Last December I was invited by LUCA by LUCHFORD APM to sample Radio’s new look and winter menu, and two weeks ago they asked me back again to experience the hotel’s afternoon tea and BRITs exhibition.
Upon arrival we were shown in the direction of Marconi Lounge and were seated in the deepest, comfiest chairs in front of what I can only describe as a tiny indoor fire pit. With two glasses of champagne in hand our tea order was taken and a short while later the afternoon tea arrived on two separate stands (which I love as it prevents sharing). Before we could dig in though the very polite and accommodating waitress explained what the tea consisted of then we were off.
The sandwiches were creative and flavoursome with unique tastes, and were delivered on a variety of soft fresh bread. The egg mayonnaise and beef options were my favourite and once we wolfed through them we were kindly offered another set which we took with open arms (and mouths).
Afternoon tea can sometimes be fairly standard and unoriginal but at ME London thought has been put into everything and sandwiches such as cucumber and cream cheese became cucumber and tzatziki, and in addition to the white and brown bread we also got a rye option.
The same goes for the cakes and one of them, jasmine mousse with chocolate Sacher, was based on the Original Sacher Torte I coincidentally had the previous week in Vienna at Hotel Sacher. Excellent work. The lychee tart had a really exotic flavour and it’s not something that many afternoon teas incorporate into their offering although I’m glad they did as it brought me back to my months in Malaysia where I first discovered such exotic and refreshing fruits. I loved the simple touch of the personalised cakes with ME London branded chocolate which shows the thought that went into creating the afternoon tea.
The scones were really light and not the usual dense carb overload they sometimes can be, and when slathered in Wilkin & Sons strawberry jam and clotted cream they were beyond heavenly. You could immediately taste the difference between the average scone and these somewhat lighter offerings.
Dining at the same time as us was a group of women celebrating a birthday and it dawned on me that having afternoon tea at ME London in Marconi Lounge would be the perfect way to celebrate Mother’s Day, an engagement, or indeed a birthday. The service, food, and atmosphere were all really enjoyable and stress free, and what you’d hope for from a new, modern hotel. The only thing I would say is that the corridor behind where we were sitting leading to the lifts was quite busy and therefore at times noisy, although I imagine that was to do with the hoards of people wanting to go to Radio on a hot day. I did love the mini fire pit though so if I had the choice I’d sit there again.
After we could force not a crumb more of scone or cake down, we headed off to see the BRITs exhibition which the hotel was hosting. In the corridor running parallel to Marconi Lounge were huge photos of BRIT performers and winners throughout the years taken by John Marshall, the official BRITs backstage and live photographer since 1992. Photos of Cher, Michael Jackson, Amy Winehouse, and Justin and Kylie (to name a few) lined the walls while down in the atrium stood a giant BRIT Award designed by Philip Treacy engulfed on all sides by one of the coolest things I’ve seen in a hotel; huge projections of jellyfish swimming up the walls. It was spectacular to behold and probably my favourite example of art and hotels combining forces.
This hotel is sleek, modern and adaptable, and will never be the type to be behind the times or dated. I’ve had quite a few afternoon teas and I’ve loved them all, but ME London offered the most creative food without being themed and the biggest range of flavours. Definitely worth giving it a go if you’re looking for somewhere special to celebrate or just want somewhere new to catch up with friends while experiencing classic afternoon tea with a twist.
Traditional afternoon tea is £29 and with a glass of champagne it’s £35.
(I was a guest of ME London)