When we were invited to sample the afternoon tea in London at InterContinental O2, we were greeted – upon entrance to the Meridian Lounge (situated on the ground floor) – by a colourful sight of devilishly tempting cakes and macaroons.
Shown to our table towards the end of this spacious setting, we were seated in front of their large floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking River Thames and the ever-growing skyline of glass towers at Canary Wharf.
With the mid-afternoon sun pouring in, London’s unseasonably Autumn warmth was a welcome addition to this beautiful riverside view.
Glancing through the menu, it was clear we were in for an epic journey through the world of afternoon tea in London, all of which were crafted and curated by the East India Company for the InterContinental Hotel.
Experiencing London Afternoon Tea at InterContinental Hotel O2
To kick the afternoon off, we were presented with the Darjeeling Flush. It was a nice way to begin an afternoon tea experience; a scented, light and floral tea that eased us nicely into what was to come.
The food arrived at the table in a classic three-layer setting for afternoon teas, with traditional scones forming the bottom layer, followed by chocolates and cakes in the middle, and some more modern style creations taking their place at the very top.
As soon as the food landed, my hungry eyes were immediately drawn to one of the creations sitting directly in front of my eye line at the top. Referred to as the ‘clipper cake’, it was a cake that was shining bright red in colour and designed in the shape of a ship, with white chocolate used to craft the sail.
Definitely a uniquely designed piece representing the location of this hotel!
In addition to these sweet delights, we also had a selection of finger sandwiches that were described in ways that made our decision of where to start a more difficult one – light hay smoked chicken, gin smoked salmon and red radish on saffron bread.
The teas that accompanied our eating were all unique in their own ways and it was fascinating listening to the background of each of the tea leaves presented by the manager.
We were exposed to the wonders of the Tea Clipper Afternoon Blend (made exclusively for the hotel); Staunton Earl Grey (the highlight for me given the impact the Bergamot oils have in creating such a distinctive flavour); and, Bombay Chai, a full-body spiced tea packed with cinnamon and which complemented the sweetness of the dessert tray effortlessly.
The final tea we drank was the intriguingly named Intuition, a blend of rose petals, lime flower, lemon balm and lavender to balance all the teas that came before it.
A London afternoon tea experience here comes highly recommended, especially at the moment while it’s quieter than more popular establishments and ‘under the radar’. It’s a pleasantly relaxing detour from the big white tent known as the O2!
1 Waterview Dr, London SE10 0TW