Tourists might bring a huge amount to our economy, but if you’ve ever been to Knightsbridge on a Saturday afternoon, you will understand the frustration of getting around trying to shop for items without having to spend the whole afternoon in the same department store. Finding a table to enjoy classic afternoon tea is equally demanding. Thankfully, just off the main road is The Egerton House Hotel, which is an oasis of calm amidst the whirlwind of shopping madness.
The hotel isn’t the most ostentatious and is on a discreetly understated side street off Brompton Road. It could well be the entrance to a prestigious residential apartment in Knightsbridge with beautiful flowers on the window sill and gleaming handrails.
The unassuming nature of the hotel adds to the sense of awe as you enter the ornate drawing room. This doesn’t feel like a restaurant or lounge where you can have afternoon tea, but an elegant, immaculately arranged drawing room at your aristocratic friend’s Knightsbridge abode. There are coffee table books, there are antique clocks and classic paintings; one word you definitely wouldn’t use to describe the room is plain.
In keeping with the hotel, the afternoon tea is understated and elegantly presented. It was interesting to hear from the staff that the owner of the whole hotel collection used to be a chef hence her passion for what is produced from their kitchens. The organic smoked salmon on cape seed loaf is one of her personal creations. The unusual nuttiness of the bread is like nothing you will have ever experienced. The coronation chicken, the cucumber and cream cheese and the free range egg mayonnaise were all without exception as farm-fresh as you would expect from any top establishment in Knightsbridge.
Of the sweet items, the scones were outstanding, you could taste they were homemade, as if they had just come out of the oven. The fruit scones weren’t overly sweet. In fact there were very few items that were overdosed with sugar, bar the usual suspects like raspberry macaroon and chocolate brownies with minted ice top. The passionfruit cheesecake and fruit tartlet brought a touch of the summer flavour to the afternoon proceedings.
It is hard to find a hidden gem like the drawing room at The Egerton House Hotel to escape the hustle and bustle of Knightsbridge shopping life. Do not miss out and make sure you make time to treat yourself.