At AHFJ, we love an afternoon tea experience and try to fit one in on every trip or adventure we go on. It was a delight to be invited to The Rubens at The Palace in London to try their Halal Afternoon Tea, influenced by the Royal Family themselves as an ode to its spot on Buckingham Palace Road.
The Rubens at the Palace is a 5* hotel in London, situated on Buckingham Palace Rd, overlooking the Royal Mews and a testament to traditionally British hospitality. A plush carpet leads the way to the entrance where smartly dressed door men are on hand to ensure your luxury experience starts before you’ve even stepped foot into the building. As we walked in, a grand reception area gleaming and glistening welcomed us and staff in the tearoom suite immediately seated us.
The Halal Afternoon Tea Experience
Rubens have an entire menu specifically catered towards the Halal diet, with all halal-friendly and alcohol-free components. This is certainly a unique aspect as typically, a ‘halal-friendly’ afternoon tea has to be booked in the form of ‘pescatarian and alcohol-free’ specific requests. The pastry kitchen at Rubens is headed by Sarah Houghting, recent competitor in Bake Off: The Professionals and with the Halal menu already available, guests are able to enjoy the full experience.
We started by choosing our teas from the impressive collection of Black, Herbal & Fruit Teas and opted for a classic Darjeeling alongside a ‘Flowering Tea’ that blooms as it infuses. Rubens also offer a sparkling, non-alcoholic drink as part of the Halal Menu and we enjoyed a glass of this too.
The sweets and savouries are presented on an impressive, tiered golden stand. The sandwiches are filled with generous portions of coronation chicken, smoked salmon & horseradish cream cheese, egg & watercress, cheese & sweet chutney and a cucumber & cream cheese. The toasted almonds with the coronation chicken adds wonderful texture whilst the different coloured breads add a very pretty touch. The pinkish hue is a result of the infused beetroot whilst spinach gives the egg and watercress sandwich a green colour. The traditional-with-unique elements are certainly highlighted here.
Afternoon tea is served with two types of scones: a traditional, plain scone and a South African inspired honey & white chocolate scone, topped with a beautiful glaze. The scones are soft and buttery with a denser texture than the traditional, crumbly scones that have a light and fluffy interior. They’re accompanied by a smooth clotted cream and homemade, fruit preserve that is infused with saffron: a small touch that adds to the luxury feel.
The patisseries are perhaps the most eye-catching and amidst them sits ‘The Crown’: a cinnamon chocolate mousse w/ a brownie biscuit and coconut marshmallow. This combination of flavours makes it easy to believe that this is allegedly The Queen’s favourite. Alongside The Crown is a macaron, a pistachio and white chocolate sandwich, a ‘Fruit from the Queen’s Orchard’ and my personal favourite: the strawberry and yoghurt éclair. The tartness of the yoghurt contrasts with the sweet fruit and the namelaka-type cream gives a decadent feel
The overall experience at Rubens at the Palace is exemplary. The location, food, atmosphere and service make it a remarkable place to visit and I could certainly recommend it to anyone wanting a ‘proper’ afternoon tea in London.
Halal Sparkling Afternoon Tea at Rubens starts at £62pp when booked directly. Buy A Gift also offer The Rubens at the Palace Royal Afternoon Tea for Two voucher for £89, where it is rated 5 out of 5 based on 200+ reviews.
Our afternoon tea experience at Rubens was complimentary, but as always, opinions are my own.
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