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Lady Mendl’s – charming Victorian decor

I had the pleasure of taking a Friday off on this blistering hot summer day, what better way to while away a lazy afternoon than at Lady Mendl’s?  Located inside the Inn at Irving Place, it is an intimate place, perfect for an afternoon of catching up with friends.  They offer afternoon tea on weekdays and weekends – one thing to keep in mind if you are interested in visiting, reservations are required.

Afternoon tea here is served course by course (5 courses in total), rather than on a traditional three tiered tray/stand.  The servers here do not hover, yet they are always there when you need anything – love that.  I also love the charming Victorian decor that makes it feel like an escape from the city.  Now, on to the food!

Amuse bouche – butternut squash tart with creme fraiche and parmesan

We started with an amuse bouche while we selected our teas.  Today, they offered a butternut squash tart with some creme fraiche and parmesan.  Lady Mendl’s has a wide selection of teas – ranging from fruity teas, herbal tisanes, green teas and traditional offerings like Earl Grey, Assam, and English Breakfast.  My friend who was generous enough to keep me company while I did blog research selected the Lychee Black Tea, while I opted for the Oolong.  Normally, I prefer more traditional offerings taken with sugar and cream but in the 90+ degree weather, tea with sugar and cream felt a bit heavy!

Sandwich course – egg salad and cucumber

Next up – the sandwich course.  The choices are: turkey, cucumber, egg salad and salmon.  You are allowed to selected any combination of 4 sandwiches and after you are done, they come by for refills – up to 8 finger sandwiches each.  I am a sucker for classic cucumber and egg salad finger sandwiches, so those were my choices.  The sandwiches are classics, executed very well.

Sweets – scones with clotted cream and raspberry jam

Sweets next – starting with warm scones, one plain and one studded with cranberries.  They are served with clotted cream and raspberry jam.  Delicious!  I love that they serve course by course so the scones are still warm when you get to them.  They are very buttery, not dry at all.  I appreciated the generous helping of clotted cream provided!

Sweets – Lady M Mille Crepe cake

Next sweets course – Lady M Mille Crepe cake!  One of my favorite cakes ever!  Layers upon layers of crepes separated by a vanilla pastry cream that is light and not too sweet.  Not sure if the cake needed the extra raspberry sauce…

Sweets – more goodies!

Then we received our final plate of goodies – chocolate covered strawberries, white chocolate covered shortbread cookies, mini apple cake.  I was beyond stuffed at this point.  This is a lot – all for $35/pp.  A good value for the amount and quality of food, as well as top notched service and a great atmosphere.  This is a must go!

Note:  I have read in other reviews that they are a stickler for the 90 minute time limit.  While we didn’t linger today, I did notice our bill was dropped off at our table before we requested it – we were nearing the 90 minute mark… so I guess that was our cue to move it along.  I can say that it was definitely not busy at Lady Mendl’s today, so not sure what their deal is.  However, this did not distract from my overall experience but I can see how it would for people who want to linger a bit longer.