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Afternoon tea takes place at The Orchard Lounge, filled with floral decorations, a relaxed ambiance and tables far apart to give you that VIP feeling. The glass roof floods the space with natural light and makes it feel even more airy. This is where the clocks slow down, allowing all your worries and heavy thoughts to fade away, because there should always be time for tea, and not just tea.

Choose from the traditional afternoon tea and add sparkle to the experience with a glass of Bollinger Special Cuvée Brut NV. But why restrict yourself to just one glass of fizz? Conrad London St. James has taken this quintessential English custom and added a bottomless element to it, which might just be the most British thing they’ve ever done. The recently launched InfiniTEA, which allows guests to indulge in free-flowing Afternoon Tea with Bollinger Champagne. Ooh la la.

A symphony of flavours

When the classic three-tiered tray arrives it’s just as much a treat for the eyes as it is for your appetite. The crustless finger sandwiches are all dainty and delicate, with the stand-outs being the Egg, truffle and celery mayonnaise and Sutton Hoo chicken, sage and yoghurt mustard. They were so good we had to order another round.

From the pastry selection, the highlights of the experience (of which there were many) had to be the dandelion honey and cobnut delice decorated with a chocolate plague with golden bee, Devils dark chocolate sponge, beetroot and cherry mousse shaped like a cherry and Devonshire Bramley apple cake. Don’t let its modest appearance fool you; it tastes sumptuous. Another interesting piece was the Rhubarb custard tart. You don’t see this dessert very often.

Save room for the scones – blueberry and lemon, dark chocolate stracciatella, raisins and candied peel ones and, of course Jersey butter scones, all served warm nuzzled in a pillowy napkin with lashings of Cornish clotted cream, lemon curd, Chocolate and hazelnut spread (or Nutella) and the most delicious blackberry jam which left us scraping the bottom of the jar. Luckily, it’s all bottomless.

Be ready to indulge

Nothing is rushed here so there’s plenty of time to enjoy every bite of the savoury goodies before you move onto the sweet treats, and then again before the warm scones are served. The waiters are charming, knowledgeable, and incredibly attentive – we worry for their dishwasher after so many fresh plates are presented for each sandwich and cake. Just remember that it’s all you can eat, but you won’t be able to take leftovers back home! Make sure to arrive on an empty stomach.

Hot drinks are brewed and poured from the finest bone china. The teas and infusion list here are really excellent. We weren’t aware clue cocoa bean tea even existed, but it does, and it’s delicious! We would also recommend Royal Kenyan Blend and the Oolong.

Quirky sculptures

Before you leave, don’t miss Whiskey, one of 19 corgi sculptures from a special trail in celebration of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee hidden in the Blue Boar Pub. Another art installation is ‘The House Always Wins’ by Evil Ed and Dan Robotic, depicting politicians as aliens and superheroes sitting in the House of Commons with octopus tentacles wrapped tightly around them.

The centrepiece of the spacious marble lobby is an impressive tall bronze sculpture of a man climbing a ladder – a metaphor for democracy and progress. Once outside, you’re less than a mile from Westminster Abbey, Big Ben, Buckingham Palace. Continue your lovely afternoon with a stroll around nearby St. James Park – you’ll need it after a bottomless Afternoon tea!

InfiniTEA Afternoon Tea is served daily between 12pm and 4pm. More information can be found here.


Image credits: © Conrad London St. James