Afternoon tea and London go hand in hand and St Ermin’s is a great option for traditional afternoon tea.
The hotel opened in 1899 and you can feel every bit of history as you enter. The hotel is not somewhere we would necessarily stay, especially not with a 10 year old, but we couldn’t have felt more welcome. We were greeted by staff who gave my daughter a map for the corgi trail that St Ermin’s was taking part in and then we were directed upstairs to the tea lounge.
Afternoon tea can be taken in the Tea Lounge, the Library or the outside terrace, the tea lounge and the terrace are equally as nice so it just depends on the weather when you are visiting.
What to expect:
The menu is a set menu although there are vegetarian, vegan, gluten free and kids versions of their traditional afternoon tea. There is also a tea menu for you to choose your tea from, I opted for Earl Grey and Andy chose the St Ermin’s blend. These were topped up throughout and we were offered a fresh tea bag.
The sandwiches and cakes are brought out first on afternoon tea stands and everything is explained.
Warm scones are brought out when you are ready along with jam and clotted cream.
There is the option to have a glass of champagne with your afternoon tea as well as tea if you would like.
When we were there the afternoon teas were as follows;
Is it child friendly?:
It’s definitely child friendly, there were a few other children younger than Pip there at the same time as us as well as all adult groups. The atmosphere was relaxed and I didn’t feel like Pip had to be glued to her seat or talking in whispers, although I did brief her before we went in that I expected her to behave. The kid’s afternoon tea was delicious and just the right amount of food, Pip was able to chose apple juice to drink rather than tea.
There isn’t a dress code as such but it is a smart hotel and you will feel better if you choose to dress on the smart side of casual.
St Ermin’s has a fascinating history and amongst other things was used as a spy base during WWII and beyond. Churchill’s Secret Army (which formed the bases of the SAS) was founded and based here during WWII along with MI6. There is a fascinating display of spy memorabilia in the hotel lobby (to the right of the main entrance) which is worth a look.
The division bell which hangs in the hotel was used to signal to MP’s that they had 8 minutes to get back to the Houses of Parliament to vote, there is said to be a secret passage that runs from the hotel to parliament.
The hotel also keep their own bees and you can view the hives and bee hotel from safely behind glass on the third floor of the hotel. The roof also hosts a kitchen garden and herb garden.
When we visited the hotel was taking part in the Corgi Trail for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. Sherry was outside the front door posing for photos with visitors.
The hotel is in Westminster, the nearest underground station is St James’ park which is about 100 metres away. Victoria train station is also fairly close and about a 15 minute walk.
We visited in May 2022 when Pip was 10.