one of the brilliant things about running a blog named couture and crumpets is the ability to explore the worlds of both fashion and food. i really don't think there's a whole lot in life better than shoes and cake, and if you have anything that is, i'd like to see it. my afternoon tea diaries series had to give way to the swirling vortex of doom that is london fashion week, but now that things have calmed down on the fashion front, i though it was high time to dive into a little high tea. me and my lovely flatmate suzy headed down to the historic browns hotel on albemarle street in mayfair (did you know the first ever telephone call was made at browns, right from their reception?) to soak up the atmosphere. for me, afternoon tea is not an everyday thing and it doesn't have an everyday price: but when you get treated so well, and have such incredible tea, you can definitely justify the experience. the tea rooms themselves were gorgeous (think pianist playing softly, huge carved armchairs, idyllic view of mayfair) and the service is brilliant, too. everyone seems to have a smile on their face, and in london, that can be really hard to find.
browns have about a hundred and one teas (okay, seventeen) to choose from (i went for earl grey. old school.) and you can also have a glass or two of champagne with your tea. the food itself is a selection of yummy, delicate finger sandwiches, perfectly glazed fruit and plain scones, a selection of chocolatey pastries and there's cake doing the rounds too. browns have really hit the nail on the head with their afternoon tea: by keeping it so quintessentially british, there's no decadence or over-the-top theatrics. browns really know their customer, and what you're after: you're treated incredibly well, and the food really is something special. i think it'd make a brilliant gift: it's an experience, rather than a material thing, and you get to share it! afternoon tea, in a beautiful location, with amazing tea and cakes. what's not to love? a massive, massive thank you to the wonderful people at browns for accommodating myself and suzy.