Senior Journalist Sabi Phagura, heads to the Mandeville Hotel in the fashionable Marylebone area of London to sample the Great British Gentleman’s afternoon tea at the Reform Social and Grill
Afternoon tea is great at any time of the year, but as the days get colder you may not want to tuck into cold sandwiches on a platter. And if like me, you want something more hearty and stodgy to fill the gap on a dreary London afternoon, then the Great British Gentleman’s afternoon tea at the Reform Social and Grill is for you.
Housed within The Mandeville Hotel in the fashionable Marylebone village, the Reform Social and Grill was inspired by classic British gentlemen’s clubs. The interior comprising of dark wood panelling, rich upholstery, plush leather chairs and dim lighting resembles every inch of a gentlemen’s club in the 18th or 19th century. But as a woman about to dine here, I did not feel out of place. Instead I took up residency in the tufted sofa for the next three hours for the Gentleman’s afternoon tea.
Like the venue, the Gentlemen’s afternoon tea, which is offered alongside the traditional tea, is geared towards the English gent. The clue is clearly in the masculine name. But our host assures us that this tea is equally as popular with women. With this in mind and a quick glance at the menu, I was sold. A hearty mix of British sausage roll, steak and snail sandwiches and fishfingers and mushy peas to start followed lemon pound cake, apple turnover, individual treacle tarts, jam roly poly, and of course the classic scone with clotted cream and jam. The menu is inspired by the 1940s era.
With the restaurant’s chilled out atmosphere, my guest and I relaxed for a full three hours working our way through the savoury wooden tray food and the gorgeous three tier piled of sweet goodies. The free-flowing champagne we had chose to wash down all the food was indeed generously free flowing. No sooner had we taken a few sips that the glass would be filled by our host. A childhood favourite, the posh version of fishfingers and mushy peas, won hands down in my opinion, and the scone with lashings of cream just melted in the mouth.
Head Chef Sergio Neale takes pride in sourcing ingredients from around the British Isles to make this experience authentic. The proof is in the taste and the helpful staff go out of their way so you have a good time. The Gentleman’s afternoon tea at the Mandeville Hotel’s Reform Social & Grill is a great location for the man about town who wishes to entertain guests, but you don’t have to be a gentleman to enjoy it. It’s just as good for a lady.
For more information on any of the afternoon teas or the Mandeville Hotel, visit www.mandeville.co.uk
By Sabi Phagura