As you descend the elegant staircase to the Thames Foyer of the Savoy you can’t help but notice an aura of restrained elegance and grandeur. Light floods in from the great glass cupola above you, and music played by the resident pianist drifts across the room. The tranquil ambience is complemented by the discreet but attentive service and guests may linger in the deep sofas and armchairs, or at their table, for as long as they like. The set tea of delicate finger sandwiches, plain and fruit scones served with clotted cream and strawberry preserve, bite-size French pastries, and a choice of The Savoy’s signature cakes is a delight. Don’t worry if you can’t finish everything – a doggy bag can easily be arranged! For those with a bigger appetite the Savoy High Tea is wonderful, for it combines elements of the traditional afternoon tea with more substantial food. Follow your sandwiches with toasted crumpets instead of scones, and enjoy smoked salmon and scrambled eggs served with melba toast before you indulge in a slice of cake – carrot with cream cheese icing, lemon and poppy seed or rich English fruit. Connoisseurs of tea will be spoilt for choice as the Savoy offers a distinctive collection of leaf teas. Besides their own special blend – a robust black tea blended from Indian, Kenyan and Sri Lankan leaves -there are three Savoy Favourites; Tiger Hill, Lapsang Souchon Butterfly and Fairmont Earl Grey. Add to these a choice of green teas, green flavoured teas, Oolong, Darjeeling – Margaret’s Hope and Castelton, a premium second flush tea – Assam and Ceylon teas, as well as black flavoured teas, decaffeinated teas, white tea and a selection of herbal and fruit infusions, you realize that tea is taken very seriously here. And before you leave, do pay a visit to the in-house shop, Savoy Tea, where you can purchase any of the teas in specially designed caddies, a copy of Anton Edelman’s book, Taking Tea at the Savoy, or even another pastry to take home. Pure extravagance.
The Savoy London Photo Gallery
Address: Strand, London WC2R 0EU
Tel: +44 20 7420 2669
Afternoon tea served: daily 2.30-6.30pm
Set teas: Traditional Afternoon Tea, Traditional High Tea
Nearest underground stations: Covent Garden, Embankment