One day I would love to get properly dressed up with the babes for a posh afternoon tea at Claridges, or somewhere equally fancy. Although it’s a treat to enjoy this very British tradition in a less buttoned up environment, where you don’t have to worry about sticky fingers and spillages.
Reform Social & Grill Afternoon Tea at the Mandeville Hotel in Mayfair strikes a wonderful balance between upper crust space and kid friendly vibe. The decor is inspired by gentleman’s clubs with dark red leather banquettes, eccentric wall art and intimate lighting. We were invited to review their afternoon tea including the recently launched Mini Afternoon Tea, designed for smaller (and fussier) appetites.
Things got off to an excellent start when, as soon as my bum hit the seat, I was offered a glass of bubbly. The grown-up tea comes with a free-flowing champagne option. I repeat. Free flowing champagne.
By my second glass —- topped up towards the dessert end of my meal —- I was in such a great mood, it hardly bothered me that my 6-year-old had managed to knock his pot of tea over the table and himself. Twice.
Luckily, there were no injuries and the waiters dealt with the mess quickly and cheerfully. The service was personable throughout and the staff are clearly used to accommodating little diners.
A special nod goes to the tea itself — with 8 different flavours to choose from I went for the Reform Blend, a rich and fragrant black tea that Ezra described as ‘very nice tea, Mum’.
There are two set menus: Vintage Afternoon Tea and Gentleman’s Afternoon Tea and I opted for the latter. I wasn’t too sure about the savoury selection on the Gentleman’s Afternoon Tea, as it’s not what I would have typically ordered (Steak and Snail sandwiches!), but it was delicious.
I could have gone for seconds of the fish finger and mushy peas, and I wolfed down my After 8 meringue chocolate. Of course, nothing says afternoon tea like scones with jam and clotted cream.
The Mini Afternoon Tea arrived in two cute lunch boxes filled with sweet treats: jammy dodger, jelly and custard pot, fruit and chocolate chip scone, chocolate marshmallow lollipop.
It also came with a side platter of fish finger, BBQ chicken slider and peanut butter and jam sandwiches, and a gingerbread man dipper for their strawberry milk shakes. It’s a thoughtfully put together menu and should appeal to most kids, although oddly my boys abandoned the gingerbread man and milk shake. They had blissful looks and murmurs over the rest of it though!
Babes about Town heartily recommends the Reform Social & Grill Afternoon Tea for adults and kids as it’s quirky, quite yummy, and within strolling distance of some of our favourite department stores. The restaurant has a warm, cosy feel and would make an ideal place to take a break from Christmas shopping. In fact I could barely peel my eldest off their sofas before we left… but that’s a story for another post!
Reform Social & Grill is at Mandeville Place, London W1U 2BE (Oxford Circus tube). Mini Afternoon Tea from £12.50. Great British Afternoon Tea (Vintage or Gentleman’s editions) from £26.50. Open daily: 3pm-5.30pm (Mon-Fri), 12.30-5pm (Sat), 12pm-5.30pm (Sun)