Last week I met up with Fiona for afternoon tea at The Rosebery inside the Mandarin Oriental in Knightsbridge. I’d been to the hotel a few times, either to Bar Boulud, the Mandarin Bar or their spa. But this was the first time I had visited The Rosebery itself.

Afternoon Tea at The Rosebery, Mandarin Oriental

When you enter the hotel, its dark rich interior doesn’t prepare you for the spectacular light and modern design of The Rosebery. Afternoon Tea at The Rosebery, Mandarin Oriental

From the corridor, the lights were the first to impact on me and walking inside I was struck by the huge sense of space. The tall windows and the unfussy furniture gives The Rosebery’s rooms a sense of comfort and style to relax in.Afternoon Tea at The Rosebery, Mandarin Oriental

Fiona and I were, in our general fashion, the first to arrive. This makes it great for us to take photos and to soak up the feeling of the place before it fills up, which The Rosebery did. By the time we left, there were friends, families and men in suits enjoying afternoon tea or some other wonderful treat from The Rosebery’s menu.Afternoon Tea at The Rosebery, Mandarin Oriental

As for Fiona and I, we were here for the afternoon tea which we both thoroughly enjoyed. Afternoon tea is served with a glass of Ruinart Blanc de Blancs. Or you could have either a glass of Ruinart Rosé or Krug Grande Cuvée if you prefer.

Afternoon Tea at The Rosebery, Mandarin Oriental

The selection of homemade pastries included an amber pyramid with floral essence, a meringue basket with berry cremeux, lilac macaron with chocolate ganache and violet petals, choux éclair with mint and coconut filling, and a white chocolate dome with jasmine.

Afternoon Tea at The Rosebery, Mandarin Oriental

The sandwiches were a real delight too. The bread was wonderfully light and the fillings so delicate yet tasty. I hadn’t had any lunch by the time I arrived so I enjoyed two servings of sandwiches which I had no problem doing so. These sandwiches were testament to how difficult it is to get it completely right. Sandwiches are a staple, they’re everywhere, so just like coffee it’s easy to just consume something for the sake of it. But when you do come across some that are this good, it really feels like a treat.

The fillings on this plate included slow roasted organic chicken and buttered corn, smoked salmon tartar with crème fraîche and dill, Cotswold egg and mustard cress, cucumber and cream cheese, Portland crab and crayfish fondue on brioche and Wiltshire cured ham and heritage tomatoes. A great selection.

Afternoon Tea at The Rosebery, Mandarin Oriental

And as much as the food is good here, I also enjoyed the fine details of The Rosebery. This amber apple that hangs off the stand on which the afternoon tea plates sit … Afternoon Tea at The Rosebery, Mandarin Oriental

… as well as the beautiful designs on the crockery that arrived on the table.
Afternoon Tea at The Rosebery, Mandarin Oriental

But most of all, I enjoyed the madeleines on this plate which were easily the best I’ve ever had. So wonderfully moist and flavoursome, it feels difficult to go back to the run-of-the-mill.Afternoon Tea at The Rosebery, Mandarin Oriental

As for the scones, I’m not a huge expert on scones but I know good scones are hard to find. These were balanced in their texture and moistness. And they were very easy to enjoy.Afternoon Tea at The Rosebery, Mandarin Oriental

The tea I chose was an apricot white tea, which was divine both in taste and aroma.

Afternoon Tea at The Rosebery, Mandarin Oriental

I also sneaked in a soya flat white which complimented my macaron very well. Afternoon Tea at The Rosebery, Mandarin Oriental

When it comes to afternoon tea the experience is made up of the setting as well as the food and drink. And when it comes to The Rosebery, I think they excel in both in spades. I wholly recommend a visit.Afternoon Tea at The Rosebery, Mandarin OrientalFiona and I were treated to complimentary afternoon tea for the purpose of this review and I would happily return as a customer.

The Rosebery, Mandarin Oriental, 66 Knightsbridge, London SW1X 7L.

Chelsea Girl