So a million years after everyone else, I finally turned 21 last week! I was really rather excited for this birthday because I was going for afternoon tea and to the theatre to see Wicked with my mum, which I’ve wanted to do for so long! I was still living in London, so woke up to some lovely presents and felt very loved, lucky, and slightly sick from all the chocolate and fudge I’d eaten by 10am :P After a bit of a wander in Ruskin Park, we returned home and I was surprised with Wiggles the Caterpillar Cake! I don’t think I’ve eaten one for many years and it was definitely the best cake to celebrate my 21st with ;)
In the afternoon, I met up with my mum and we headed to the Sheraton Park Lane hotel for our afternoon tea at 3pm!
We were greeted immediately and shown to our table. From the pictures online I was expecting the Palm Court to be a lot bigger, not just a few tables on each side with a walkway down the middle! It was also a bit distracting since the hotel’s guests kept walking behind me to get to another part of the hotel. But there was a lovely harpist who played throughout our tea, which heightened the experience!
There were five tables taking afternoon tea and we were given our menus by a friendly waiter who returned shortly with a complimentary glass of champagne each to celebrate my graduation! No idea how they found out about me graduating, but that’s probably the power of the internet and it being plastered all over my Twitter! Nonetheless, it was a lovely and unexpected touch :)
As I don’t drink tea, I was able to order a hot chocolate instead, whilst my mum had English Breakfast Tea (how exciting I know… ;) ). Our sandwiches were all pre-made and waiting to be served as they came out very speedily. The food wasn’t served on a tier like other afternoon teas as everything came out separately. I didn’t really mind to be honest as it’s the same food however it comes out! Our sandwiches consisted of:
- Roast beef, wild rocket, and wasabi mayonnaise on white bread
– Roasted Scottish salmon, dill, and lemon on basil bread
– Free range egg, creme fraiche, and mixed sakura cress on carrot bread
– Salt and pepper corn-fed chicken, celery, and mustard mayonnaise on a mini
– Cream cheese and chive, cucumber, baby watercress on granary bread
They were all quite tasty but nothing really stood out that much. We had one of each and were offered another plate to share between us, which we quickly accepted! At this point, we noticed that we still hadn’t received our drinks and saw that a lot of other tables were still waiting on their tea too. It’s a bit silly calling it afternoon tea when there isn’t actually any tea being served with it ;)
Our plates were then cleared and we were presented with four scones (two plain and two raisin) which were wrapped in a cloth to keep them warm, although ours came cold which was a bit of a shame (but was probably because I’d been talking so much that they’d cooled down :P ). There was clotted cream and a selection of preserves which included rhubarb jam, gooseberry jam, and some lemony cream thing. The scones were smaller than I was expecting, but that was probably a good thing since at this point I was definitely feeling slightly sick from all the food I’d eaten so far! Our tea and hot chocolate also arrived whilst we were having our scones and the waiters poured them out for us which was a nice touch.
After we had finished our scones, we were shown a selection of five different pastries and could either choose two each or one of each to share between the two of us. My mum has never really had much of a sweet tooth and said that I could choose and eat most of them, so I went for one of each!
I can’t remember what exactly each of them were but I started off with a pistachio tasting pastry which wasn’t that amazing and tasted a bit like jelly or set custard.
The chocolate cake was next, which was probably my least favourite since it was really dark chocolate and I’ve never been a fan. It was also very rich!
I then had something fruity in a small glass. Unfortunately, I haven’t got a clue what it was!
The mini fruit tart was next and it was decorated with lots of nice looking fruits :)
I think I saved the best until last since the raspberry cake was light and very tasty!
The lights suddenly dimmed and I noticed that the harpist was playing Happy Birthday. I turned round and saw a waitress approaching with a tart topped with a candle :) It was all rather embarrassing but nice!
There was meant to be a second afternoon tea sitting at 4:30, but it was already nearing 5pm and there weren’t really any new guests, so we weren’t rushed in the slightest :) We had used Avios vouchers so didn’t have to pay a thing! All the waiters and waitresses were lovely and friendly and I even received a Tweet from the hotel hoping that I was enjoying myself :P The only bad things would be that the tea could have been served more promptly and that it was a bit strange having other hotel guests walking past me all the time, but I still enjoyed myself :D
After leaving the hotel completely stuffed, we were in need of a bit of a wander and rest! We headed to Green Park and chilled out for a while since Wicked didn’t start until 7:30.
I’d never been to the theatre before so I really wanted to go to see whether I would enjoy it. I also managed to tick off another thing on my Things To Do Before I’m 30! When we got to the Apollo Theatre it was very busy and we were sitting in seats M 16 and 17. I hadn’t realised that we would be so close to the stage! I was sat in the aisle so had a completely unrestricted view of the whole stage which was amazing! My mum didn’t fare quite so well since the man in front of me kept leaning over and talking to his wife the whole time! When Wicked started with a big song and dance, I was a bit unsure whether I’d actually like it, but literally within a minute, the whole stage was lit up and I was mesmerised by it all! Wicked was absolutely amazing and I was truly sucked into the story. Now I’ll have to decide which theatre production I want to see next!!