LONDON EATERIES – Luxurious Afternoon Tea at Outlaw’s at The Capital
Afternoon tea is one of those British traditions that has most definitely stood the test of time, and I have personally sampled a few over the years – but I have to say from the outset, that the afternoon tea offered by the Michelin starred Outlaw’s is one of the best. Situated in Knightsbridge, only a minute from the decadence of Harrods, the beautiful Capital Hotel houses the restaurant Outlaw’s. Although in a central location, this gem is hidden down a peaceful street – somewhat rare for the regular bustle of London!
The minute we stepped into the hotel lobby, friendly staff members who were both polite and also pleased to engage in conversation greeted us and took our coats to the cloakroom. As soon as we were escorted to our table, the stunning décor stood out. It managed to be simultaneously cosy yet elegant; the tables covered with clean white tablecloths, the chairs comfortable and beautifully embroidered. Immediately, I had the sense that I was about to be dining somewhere very special – a notion backed up by the anecdote we were later told: that the very room we were seated in had also previously hosted the Queen!
As we waited for our afternoon tea stand, we went about choosing tea from a wonderfully extensive menu. To be honest, I hadn’t even heard of most of the varieties, but why not try something new? After much deliberation, we decided on the silver needle white tea and the Jing Capital Hotel blend. The Capital blend seemed to be a variation on English breakfast tea, although richer and with better flavour. The silver needle white tea arrived as loose leaves in a clear glass pot, much like a work of art! Fragrant and refreshing, I was definitely pleased with my choice!
The afternoon tea stand arrived with three tiers of delicious treats. One of the most impressive revelations was that everything was homemade – even including the jam for the light and fluffy scones. We worked our way through each item, including delicate egg and cress and ham and mustard sandwiches, mini bacon and mushroom quiches, smoked salmon crumpets, smoked mackerel pate and a great Cornish addition of mini pasties. Next up were the scones. They came accompanied by small pots of that homemade jam and my personal favourite, clotted cream! As I tried to control myself from over indulging, I particularly noticed the lightness to the scones, which I often find too heavy. Last but not least was a tier of little desserts. These included mini versions of the classic victoria sponge, blackberry bakewell tarts, lemon drizzle cake, dark chocolate and orange trifle, homemade biscuits and a Neapolitan ice cream sandwich. Having experienced a few afternoon teas, it was lovely to see some different options available, and as expected, each and every one tasted great.
Although we weren’t drinking that particular day, there were also some innovative cocktails on offer, and of course, the option of a glass of champagne.
It ended up being a struggle to leave between the fantastic food, delicious tea and the welcoming manner of all the staff, but we eventually dragged ourselves back into the cold outdoors, still raving about the experience. If you’re looking for a touch of decadence in a beautiful setting (and at a very reasonable price), Outlaw’s definitely needs to be on your list of places to try afternoon tea.
Outlaw’s at The Capital, 22-24 Basil St, London SW3 1AT, Phone: 020 7591 1202
Heart London Magazine 5 * Rating
Laura, Heart London Magazine