The Game Bird at The Stafford London knows how to do an afternoon tea properly. Their latest afternoon tea looks to their home of St James for inspiration. Partnering with some of the highest-quality independent boutiques and delis in the area they’ve created an afternoon tea that takes you on an edible journey of the hotel’s surroundings.
When did I decide to go and stuff myself silly on sandwiches? On the day of the London marathon of course, so as weary runners much more deserved of carbs than me hobbled from the Mall up to the tube at Green Park I flitted down the street into the luxurious embrace of The Stafford’s upstretched arms and into the sumptuous restaurant, The Game Bird. Marrying plush navy fabrics with bold prints and polished wood, it’s the perfect setting for a Sunday afternoon of tea drinking and scone scoffing.
Following on from classic sandwiches like cucumber and cream cheese and H Forman & Sons smoked salmon there is an egg and watercress roll. This isn’t any egg and watercress roll this is a soft, sweet squishy brioche roll filled with heady, earthy truffle egg mayonnaise that satisfyingly splurges out as you bite into it. There’s also a rich sausage roll with flaky, buttery pastry… of course I ordered another.
Scones were anything but dainty… thankfully, buttery, crumbly, sweet and also savoury. Teaming up with cheesemonger Paxton & Whitfield (who currently holds Royal Warrants by appointment to both Her Majesty the Queen and HRH The Prince of Wales) they’re created Westcombe Cheddar scones served with soft cheese and chives, it’s not often that you have savoury scones and I can tell you, the extra carbs are a welcome addition.
Then it was onto the cakes, you’ll find a ‘Top Hat’ made with Lock & Co, the creators of the bowler hat. Made with a sharp, citrus jelly and white chocolate, it’s powerful and distinct like the top hat itself. Tailor, Henry Poole & Co. is thought to be the original designer of the dinner jacket and so as a nod to them they’ve made a classic shortbread biscuit in the shape of a jacket. I’m not one to smoke, but chocolate cigars, those I can chain eat my way through. Inspired by. The fat Cuban cigars at James J.Fox, a favourite of Churchill’s have been reimagined as a hollow chocolate cigar filled with a creamy chocolate and hazelnut mousse. There’s a playful fruit trifle in a shoe tin with a chocolate shoehorn to scoop it out in a nod to Foster & Son the ‘shoemaker’s shoemaker’.
Whilst the cakes and pastries are paraded as the stars of the show, it was actually the sandwiches and scones that stole the show, that truffled egg brioche in particular, I defy you to not order another. Will I doing the London Marathon? Who knows. Will I be back to eat at The Game Bird again? 100%.
The St James’s Afternoon Tea is served daily in The Game Bird and drawing rooms at The Stafford London, from 12pm to 7pm. It is £45pp, £58pp with a glass of Moët & Chandon Imperial Brut Champagne.