Back in 1840, Anna, the seventh Duchess of Bedford, would become rather peckish around four o’clock in the afternoon. With evening meal still a long way off, at a fashionable 8pm, she asked that a tray of tea and cake be brought to her. Soon she began inviting friends to join her, initiating a fashionable Victorian English event. The Langham Hotel was first to bring this new fad to London in 1865 where its ‘Tiffin’ afternoon tea is now renowned as the best in the city.
Boston of course was home to the biggest ever ‘Tea Party’ when in 1771 colonists sacked British tea ships in the harbour. So, whilst in Boston, where should CELLOPHANELAND* partake of a fine afternoon tea? Well, there was only one possible destination: The Langham Boston.
The Hotel is housed in a grand historic building with abundant red canopies and liveried porters who guide us up to the entrance along carpets which extend right from the roadside. The lobby is equally impressive with expanses of glistening marble and crystal chandeliers.
The afternoon tea is taken at The Reserve, a bar which occupies the left side of the lobby. This is definitely not as elegant as The Langham London’s Palm Court and there is the risk of noise from groups of arriving and departing clients the lobby area. We enjoyed a very peaceful tea, but it is worth checking if there are any scheduled group events or conferences when booking (as you will need to do).
The area has a very pleasant Art Deco vibe with, as well as further expanses of marble, a wonderful gold and cream geometric carpet, stylish cream and dark wood chairs and alcoves with backdrops of padded gold leather.
The signature afternoon tea is entitled The Langham Afternoon Tea with Wedgwood, which includes a wonderful variety of Langham’s own blended teas. These are presented in a generously sized caddy from which you are invited to select.
We plumped for The Langham Breakfast tea, a blend based on the classic English Breakfast version, created from Second Flush Indian Assam, First Flush Indian Darjeeling and Uva Season High Grown Sri Lankan black tea. Unsurprisingly the Wedgwood china is beautiful, flowery and also appropriately ‘English’.
The scones, cakes and finger sandwiches were nicely presented with individual plates on tiered stands. Savouries included American caviar on Boston brown bread, house smoked salmon parfait, truffled egg and chive salad on salad, brioche and curry, mango and almond vol-au-vent.
There were some nicely crumbly freshly baked scones with cream and jam, a selection of macaroons, with the tea culminating in plate of cupcakes and creamy desserts.
Naturally we rounded off the afternoon with a glass of champagne to conclude a perfect Langham Hotel afternoon tea experience, and most definitely enough to keep the Duchess of Bedford satisfied until dinner time!
CELLOPHANELAND* were guests of the Langham Hotel.