The Knightsbridge Lounge can be discovered in the centre of Belgravia, a short walk from Knightsbridge Underground Station. The lounge itself comprises many comfortable high-backed armchairs, and soft couches. Each table is set far enough apart from the ones around it to get a sense of privacy within your group – something that is so often not the case.
An impressive 18-foot teardrop chandelier cascades from the ceiling into the centre of the room, providing the space with a bright and airy feel. The lounge is adorned with tree motifs, which creates a calm and beautiful setting that feels as though you could be 100 miles away from busy central London – a perfect haven after a busy day shopping or touring the city. However, should guests wish to enjoy their afternoon tea in the bar area, this is also possible. Glasses of champagne were brought to our table as we perused the menu. The staff were very friendly and helpful, and our requests were met promptly using a service bell allowing us to call at our own convenience. Recommendations were both helpful and readily available with regards to the food and drinks options.
The Knightsbridge Lounge offers an extensive range of loose teas to tantalize your taste buds. For those that like home comforts, the traditional English breakfast tea has made the list. If you are feeling a little more adventurous then travel back in time to the true origins of tea and take your pick from the Oriental tea collection. The Knightsbridge Lounge doesn’t just stop here but suggests a Tisane range, which compromises an array of herbal and fruit infusions. If none of the above are your cup of tea then fear not, indulge in a hot chocolate by Rococo Chocolates with 8 different luxury beverages, you are sure to find one or 3 that take your fancy!
Head Chef, Gaurav Puri, has created a sandwich menu which offers an innovative twist on some of the classic flavours of an afternoon tea. The breads, which include brioche, white finger rolls, and black rye-bread, are baked on-site and feature delicious additions such as walnut and basil.
Fillings include roast chicken (with celery, pickled walnuts, watercress, and apples), Scottish smoked salmon (with seaweed and yuzu mayonnaise), pastrami (with pea and asparagus), cream cheese (with cucumber and sun-dried tomato pesto), and duck egg served with cress. As evidenced by these flavour combinations, this afternoon tea challenges the everyday conceptions of what a ‘British’ sandwich may comprise of, and in doing so, creates a unique experience for visitors. It is clear from both the presentation and the quality of these fine sandwiches that a great deal of thought has been put into the ways in which the varying textures and palates complement one another. Aside from the delightful flavours, one of my favourite aspects of the sandwich course is how generous the portion sizes are. As somebody who greatly enjoys savoury food in a lead-up to indulging in sweet treats, it was refreshing to find that the sandwiches were just as filling as they were beautiful to look at. This, combined with a welcome break from the classic cucumber sandwich that so often frequents British afternoon tea, made for an impressive and memorable start to our dining experience.
One of the most important and iconic aspects of any afternoon tea is the scones – and the Knightsbridge Lounge did not disappoint with regards to this. We were presented with an assortment of butter milk scones, some plain and some packed with cranberries. These were, of course, accompanied by Devon clotted cream, alongside a homemade British strawberry jam and a more unique (but all-the-same delicious) chestnut marmalade.
In addition, fragrance-expert Rachel Vosper, a leading British candle maker, has inspired a range of top-tier cakes and pastries. Alongside the cakes, samples of candle wax were placed on our table which corresponded to each of the flavours encompassed within the pastries.
Rachel Vosper encapsulates scents from each bottled fragrance, giving customers a unique afternoon tea experience inhabiting all your senses. Colourful and immaculately presented, we enjoyed a pink rose panna cotta with soft jelly centre and fresh raspberries, a white chocolate mousse with orange blossom honey and a caramelised orange tuile, a minted chocolate cream pastry with vanilla sponge, lime-crusted base and gold leaf, a roasted cinnamon éclair with freshly whipped cream and confit chestnuts, and a custard made with lemongrass, sponge cubes, pineapple dice, strawberry compote and organic jasmine tea jelly. Scents of rose, orange blossom, mint, cinnamon, and lemongrass from the candlewax enhanced these flavours, and to incorporate so directly our sense of smell alongside our sense of taste really did give this afternoon tea something extra special.
If you are looking to enjoy a high-end afternoon tea, particularly as a welcome break from a busy day spent in the capital or to celebrate a special event, then the Knightsbridge Lounge provides a delicious and memorable experience. Delectable, filling, and thoroughly Instagrammable, this is an afternoon tea with a difference. Highlights include the generously filled fine sandwiches, the perfectly carried out combination of scones, jam and cream, and the incorporation of scents into the top tier. In all, this venue should absolutely be on the list of any afternoon tea enthusiast.
Afternoon Tea at the Knightsbridge Lounge
101 Knightsbridge, London, SW1X 7RN