As the country gears up for an extra long weekend courtesy of King Charles’ coronation, many of us look to a quintessential experience to make our bank holidays complete. But when you throw in upmarket Knightsbridge and five-star treats in the mix? It gets a whole lot better. Bust out the bubbly everyone, as The Egerton House Hotel is where you should be visiting.
Just moments from the V&A, The Egerton House Hotel is a tranquil, peaceful escape; tucked beside Belgravia’s picture-perfect, leafy mews and cherry blossom-adorned Kensington cottages. We saw Instagrammers papping away at the gorgeous springtime scenes, where this red-brick Victorian townhouse (dating back to 1843) stood proudly next to its peers.
The Best Of British Afternoon Tea (£75 per person) sums up what The Egerton House Hotel is all about. The interiors are as charming as they are classy, think antiques that wouldn’t look awry among royalty, vintage trinkets and one-off artworks from the likes of Picasso. Our table next to the window was flooded with light, and the extravagant chandelier centrepiece glistened in the sun.
As my mum and I sat back in our snug cream and gold velvet chairs, the team walked us through the opulent menu. And let me tell you, Charlie and Thomas seriously know their stuff, from the source of the ingredients to ideal pairings and their own recommendations. Our advice? Hang onto their every word as we honestly didn’t regret any of our choices. We started with a round of quaffs, and as The Egerton is known for its martinis, I opted for the lychee (£19). Shaken up beside your table then poured into a frosted glass, this pretty pink drink was well balanced with sharp cranberry, not too boozy and went down a treat. We learnt all about the homemade syrups from a family farm in Tunisia and how this enhances each tipple, including Lyre's Negroni (£14). A naturally alcohol-free alternative, you could really taste the tangy bitter orange.
But it’s not just about the drinks, as we soon found out when the three-tiered showstopper arrived. We chose a mix of vegetarian and traditional sandwiches (Red Carnation hotels are great at dietary requirements, just let them know in advance), all delicate yet satisfying. The cucumber and cream cheese on sundried tomato bread was a great contrast of smoothness and crunch, plus it was remarkably light. The well-spiced and velvety coronation chicken was very fitting for 2023 too.
We continued to tuck into the generously-filled free-range egg mayonnaise on soft white bread, a great follow-up to the classic cheddar cheese and plum tomato granary slice. The herby, Med-inspired grilled aubergine and roasted pepper on a nutty, farmhouse baguette was wolfed down in record time, while the peppery rocket was a match made in heaven with the silky guacamole. Our final, freshly cut ‘wich was my mum’s fave; she absolutely devoured the union of British ham and strong, sharp mustard.
Did we mention the accompanying teas were picked as they complemented the flavours of the savoury elements? The Red Dragon, from Yunnan in China, was intensely rich with notes of dark berries, ginger, caramel and chocolate. Something my mum and I had never tasted before, it was so unique. As a renowned tea lover (just ask the office how many I knock back in a day), I couldn’t get enough of the caffeine-heavy White Peony, slightly honey-flavoured and served in a beautiful clear teapot so you can see the infusion. Although it was perfect on its own, milk and sugar are provided in case the mood takes you. We did tell you the service was amazing.
The second tier of scones arrived later, fresh out of the oven and cuddled by a serviette so they were delightfully warm. After agreeing that Devonshire clotted cream should be slathered on first, followed by the lovely raspberry jam, we scoffed these fluffy, puffed up bakes while muttering noises of sheer joy. The fruity lemon curd was a party in my mouth and a great partner with the apricot and icing sugar-dusted option.
We were fast becoming very full… but there’s always room for desserts, right? And at The Egerton, they go all out for puds. Not only do you get an array of luxurious bites, but there's a lavish Lanson rosé trifle to tuck into as well. What a sight it was, expertly piped Chantilly cream dusted in gold, dotted with precise cubes of strawberry. It gets even more decadent with the infusion of Champagne, plus refined levels of vanilla-speckled custard, jelly and bouncy sponge. Do as I did and get your chops around the lemon drizzle, featuring strings of candied citrus and lashings of mascarpone, alongside the sticky marzipan goodness of the pink chequerboard battenberg. Love a latte and sweet-toothed? Then make a beeline for the moist coffee and walnut slice, as the buttercream icing was as big as the cake itself. We decided to take the rich, dark chocolate cups home as we finally admitted defeat, but make sure you give these pops a go, as the shards of honeycomb and fresh strawberry were incredibly moreish.
The DesignMyNight Digest
The Egerton House Hotel has won multiple awards in the past and we can definitely see why. The attention to detail is faultless, from the impeccable service to the stunning ornaments and regal decor. Guests were honestly spoken to like family, including pets who are given their own VIP treatment and concierge service (dogtini anyone?). In such a historic year, do yourself a favour and indulge in the most luxurious of experiences: your date will thank you for it.
💰 The damage: £183, plus service charge.
📍 The location: 17-19 Egerton Terrace, London, SW3 2BX.
👌 Perfect for: Making someone feel really special.
⭐ Need to know: The afternoon tea menu changes according to the season.