Not only can you order tea or coffee, but there’s also the option to add Prosecco, or, better still, a flavoured hot chocolate. If you’re familiar with Whittard’s, then you’ll know that they have an abundance of amazing flavours of tea and hot chocolate, with blueberry cheesecake, peanut butter and chilli chocolate to name but a few. We were super excited to discover that any of these were available with our lunch.

Covent Garden is a busy yet enchanting place full of authenticity and character s well as some great places to shop, drink and eat. After a couple hours of shopping, we headed into the Covent Garden Market and down into the Whittard’s tea bar, which also doubles up as a shop where you can buy some of their beautiful products (as well as sample their tea and hot chocolate!). The tea bar is quaint, cute and cosy with bare brick and freshly made cakes on display, bench style seating and cushions. We were greeted with a warm hospitality, shown to our seats and handed the menu. There are three afternoon teas available at Whittard, all featuring cake but with slightly different savoury options. It was time for us to decide.

The selections available consist of the Grocer’s afternoon tea, designed for two people, including a range of freshly made sandwiches as well as homemade spinach and sausage rolls, pots of homemade relish and a vegetable tart. As well as savoury options, the Grocer involves a selection of four homemade cakes. Keen to try the sausage rolls as well as the sandwiches, this was our first choice. There were three of us dining and after a long trip to London were especially hungry so our waitress recommended also adding the Whittard Tea – the tea bar’s signature spread done the traditional way with a selection of cake, scones and sandwiches. Our waitress asked us to head up to the bar to pick our choice of cakes – which all looked ridiculously good. We went for the rose and pistachio brownie, a slice of carrot cake and a selection of petit fours which included a passion fruit tart, a chocolate mousse style brownie and a number of other sweet treats. We were ready for a feast.

Having spent a while in the Whittard shop before sitting down for lunch, we had already been treated to samples of a number of delicious flavoured hot chocolates, so we decided to sample the tea, ordering a Sencha Green (and a Cappuccino cos, coffee). The tea came the proper way, served in a beautiful china pot and accompanied by an egg timer – to ensure it’s brewed for just the right amount of time.

After enjoying the cosy, warm ambience that radiated from inside Whittard’s tea bar, our afternoon tea arrived, served beautifully on tiered stands. Both selections had sandwiches on the bottom, with the Grocer’s having sausage rolls and vegetable tart in the middle and petit fours on the top and the Whittard with two freshly baked scones in the middle, flavoured jam and fresh cream, with our brownie and carrot cake selection on the top. Perfect.

We chatted, sipped tea, and munched on sandwiches and cake until our hearts were content, with everything super fresh and flavoursome. Our sandwich selection combined traditional (cucumber, smoked salmon and cream cheese and egg and watercress) as well as a fruity coronation chicken. The homemade sausage and spinach rolls were also really delicious, with buttery, flaky pastry encasing a hearty, homemade, flavourful filling – which was dipped in sweet and tangy relish. Once we’d worked our way through the savoury selection, we slathered fruit scones in jam and double cream and savoured our delicious cakes – the stand out being our carrot cake slice – perfectly moist with a thick cream cheese topping – indulgence doesn’t even come close.

Suitably stuffed with the delicious delights of Whittard’s tea bar, we left after a delightful lunch to explore more of London for the remainder of the afternoon. Whether you want to pop in for a slice of cake and a coffee or have a special occasion and want the full afternoon tea experience, prosecco and all, we could not recommend the Whittard’s of Chelsea Tea Bar in Covent Garden enough, a real treat celebrating all things quintessentially British, and one you simply must experience on your trip to London. To make a reservation, simply head to the tea room’s website – because what is life without a spot of tea and cake?!

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