Having Afternoon Tea has been at the very top of my London Bucket List for quite a while now.
I mean, what is there not to love about a meal that’s basically cake, with a few bits around it?
Nothing. My point exactly.
So when Le Méridien Piccadilly and The Royal Institute of British Architects asked if I’d like to join them for a cake-and-scone-fuelled presentation of their current collaboration, a London-centric, architecture pictures exibition named Unlock London, I could barely stopped jumping all over the place (I was THAT close to add heart-eyed emojis to the RSVP email to be honest…)!
But is there any better reason to get overexcited than the prospect of a few of my favourite things (architecture pictures, bloggers and errrrr… cake!) all in one room?
Le Méridien Terrace Grill & Bar is one of the most stunning places I’ve ever seen. Nestled on the second floor of the landmark Piccadilly hotel, there’s so much to love about it, starting with the incredible glass ceiling.
The very well-stocked bar must certainly be another (and I heard the terrace itself is one of the best places for a drink come summer…) but I’ll have to leave those for another day.
For the time being, I was far too busy contemplating the three-tiered platter that had just been put in front of me…
Luckily I wasn’t the only blogger in the room and nobody touched a thing until we all took pictures to our heart’s content!
Then it was time for a London-inspired feast!
Starting with tea (obviously).
The Jing selection available at Le Méridien is both impressive and interesting and it left many in our group wondering which one they should go for.
But I knew it’d have to go for the Whole Rosebud tea as it is one of my favourites and it’s not often you actually find it on a tea menu!
Next came a selection of finger sandwiches (of which my favourite had to be the Smoked salmon one)
Then there were scones (both plain and with raisins).
And clotted cream of course.
Since I’m quite a newbie at that whole afternoon tea ritual, I obviously had no clue as to what the proper order to pile cream and jam up was, but thanksfully, I had an expert sitting right by my side.
We debated on the topic for a little while before deciding that jam on top was more Instagramable (definitely a word) and all embrassed our new-found less-than-traditional way to eat scones!
But the best was still to come!
A whole platter of them, even!
The ‘Helen of Troy’ poppy seed cake (considered to be the most beautiful cake of the 1930s) was definitely the prettiest of the bunch.
But if you want to win my heart, there’s no better way than a few of Traditional Bakewell tarts!
After indulging in all those treats, we learnt a bit more about the exibition that inspired them all: Unlock London.
The exibition showcases a selection of stunning photographs from the 1.5 million held in the Royal Institute of British Architects’ massive picture library (which is now available to browse online! ?).
Left: St Pancras Station, Euston Road, London (1949) | Right: Paramount & Plaza cinema, Lower Regent Street, London (1968)
Taken by leading architectural photographers from the 1930s to 1960s, these images show iconic London landmarks as well as some less well known or long since vanished.
Left: Leisure Kitchen Equipment, Regent Street, London (1954) | Right: Night street cleaning near St Paul’s Cathedral, City of London (1957)Escalator, St John’s Wood London Underground Station, Wellington Road, London (1940)St Pancras Station, Euston Road, London (1949)
Last but not least, we went on a little tour of the hotel, which ended up in the lovely Oak Room. Powder pink from the floor to the ceiling with touches of gold here and there, it’s a little girl’s dream come true. But we were not there to play dolls! Instead, we had a bit of a photography workshop.
After picking our favourite from a selection, we had to give architectural photography a go while trying to explore angles, lighting, reflection…
I went for a bit of a darker take of the pink room to try and get details to pop up…
And ended up discovering that chair backs might very well be your best friend when trying to frame architectural details…
Tea, cake, bloggers and fun; very much my kind of afternoon!
Want to experience Le Méridien Piccadilly’s Afternoon Tea for yourself (and take a look at those stunning pictures when you’re at it)?
What about you say you’re coming from me and bag yourself a 20% discount in the process and send me cake pictures on Instagram? Deal?
Unlock London at Le Méridien Piccadilly, 21 Piccadilly, London W1J 0BH