Dear reader, you surely already know how this review will turn out. From the title alone, I think it is clear that I am slightly biased on this one. And I am not ashamed one bit! For my 23rd birthday this year, my lovely boyfriend and lovely best friend spoiled me with a surprise High Tea at the Windsor. I had never done it before, but had wanted to for a long while, and it was the perfet present. I was, yet again, in culinary heaven.
It was the day before my birthday, and it was wintery July weather. Cold, blustery and rainy. I had dressed up for the occasion, but wasn’t quite sure where I was being taken to. As we reached the city, my senses pricked up as we passed the Windsor Hotel. I knew the Windsor is the place for High Tea, and from the look on my boyfriend’s face I was right. He did a good job of biting his tongue and keeping a lid on the surprise, because when we got there and he turned me around to reveal my best friend, I had no idea. Such a surprise! And oh my goodness, was I excited. I have a thing for scones, jam and cream in a big, big way.
We waited until the rooms were open, and then entered excitedly. There was quite a crowd, and most people were there for a special occasion. In fact, I would guess that all were. It’s not everyday one wakes up and thinks, ‘I think I will go to High Tea today… again’. But that is the dream!
We took our seats, and our waiter introduced himself and poured us some sparkling rose champagne. Yum yum. We were then brought the three-tiered delight you can see at the top of this post, consisting of finger sandwiches on the bottom, a mixture of 5 intricate cakes each on the second tier and the fluffy, fruity scones on top. My god, it was beautiful. The sandwiches were fresh, light and delicious. Salmon and cream cheese, egg and salad, a nice way to fill up on something substantial without overdoing it before the real fun of the cakes begins.
Then, we started on the cakes. There were 5 each, as I mentioned: a pink macaroon, a mini berry fruit tart, a chocolate mud cake, a pear-shaped nutty-tasting delicacy and the last memory-elusive sweet treat which I may need help recalling. I’ll get back to you on that one. But those cakes, they were delicious. Fine and delicate… and a great precursor to what was yet to come.
You see, we only go to High Tea at the Windsor Hotel for one thing and one thing only: the scones. And my goodness, these were amazing scones. You can see them sitting gaily atop the cake stand in the photograph, proudly presenting their deliciousness for all to see. I have had many a scone in my lifetime, but this experience is forever instilled into my food-memory part of my brain (it’s the biggest part). Light, fluffy and fruity, these scones practically ate themselves. That may not make sense, but they were that good. Compounding my ecstasy was the wonderfully sweet raspberry and strawberry jam, and delightfully thick cream – when digging in for a great big scoop with your knife, the remaining cream on the dish would not move. I could not get over this, nor could my fabulous dining companions. We really were sitting on cloud 9, which, as an aside, surely must just be one big, fluffy scone floating in food heaven.
We polished our serving off nicely, and had the audacity to ask for more. At the Windsor, there is a waiter assigned to your table, who looks after you for the duration. We had made friends with ours in the beginning, and so he helped us out by bringing us a whole second serve of scones. That’s at least two each. We had hoped for maybe one or two more, but now we were impressed! A few people sitting nearby asked if there was a reason for our scones, but we told them no, we just asked for more. Brilliant!
This went on for a good few hours, and we were one of the last tables to leave. I was glad I wore a loose, flattering dress, let me put it that way. Or I can put it this way: I was so full I felt like I would pop. But it was marvellous! Any worry about diet or skinniness was well and truly put aside for this meal. The three of us dined in complete harmony and pure gluttony, and I loved every second of it. What a fabulous birthday present. Thank you to both of you!
And for everyone reading this who has not yet had the pleasure of those divine scones and utterly dreamy cream, I implore you to take your loved ones out for High Tea at the Windsor. For a birthday, anniversary – or just because!