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Tuesday 8 June 2010

Afternoon Tea: TLSee at 12 Temple Place

The Swiss Hotel, The Howard in Temple doesn't look like much from the outside. That's not to say it's not rather posh - it is. But if you're expecting the old school glamour of The Ritz when you arrive, you'll have to wait until you get through the door.

Jane and I were invited to try the TLSee afternoon tea in their restaurant, 12 Temple Place. Luckily, it was warm enough to sit in the garden, which is very pretty. The fountain is lovely, and the fish jump out of their pond for your amusement.

The tea was lovely. I've been on a bit of a peppermint surge recently (especially since it's pretty warm out there) and it was refreshing without having an strange after taste. Jane went for an orange and cinnamon concoction. The tea menu is more extensive than jasmine and English breakfast. They gave us a little strawberry smoothie to kick off with too. But really, because we're greedy little madams, we were there for the food.

As much as I love afternoon tea, I wish you'd get more savoury stuff. The little sandwiches are often my favourite part, but you tend to only get a couple and then you're done. Luckily, they were yummy and packed full. And two types of scones! Hurrah! More clotted cream than you could ever need (not that that stopped us from trying to get through all of it).

The sweets were all lovely, and it was nice to have a bit of variation. Little baby macarons, chocolates mousses and Bakewells weren't your average afternoon tea treats. The macarons were far too sweet for me though. I tried spreading clotted cream on macarons, just to see what it was like. Not nearly as yummy as it sounds, which is a shame.

But, the best was yet to come...

This is why we were here. The TLSee London biscuits. Not just biscuits! That's a raspberry ganache filled chocolate Big Ben! And a marzipan St Pauls. The plate iced with the Thames is a nice touch too. Unfortunately, we couldn't eat all of these after the rest of the goodies, so instead the lovely waitress packed them up into little TLSee boxes for us. They made excellent breakfast snacks. You get these as part of the TLSee tea, but you can also order a couple with your traditional tea.

Service was excellent, the garden is pretty and we didn't feel like we needed to give them their table back (in fact, we stayed three hours having a good gossip over some bubbly). The garden is so very pretty, if you're in the area it's well worth popping in for a glass of wine in the sun. I really like it here, it's a really pleasant surprise. Nice to see someone doing something a bit different with their traditional offerings too. It's one of the best afternoon teas I've had in London.

Afternoon tea at 12 Temple place is £25, the TLSee Tea is £32 (ours was gratis thanks to the Swiss Hotel). Early birds eating between 11:00 and 13:30 can get the afternoon tea for £18 and the TLSee tea for £25. You'll find the hotel just over the road from Temple station.


  1. What a gorgeous-looking tea! I've had drinks at the Swiss before and really enjoyed it. There's also a lot of eyeing up the clientele as I'm reliably assured that this is where the barristers take their bits of fluff for afternoon affairs...

  2. are those prices 'per head' or per 'tea' shared between however many (2 -4)??

    friends please note - I think this is what I'd like to do for my special birthday at the end of the year :-)

  3. That's per person, but well worth the money - especially if you can get a 1pm booking.

    I think I'd recommend this tea over any other that I've been to in London, especially now Kat's told us to keep an eye on the clientele...

  4. Wow, those biccies look amazing!


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