By Annette Kellow
As featured at The Lady Magazine
We all know food fads come and go but there is one quintessentially English past time that has always been a firm favourite of the nation- The indulgence of afternoon tea! In celebration of National Afternoon Tea Week I ventured down to The London Silver Vaults for a special silverware tour followed by a sumptuous afternoon tea at The Savoy.
The Silver Vaults is officially London’s best kept secret and is home to the largest retail collection of fine antique and contemporary silver in the world since 1876 – My eyes quite literally popped out of my head on seeing the most exquisite and rare silver items which all pass a very strict test to gain their place in The Vaults. Many of the families that run the exclusive luxury stores have been there for decades and it is often a family trade that is passed through generations. Some items were dating back hundreds of years and I particularly loved the vintage silver brush sets, mirrors and makeup holders whilst they are home to the biggest collection of silver animals in the world! The Vaults remain a true hidden gem; and it is not surprising that it is well-loved by international royalty, film stars and discerning shoppers seeking the world’s finest silver. These include The Earl of Snowdon, Anthony Hopkins, Gregory Peck and Twiggy. Not to mention all the silver props for Downton Abbey and Pirates of The Caribbean, which were loaned from The Vaults. I particularly love how secret the establishment is, set in a side street near Holborn whilst there are huge doors and a mastermind of corridors all leading to lovely stores of the finest silverware.
Next we were whisked off to The Savoy Hotel– known as the first luxury hotel in Britain of which they serve a classic afternoon tea- as English as you can get!
If you are not familiar with The Savoy it is London’s leading hotel in finery- from the grand fountain that welcomes you to the beautiful flower displays and opulent furnishings inside, you really feel you are experiencing the epitome of luxury. On entering the Thames Foyer you are greeted with a magnificent glass domed atrium at the heart of The Savoy: an enchanting space that radiates natural light and sociable warmth.
Our afternoon tea started with a vintage tea display direct from the London Silver Vaults and a glass of their best champagne. Their tea list is quite extensive but they have a knowledgeable waiter on hand to recommend the best for your pallet whilst the display of sandwiches that they brought out were so well arranged they looked almost (I did say almost!) too good to eat.
As we were serenaded by a live pianist the cakes arrived set in beautiful bone china tiers. Imagine scones, jam, cream, cakes, macarons and miniature pastries all laid out for you to take your pick- it was definitely time to forget the waistline and indulge!
The ambience of The Savoy is enough to make you feel you are indeed starring in a 1940s vintage film whilst the selection of food is so Instagram worthy you will enjoy capturing every delicious moment. Tea, cake and of course, a dash of champagne is the perfect addition to enjoy any afternoon with relaxation- and I can’t think of a better way to celebrate National Afternoon Tea Week.
The ‘Tea Triangle Experience’ has been created to celebrate the city’s rich silver and tea heritage and includes a tour at tea devotee, Dr Johnsons House, The London Silver Vaults and an afternoon tea at The Savoy.
To book, email The London Silver Vaults quoting ‘tea triangle’ (email@example.com). Entry to The Vaults and Dr Johnson’s House is free, but there is a cost attached to the tea at The Savoy – afternoon tea menu starts at £65 per person.