Almost a year since my last visit to review The Art of Travel Afternoon Tea at the beginning of 2020 (how time flies!), it was a pleasure to return to the St Pancras Champagne Bar by Searcys, this time to try their recently launched Staycation Afternoon Tea with a festive twist – aptly themed in line with the current pandemic situation.
A long-time fan of Searcys establishments, their St Pancras branch is set inside London’s iconic St Pancras Station, the historical surroundings and railway archways providing a suitably grand backdrop to indulge in the great British tradition of afternoon tea. We were seated in one of their cosy leather booths, at their chic and elegant Champagne Bar, Europe’s longest Champagne bar. The stunning outdoor space is illuminated by natural sunlight that floods through the high glass ceilings, with small details such as Art Deco lamps and ‘Press for Champagne buttons adding a touch of luxury and grandeur. We were also lucky enough to have a lovely view of the Christmas tree installation below.
We started with some coffee to warm us up, and of course no Searcys experience would be complete without champagne; our champagne flutes filled with much welcomed chilled Veuve Clicquot, Yellow Label, Brut, NV. To whet our appetites, we were served one of their signature starters, Artisan Suffolk smoked salmon with dill pickled cucumber, and horseradish cream.
Beautifully presented in a quirky and stylish Staycation suitcase, the afternoon tea delights consisted of a scrumptious array of sweet and savoury offerings. Instead of the usual traditional sandwiches, there was a tasty variety of savoury options, including a cucumber & cream cheese sandwich, a warm roast ham & Gruyere cheese toastie, a leek & Yorkshire blue tart, and for a festive touch, a turkey & cranberry sausage roll.
We then moved on to the freshly baked plain and fruit scones accompanied by Cornish clotted cream and strawberry preserve. The selection of sweets included a classic Victoria sandwich, a rich Opéra gâteau, my favourite miniature apple crumble tart, and a festive mini Stollen bite topped with brandy cream.
Seated just steps away from the Eurostar platform, as much as I would love to hop on to a train to pretty much anywhere at this point, this is probably the closest that I’ll get to ‘traveling’ for now – hopefully all the travel inspiration that I’ll be compiling on home ground for the next few months will make me more appreciative of the opportunities and adventures that lay ahead.
The Festive Afternoon Tea is available in both the Brasserie and Champagne Bar, Monday – Saturday from 3pm – 5pm and Sunday between 3pm – 4.30pm, priced at £39 per person, or £49 per person to include a glass of Veuve Clicquot, Yellow Label, Brut, NV. There is also the option to upgrade to the Limitless Champagne Afternoon Tea, where you can enjoy 90 minutes of limitless Veuve Clicquot, Yellow Label, Brut, NV (£79 per person), or for champagne aficionados in the mood to splurge, why not go for the Prestige Extravagant Afternoon Tea, served with a bottle of Taittinger Comtes de Champagne, Blanc De Blancs, Brut, 2007 (£350 for two guests). After months of lockdown isolation, I think that we all certainly deserve to treat ourselves.
Although Tier 2 restrictions are still in place, which have undoubtedly affected our social lives, the good news is that their Champagne Bar and outside Brasserie seating can accommodate up to six friends and loved ones from different households for meals, afternoon tea, coffee or drinks, all under the station’s iconic roof – the perfect option given the unpredictable London weather.
- My afternoon tea experience at St Pancras Champagne Bar by Searcys was complimentary – views and photos are my own.