Last week we sent our London tea gal Charlotte Vowden, to sample the delights of a designer afternoon tea at one of the city's most fashionable venues.
Tucked away on the second floor of Fenwick on Bond Street, chic restaurant and bar Bond & Brook offers a dainty afternoon tea that could tempt even the most dedicated of shoppers away from the West End stores.
Separated but not severed from the shop floor by glass divides, Bond & Brook has a sleek contemporary style with white walls, a polished marble floor and a dazzling pewter bar that acts as a divide between the bar/lounge area and formal dining space.
In keeping with its location among the designer labels of Fenwick’s ladieswear department, there’s a subtle fashion theme running throughout - from a library of fashion-related coffee table books and magazines to iced gingerbread biscuits shaped like shoes that are delivered on your tea stand. They’re details that don’t go unnoticed.
Served from 3pm, by which time the restaurant’s lunchtime rush has passed, afternoon tea is taken at tables dressed with crisp white cloths and delicate silver cutlery. The menus and napkin holders add a welcome injection of colour, ensuring that the minimal style doesn’t feel clinical. Large windows along one wall allow natural light to flood the space but on a dull day a variety of tall funky transparent lamps shed light on proceedings.
For such a modern setting the afternoon tea is surprisingly traditional. Edibles come out on a three-tiered stand and the ornate tea service is pure silver - the two-handled sugar pot is particularly darling. Tea is sipped from fine china cups, which the attentive staff are happy to keep topped up.
The selection of teas on offer is modest but all tastes are catered for and the Angel Peach is a summertime must. The choice of finger sandwiches, dressed with a salad garnish, includes classics such as Wiltshire Ham and English Mustard but a Devon crab and mayonnaise number features alongside cucumber and mint to provide something a little different.
Petite sultana scones come in twos and they’re adequately light and fluffy while the confections, sprinkled with glitter, are delicious and bite-sized - so taking your time to savour the treats and not eat them in one go is advised. The lavender shortbread with marshmallow and jam is best enjoyed if you let the chocolate it is encased within melt in your mouth.
Bond & Brook does not operate a dress code which makes it perfect for a spur of the moment afternoon tea fix, but it gets busy at the weekend so booking is recommended. The portion sizes make it a treat rather than a full-on indulgence, ideal for ladies who want to get back to the serious business of retail therapy post-tea.
The Bond & Brook afternoon tea is £18.50 per person and is served daily from 3pm. To make a reservation visit: https://www.fenwick.co.uk/bond-street/.
Charlotte Vowden is a travel & lifestyle journalist who is as happy in the mountains as she is sipping champagne and indulging on cake. Writing for The Sunday Times and other national publications keeps her busy but she’s always looking for her next adventure or afternoon tea destination.
DISCLAIMER: As is common in the catering and leisure industry, we were provided with complimentary services for review purposes. Whilst this has not influenced our review, we believe in the full disclosure of all potential conflicts of interest.