The Brits have been enjoying their afternoon tea ever since the rich and wealthy started doing it in the 1840’s. It started out as just tea, but the Dutchess of Bedford became hungry, and realised serving food with the tea was a great idea.
Traditionally afternoon tea consists of a selection of teas, sandwhiches with cucumber, egg and cress, fish paste, ham, and smoked salmon. You also get scones with clotted cream and jam and cakes like Battenberg, fruit cake or Victoria sponge.
Fancy but pricey
Drinking afternoon tea is a must when you’re in London, and there are lots of recommendations about where you should go to get the best. The most common places are Harrods, Claridge’s, The Ritz and Fortnum & Mason.
These places are brimming with glamour, and you won’t get in wearing sneakers. Some of them even require a tie.
These recommendations are also very pricey. I’m sure the service and food is amazing, but I really can’t afford £100 for tea and sandwiches! And I don’t really want to, either, to be honest.
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Cheaper and exciting
Luckily there are alternatives that are both cheaper, and maybe even more exciting? When we decided not to spend that much money on tea, we started looking for somewhere else to go, and we found a really interesting place in Soho. As long as we weren’t going to the classic tea lounges anyway, we decided to try something completely different and go for afternoon tea with an indian twist!
In the middle of Soho, you will find this place, called Cinnamon Soho. It’s a moder indian restaurant, and they say they are serving «fresh, seasonal Indian cookery, with a quirky British twist».
They serve regular food, but they also serve afternoon tea, indian style!
Since we love indian food and flavours, we decided this must be a good match for us. And the prices aren’t bad either, £25 for two.
The concept is the same as a traditional British afternoon tea, only they replaced some of the flavours and food with indian food and spices.
This is what we got
In stead of regular tea, you get chai. You can choose regular tea as well if you want, but where’s the fun in that? Chai is so delicious, you really must chose that.
Oh, and want to make chai at home? Try my chai recipe, straight from Mumbai.
We were also served something called aloo bonda, which is made of potatoes and onion. This is a traditional treat served with tea in India. This was really good, and I loved the flavours.
We also got a scotch egg, which I’m not very fond of. I gave it to the Man, and he liked it.
It was also served with kasunda relish, a green spicy sauce to dip the food in. This was really yummy, and the flavours matched the food perfectly!
They also served the traditional sandwhich, but instead of salmon or egg, it was chicken tandoori with chutney. It was quite tasty, and you could really taste the indian flavours.
The last dish was a lamb slider, which is a small hamburger. I’m not that fond of lamb, but there was some sort of yellow sauce on the burger, which was really good, so the slider was actually quite nice even with lamb.
For dessert we got two things. The first was the traditional scone, but again they had done it the indian way, and it was full of indian spices. The flavour was delicious, but I have to say the scone was really dry. I mean, scones are generally quite dry, but this was very dry. They should have added some form of jam or cream or something to it.
The last dessert was a cake with ginger and garam masala. It looked like a chocolate cake with caramel cream, and this was very good. The cake was moist and lots of flavour, and the sauce was tasty and went well with the cake.
We finished all the food, which is always a sign the food is good. The total bill was £25, and there was enough food for two. It might look like it won’t be enough, but we were both full after eating.
The restaurant was very nice, and had a good atmosphere. There was a table next to us occupied by a whole Indian family, which I always take as a sign that the food is good and have authentic flavours. It was definitely fun trying something different, and the food was good. Worth the money and a visit, so stop by next time you’re in London! 😊
Have you had any fun and different food experiences in London? Tell me about it!