You cant take in London without taking tea. And if you’re going to do it, you might as well do it right! The Dorchester Hotel provided the perfect afternoon, embodying all the elegance and pomp and circumstance you’d imagine of high tea in London. A special girls trip to celebrate my mothers birthday, set the scene for the ultimate tea party! We sought out the most luxurious hotel to celebrate this special occasion because of course, you only celebrate 70 once!!
Avid fans of Downton Abbey, The Crown and all things posh and pretty, The Dorchester was exactly the high society British afternoon we had anticipated. Waistcoated doormen greet you at the revolving door through which you are welcomed into the Promenade, an extravagant parlor circled by marble columns and illuminated by elegant lanterns. Tables are laid with fine linens and lavish sprays of fragrant salmon colored roses enhance the beauty of the exquisite parlor interior. Live piano music set the mood for a leisurely afternoon as we checked our coats in the cloak room and settled into our leather sofa seating around a table for four and “took tea”, in style!
A celebratory champagne toast initiated our afternoon followed by a careful tea selections from an extensive menu of both rare and traditional choices ranging from oolong to green tea, herb and black, white and my personal favorite – peppermint! The assortment of tea sandwiches served exceeded our expectations with creative variations on classic favorites! Our waiter was charming answering all our questions and patiently explaining the ingredients of each delicate and delicious savory snack. After a palate cleansing marigold-peach tea, our sweets treats were served. Warm raisin scones were offered alongside thick clotted cream and assortments of rhubarb and strawberry preserves. Ill admit, I had (ahem) not one but two scones. Consequently, I wasn’t exactly hungry by the time our sweets were served on tiered tea trays, but that didn’t keep us from enjoying handcrafted cakes and pastries. Just too good to resist!
The Dorchester went above and beyond presenting mother with a personalized birthday cake and special serenade from the live pianist. Unarguably an unforgettable afternoon with laughs and memories and photographs we will cherish forever!
For the celebration of our own dear “queen mother’s” birthday, she invited her daughters to England for the ultimate tea party. 4 days bashing around London together climaxed with a mid-morning tea time at the quaint corner tea room – Betty Blythe! With brick walls and glittering chandeliers, this venue embodies both grit and grace, just like the women of the generation for which inspire the theme of the restaurant – the roaring 20’s!
The upstairs seats patrons who frequent the corner cafe on their coffee break or to carry out scones or pastries. Down a winding staircase is the private tea room where we happily spent hours playing dress up and sampling sweet and savory sensations!
Tara, the owner, has converted the space into every little girls dream….(or every big girl for that matter!) An entire room devoted to dress-ups and tea! We tried on swing dresses and rummaged through dresser drawers to accessorized with gloves and fascinators and hats and pearls.
Once adorned, our tea was served. Tiny tea sandwiches and house-made scones served up British style – with clotted cream and jam. Tiered tea-trays were plated up beautifully with delicate pastries and sweets which were passed around complimenting our English breakfast tea and Earl grey.
We had scoured books and blogs, web recommendations and word of mouth to find the best tea rooms in London and Betty Blythe stands out as one of Londons best-kept-secrets. This darling niche specializes to “hen parties”, baby showers and birthdays. With seating only for about 20, its never overcrowded and is strikingly reasonably priced.The perfect spot to take in local flavor, tasty treats and make charming, unforgettable memories!
As a newbie in Bangkok 5 years ago, we asked the experts what the best “special occasion restaurant” was for celebrations, anniversaries, Valentines Day. Hands down, a resounding echo from everyone was “La Bottega!”
La Bottega has built their reputation as a fine dining establishment at the hands of Luca Appino; the founder and genius chef who has created quite a name for himself even amongst the competitive and ever transient nature of the restaurant industry in this thriving metropolis of Bangkok! Born and raised in a northwestern Provence of Italy, Luca draws inspiration from his roots where his family still owns a small vineyard. He invites guests off the clamoring city streets of Sukhumvit 49 into his quaint restaurant perched atop the Terrace 49 building with options for intimate indoor dining, private room for dinner parties or corporate gatherings, or breezy al fresco dining on the terrace. He serves as the head chef and offers warm Italian hospitality and an engaging personality to his guests!
Authenticity is evident through the genuine Italian flavors which are imported by upscale Italian suppliers. Traditionalism meets innovation with favorite classic Italian dishes creatively plated and with modern spins.
After a number of special occasion dinners at La Bottega and sampling quite a few dishes, we can honestly say that it has always been surprising and memorable. Never mediocre. Always exceptional! We’ve not encountered a dish we didn’t love and portions are always satisfying and sufficient. Insalate selection is anything but mundane offering the freshest and most creative compilations. The piedmont fassone beef tartare is a delicious first course with hints of lemon infused olive oil. Follow with one of our recommended favorite pastas which include the homemade pappardelle served with wild boar ragu or trofie pasta with pistachio pesto sauce or my own personal favorite – the truffle ravioli! Main courses are never standard or ordinary. Always the finest ingredients with exotic and tasteful variations. The pan seared turbot fillet is a must try for the fish lover, and the broad selection of red meats including a fantastic Australian wagyu beef cheek served over potatoes with au jus absolutely melts in your mouth! We savored the suckling pig on our most recent visit and were duly impressed!
The presentation and attention to detail sets La Bottega apart. Linen napkins and table cloths, crystal and silver table settings, roses on the table, candles, a vast and extensive wine list, refreshing towelettes, warmed bread basket, and usually a sample welcome appetizer, La Bottega encourages guests to linger, unhurried, for an evening dining extravaganza that will guarantee a memorable experience with your dinner party or date!
And lets not forget the broad assortment of imported cheeses and decadent desserts to choose from, because no Italian meal is complete without a little limoncello and something sweet!! Guests are offered tea or coffee and served a sampler of truffles, biscotti and meringue drops to satiate the sweet craving! Splurge for the tiramisu for a real treat! Our five star recommendation for La Bottega de Luca!!
Reservations strongly recommended