As I mentioned in my last post, Emerald Street are re-running their 2-for-1 afternoon tea offer, in partnership with a number of London hotels. I treated my brother last Saturday, as we never do anything together and I love spending time with him – and he chose The Terrace at the Amba Hotel, Charing Cross. It’s right next to the tube station and about 100 yards from Embankment on the Circle Line, so we went there and walked down.
The main entrance is the hotel foyer, so you’re met by the receptionists and concierge. The Terrace restaurant is on the second floor and we had to make our own way up – luckily it was well signed and we were met at the entrance by a waitress who took our coats and showed us to the table. Luckily we were on the ‘terrace’ as opposed to the main dining room which was so light and airy – and the windows provided great views. The architecture was so pretty too, think chandeliers, marble pillars and ornate ceilings. The china was also gorgeous and I wanted to take it home with me – everything matched, in bright floral print.
We booked the sparkling afternoon tea so began with a glass of sparkling wine, while we perused the five page tea menu. Robert decided on Persian Pomegranate, a richly fruity tea, while I opted for the more delicate White tea with ginger and pear – delicate, but refreshing.
One our tea was served, we had a five minute wait before the cake stand was presented to the table – although I’d already had a look around to see what kind of treats we would be expecting. Unlike last week, everything came at once.
We had three kinds of sandwich – egg mayo & cucumber on white, ham & tomato chutney on white and double cheese & pickle on wholemeal – and a salmon & cream cheese roll, which was in a giant brioche bun. That was definitely my favourite and Rob’s too – the soft bun was just so lovely.
We had two fruit scones each, served with clotted cream and strawberry jam. The jam was a bit too runny for my liking but the cream was really thick and the scones were amazing. The outsides were so crunchy, but once I’d sliced them in half, the middles were warm and soft. Luckily they weren’t too filling, so I still had room for the cakes on the top tier. We weren’t talked through the variety of cakes but we had a cherry & almond friande (slice), a white chocolate & raspberry layered sponge slice and a chocolate layered sponge slice. Aesthetically, the cakes looked lush – and they tasted just as good. I struggled to finish them as the chocolate one was quite rich, with a thick layer of ganache topping.
The service was good throughout, although it took a while to get the bill. I do like that the staff are never obtrusive, or keen to get rid of you, as is the case with so many restaurants these days. Everything was just so relaxed and it was perfect location to enjoy a lovely, civilised afternoon.