The Midland Hotel has been serving its renowned afternoon tea since it first opened its doors in 1903.
Now it has created a beautifully designed, contemporary and superbly positioned room where you can enjoy its refined sandwiches and delightful pastries, alongside an extensive range of bespoke loose-leaf teas – including exclusive Midland blends.
We went along to the official opening – well, National Tea Day is being celebrated this week so it would have been rude not to – to be greeted on arrival with a glass of champagne and entertainment in the form of a classical harpist. A very grand way to start.
The newly refurbished Wyvern Room overlooking St Peter’s Square is contemporary and tastefully opulent, with muted beiges, creams, violets, and greens, luxurious soft furnishings and the pre-requisite white linen. It’s a perfect place to enjoy a traditional afternoon tea.
As with Adam Reid at The French, there’s an exclusive chef’s counter where you can see your food being prepared. Interaction and theatre are clearly the in thing at the moment.
Perfectly uniformed waiting staff complete the picture.
The new afternoon tea menu has introduced creative delicacies unique to The Midland, putting a modern twist on traditional fare and using the highest quality ingredients. There are more than ten blends of tea to choose from, served in the finest bone china.
We ate buffet-style on our visit, helping ourselves from the chef’s counter, popping back for regular top-ups, the treats are that tasty. Prawn and crayfish Rockefeller on spinach bread was a notch up from your usual prawn sarnie, and English cucumber with Hendrick’s gin and apple compote on dark malt bread a thoroughly refreshing adult finger.
Tradition is maintained with the freshly-baked scones which are excellent, served with Mrs Darlington’s jams and clotted cream. There’s also an indulgent new selection of pastries including Valrhona Guanaja chocolate torte with feuilletine and gold leaf, and a roasted pecan tart with maple syrup jelly and caramel mousse, wonderfully showcasing what The Midland’s pastry chefs are capable of.
This is the latest in a number of developments at The Midland. Adam Reid took over at The French – which has also had a full refurb – and there are plans to turn the Octagon Bar (in the lobby where afternoon tea used to be served) into a new cocktail and champagne bar.
Afternoon tea at The Midland is served daily between 1pm and 4.30pm and costs £25 per person. The Royal Afternoon Tea – which includes a glass of champagne – is £32 per person. You don’t have to be royalty to enjoy it. But you will probably feel like royalty by the time you’ve finished.
Bookings for The Tea Room can be made online at www.tearoomatthemidland.co.uk