It is only when I see my five-year-old companion’s wide-eyed excitement upon entering the foyer of The Savoy that I realise I have clearly been suffering from five-star fatigue. He has his camera with him and breathlessly asks the concierge if it is OK for him to take pictures, the answer is, of course, “Why certainly, Sir”. Seeing things through his eyes is a joy.
We’ve booked afternoon tea as a school holiday treat. But this is no ordinary tea. In celebration of the 50th anniversary of Judith Kerr’s bestselling book, The Tiger Who Came to Tea, The Savoy have teamed up with HarperCollins Children’s Books to produce a very special tea for their youngest guests. And the chefs have really gone to town laying on the perfect spread – it is a good job that, like the tiger, we are very hungry.
Never mind fancy teas, we opt for hot chocolate: creamy and delicious, it comes in a gorgeous illustrated china teapot and is served in dainty cups, made especially for the hotel by Heraldic Pottery. We sip it while tucking into sandwiches – dainty fingers of peanut butter and jelly, and honey roast ham, and pretty whirls of cheese. All simple but extraordinarily tasty. I ask for seconds but my little friend is ready for cakes. They arrive, to squeals of elation, along with a pair of tiger ears for him to wear (and take away with him afterwards).
There are tiger striped scones (served with not just cream and jam, but chocolate spread, too), pink and blue Battenberg (designed to look like Sophie’s distinctive tights), a milk bottle-shaped Kilner jar of yoghurt with a zingy raspberry compote, chocolate dipped cookies and – our favourite – a cup, filled with moist chocolate cake, topped with cream cheese icing and a fragment of Oreo cookie, with an edible label bearing the legend: ‘Tiger Food’. Our verdict? Probably London’s most purrfect afternoon tea – you’ll have to take my word for it as it was my companion’s first ever.