The Tiger who came to Afternoon Tea at The Savoy
We try out a teatime treat based on the much-loved book
My daughter had been asking if we could spend some time together, just the two of us and no annoying little brother. So during the school holidays, we planned a special mummy-daughter day out and headed up to London.
We adventured around the Southbank, devoured popcorn at the cinema and belly-laughed at Covent Garden street shows, but the absolute highlight of our day was afternoon tea at The Savoy.
Stepping off the bustle of The Strand you can’t help but be impressed by the historic art deco hotel. Standing in front of the revolving polished brass doors, the doorman amused my daughter by placing his top hat on her head causing giggles and the welcoming reception team put us at ease as they showed us to our very special table.
It was simply impossible to resist a glass of Champagne on arrival and my daughter, feeling adventurous, opted for cranberry juice. Wondering how she would manage best behaviour throughout afternoon tea, my 7 year old was full of smiles when the Sophie and Tiger colouring pack arrived. In the way that children do, the first thing she noticed was no orange pencil to colour in the tiger so we blended, red and yellow to make….. tiger colour.
Whilst we perused the beautifully themed menu, a pianist took up on the polished grand piano behind us amusing us with our favourite pop song covers. The afternoon tea theme is genius, offering just enough entertainment for a child whilst not too childish for adults, it’s actually gorgeously nostalgic. ‘Sophie’s Sandwich’ fillings are perfect for all generations, peanut butter and jam bites, a cheese whirl and ham finger sandwiches. No crusts either which is always a winner.
A beautiful teapot illustrated with the Tiger from Judith Kerr’s famous book pouring tea out of a Betty Brown teapot into his mouth arrived, with matching teacup and saucer. I fell in love instantly.
The dining room is sumptuously grand so whilst my daughter was munching on peanut butter and jam sandwiches with one hand and Tiger hot chocolate in the other, I took a moment to relax and enjoy the surroundings. Celebrating 50 years of this all time favourite children’s book, The Savoy welcomed 95-year-old Judith Kerr at the launch and it is poignant that she sadly passed away earlier this year.
You can’t help but feel special during afternoon tea at The Savoy. The service is charming, impeccably polite and they made an effort to make young people feel welcome. Our waiter came over with some tiger ear hairbands and a Polaroid camera, providing us with a personalised souvenir of our afternoon treat.
“Excuse me, but I’m very hungry. Do you think I could have tea with you?”
When the cake stands were ceremoniously brought to our table, we spent delicious moments devouring the enchanting cakes and sweet treats with our eyes. Pointing out the details, choosing our favourites and finally deciding which order we’d sample them in.
“I like how they made the scones orange with black streaks through them to look like stripes, but the marzipan Tiger was my favourite, we took them home and kept them”
The tiger scones were served with a choice of clotted cream, strawberry jam and a cheeky bowl of chocolate spread. Adding a new layer to the jam versus cream first debate.
A sculpture of chocolate chip cookies stood impressively on the second tier of the cake stand next to Sophie’s tights blue and pink Battenburg with a delicious white chocolate icing. We were starting to feel like we’d eaten as much as the Tiger who came to tea. Cleverly designed and presented, the Tiger Food cupcakes were smothered in cream cheese frosting and The Milkman special delivered yoghurt and raspberry compote in a school milk bottle.
Having had a perfectly lovely time I was surprised to see my daughter burst into tears. Apparently devastated at the thought of eating the handmade marzipan tiger that sat pride of place on the top tier of our cake stands, I could only stop the flood by pinkie promising never to eat the charming Tiger statuette. Instead we took them home (with one or two cakes we couldn’t quite manage) as gorgeous mementos of our very special day.
“Thank you for my tea, I think I’d better go now”
The Tiger Who Came To Tea at The Savoy is priced from £65 per adult and £40 per child.