Elegant comfort and smooth jazz filled the dining room, while crisp white and tiffany blue lined each table. Most seating arrangements included a perfectly set rectangular table surrounded by luxe couches; while some of the more coveted window spots were set up with vibrant velvet tiffany blue chairs and small round tables.
Once greeted with our reservation in view, my friend and I were guided to our afternoon tea residence. Window spots apparently book quite quickly, so it is advised to request that seating arrangement upon making your reservation before all of the hotel guests take them! Upon arriving to our table, I couldn't help but visualize it as a mini living room. The table was low to the ground as if it were a large coffee table, and the couch was perfectly aligned with the window as if to make sure we could people watch and have a comfortable discussion around the table like we were at home.
As we sat down, the maître d'hôtel mentioned that if we wanted more of something in terms of sandwiches, scones, etc. all we had to do was ask and they would provide it for us. Also, we were to try as much tea by the pot as we could handle! This was nice to hear as this was one of my favorite parts about my tea experience at Sketch London (article about that experience here.) The tea selection at The Westbury was much smaller than expected, however they were much more exotic as well which made up for the small quantity. I started with the "Granny's Garden" tea which is a vibrant pink tea created via a mix of fresh rhubarb, exotic fruits and vanilla. I tried a few other varieties after this one, however Granny's Garden was my favorite. My travel mate tried the whiskey flavored tea, and enjoyed that quite a bit. I felt it tasted almost like coffee, so I stuck with my Granny's Garden, since I drink coffee on the daily anyway!
Now although this experience is called afternoon "tea," it's the food I show up for. The Westbury supplied quite the artistic tower and exceeded my expectations in terms of creativity and design. The desserts were fashioned after the designs of famous millineries, including hats worn by LADY GAGA! The sandwiches were typical tea sandwiches including chicken salad, egg salad, ham and cheese (with tomato relish), etc. The inside portion of the sandwiches were delicious and the variety of bread options they were made with were delectable. Soft to the bite, and the perfect flavor pair to the "meat" of each sandwich. The scones left something to be desired however, due to their small "bite" size and rough texture. As mentioned earlier, the desserts were gorgeous and creative, however there was just not enough variety to fully please the palette. Delicious as they were individually, there were too many rich chocolate options which turned us away from being able to freely enjoy the other desserts- even after just one bite. My travel mate tried a tart dessert first before trying the chocolate ones, and then barely wanted to try the other tart one afterwards because of how rich they were.
In terms of service, the staff was very attentive and always on cue when you needed a tea refill. They would swoop right over and pour the tea through a dainty strainer straight from your fresh pot and into your glistening tea cup. There was a minor miscommunication however in terms of how the afternoon tea was coordinated. In the beginning of service, as mentioned earlier, the maître d'hôtel mentioned that if we wanted more of something in terms of food all we had to do was ask and they would provide it for us. The way he phrased it made it seem as though the Westbury experience was like Sketch where refills on almost everything was included in the set price. This was apparently not the case because we were almost charged another €94 when we asked for more food items. Since there was a miscommunication from the beginning, the manager decided to honor our request free of charge. Just beware though if you go, there will most likely be an extra charge for each tier of food you decide to get extra of!
All in all, this was a fun and elegant experience. The tea I tried here tasted better than the ones I tried at Sketch, however the food selection and overall experience here was slightly subpar compared to Sketch London. Would I go again though despite it not being as amazing as Sketch London? Yes, and I recommend you try it yourself as well!
Don't forget to book that window seat early though!
Link for more information: https://www.doylecollection.com/hotels/the-westbury-hotel/dining/afternoon-tea