Exploring more of what East London has to offer, we visited the Baroque styled Grade II listed Court House Hotel in the heart of Shoreditch to try out their afternoon tea. Set within the former Police Station of the Old Street Magistrate’s Court, we began with a quick tour of the Jailhouse Bar that once infamously housed private cells where prisoners were held while awaiting trial. The space has obviously been given a full makeover since those days, furnished with chic quilted chairs whilst the former prison holding cells have been transformed into private rooms that would be ideal for private functions and parties.
I believe that the Jail House Rock Afternoon Tea was previously served in the Jailhouse Bar, but has now been moved to the Judge & Jury restaurant and renamed the Courthouse Afternoon Tea. Previously utilized as the Old Street Magistrate’s Court, the décor encompasses the original architectural features of the former courtroom. The high ceiling and large hanging chandelier added a feel of grandeur to the overall ambience, enhanced by the daylight that flooded through the skylights above, bouncing off the top part of walls lined with mirrors. Caricatures of celebrities dressed in traditional full-bottom wigs and robes lined the wooden wall panels, which added a touch of character and humour.
We were served the Judge Champagne Afternoon Tea which included a glass of chilled champagne alongside a pot of hot tea. Instead of the traditional tiered stand, food was served on slates that included a selection of sandwiches, scones, and pastries.
The sandwiches consisted of egg and watercress on brown bread, prosciutto & figs on white bread, smoked salmon, dill & cream cheese on white bread, and chicken, chives & mayo brioche.
Personally, I found the plain & fruit sultana scones, served with raspberry and clotted cream, a little on the dry side.
We finished off with a variety of sweet cakes: fresh strawberries & cream Victoria sponge which was a bit dense and dry, lemon tart that had a nice tang, a rich Grand Marnier cheesecake, strawberry Eton Mess, and a tasty bite-sized dark chocolate mousse.
Priced at £19.75 per person (or £25 with a glass of champagne), the venue is lovely and the afternoon tea is an affordable option for those looking for a weekend treat on a budget.
Afternoon Tea is served every day from 12pm to 7pm, and bookings can be made via the AfternoonTea.co.uk website here.
- I was a guest at Courthouse Hotel Shoreditch – all views are my own
- Photography by Jonathan Hillson, edited by myself.