Millennium Mayfair High Tea and Borough Market
There’s something to be said about afternoon tea. Consider it one of the traditions of old that the British have held on to and still do quite well. There are literally hundreds of hotels in London that will serve you high tea, and we’ve sampled quite a few. But the service and quality of the food that we’ve experienced at the Millenium Mayfair hotel near the US Embassy is second to none.
Afternoon tea started back in the 1800’s when it was typical for most brits to eat two meals a day, a breakfast and a dinner around 8pm. Anna, the Duchess of Bedford said that she used to have a “sinking feeling” in her stomach in the mid afternoon so she requested to have a pot of tea and snacks to tide her over. Later she invited her friends to join her and a movement was started. Typical afternoon tea service, for the uninitiated, is a pot of tea, finger sandwiches, scones with jam and clotted cream, and desserts.
We stumbled across the Millennium Mayfair quite by accident, as we forgot to make reservations at one of the places we enjoyed in the past and needed to find a new place. We searched and found that the Millenium was close by and reasonably priced (at time of writing about $40) so we decided to give it a go.
The service was outstanding, the presentation was spectacular, and the quality of the food was amazing. Here’s what the spread looks like:
We were so impressed that we started to post on Instagram and twitter. Just a minute or so afterwards, we were greeted by the a man in a very large hat named Paul. He asked if we were the two gentlemen posting about their experiences, and he wanted to thank us. Turns out that he’s the head of food and beverage at the hotel, and wanted to talk to us all about the service! We exchanged information and kept in touch.
For our trip in June we knew that we were going to be delayed and arriving into LHR at 4pm, after factoring in travel time and luggage collection, the earliest that we would arrive into London for afternoon tea would be 5:30, 30 minutes after they stopped serving. Paul responded right away and asked us if we would like to confirm into a private room with views overlooking London. He said that he would make sure that we were well taken care of. Of course! We confirmed and arrived to our private afternoon tea on the 8th floor of the hotel with views (if it were a clearer day) overlooking London and downtown. Champagne was on ice and waiting for us and our friend. Talk about over the top service!
For our third trip to Europe over New Years 2016 I made sure to let Paul know that we would be arriving once again but this time we would have plenty of time and would like to dine in the dining room. Paul confirmed two days before and let us know that the Moet & Chandon would once again be awaiting us. This time, however, the staff was informed of our visit and we were given a special surprise.
We can absolutely recommend the Millennium Mayfair hotel and their afternoon tea for your next visit to London. Reservations are suggested, and you can do so by calling the hotel directly or read more information on their website here. For what it’s worth, my favorite tea is “The Mighty Assam” 🙂
The Borough Market
A short tube ride from the Millennium Mayfair hotel is the Borough Market, a must see when you’re in London. It’s one of the largest and oldest food markets in all of London. The market as we know it today was constructed in 1851 and carries a huge variety of local meats, cheeses, vegetables, fruits, artisan goods, bakeries and more.
The market does have limited hours, and is closed on Monday and Tuesday. Wednesday-Friday you’ll find it open from 10-5, and Saturday from 8-5. I’ll let some of the pictures speak for themselves. Get a paper towel ready because you’re about to start salivating.
You can easily access the Borough market via the London Bridge tube stop and please, come hungry. Make sure that any visit to London has these two stops on your itinerary and make it a part of your trip that you’ll never forget.