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No.11 Cadogan Gardens: Afternoon Tea at a Hidden Gem

One thing I love about London is the randomness: there’s no logical grid of roads, more a random mish-mash of lanes, byways and cul-de-sacs. While Sloane Square itself is pretty straightforward, there are lots of little rambling roads shooting off it containing gorgeous Victorian mews houses, beautiful churches and pretty patches of greenery.

If you come away from Sloane Square and walk a short distance along these pretty streets you will find charming boutique hotel, No. 11 Cadogan Gardens. It’s kind of hidden away and you could easily walk past it but head up the stairs and you’ll find a hidden world.

The property was built in the 19th Century by Lord Chelsea himself and it was originally four Victorian townhouses.

With it’s dark wooden interior, heavy draped curtains, deep red cushions and intricate gold fixtures and fittings, the place felt very Gothic and a little spooky, especially with the use of the original church pew in the foyer. I also spied a little blue ghost in the grand mirror at the end of the corridor…

A dark dramatic staircase dominated the reception area and I could just imagine the Victorian aristocrats and celebrities sweeping down those stairs to take their tea in the parlour. The portrait at the bottom of the staircase is Hans Sloane, famously the physician to the royal family in the 17th / 18th Century and namesake of Sloane Square.

The lounge is rather less Gothic but it’s still beautifully furnished with gilt armchairs, regal columns and sweeping curtains.

 

 

Tartufo, the downstairs restaurant serves a modern European menu, but we were doing the ‘Quintessentially English’ thing and having afternoon tea.

I was meeting my lovely friend Lauren and her gorgeous four-month old little girl for a ladies afternoon tea. The setting was beautiful and we had so much space at our table with two seats to sit on while we ate and drank, and two huge stuffed thrones to recline on once we’d stuffed ourselves with cake.

For my hot beverage I chose a light and refreshing strawberry and kiwi tea.

 

 

Now some bloggers I know judge an afternoon tea by the all important scone test. but my method of evaluation is based on the smoked salmon sandwich. No. 11 Cadogan Gardens had the perfect finger of smoked salmon; the bread wasn’t at all dry, there was a lightly applied coating of cream cheese and a highly generous wedge of smoked salmon in between. Plus the staff passed the test of bringing us more…

The other sandwiches were the classics, egg mayonnaise, cucumber and cheese. I also loved the wholemeal sandwich with mustard and thick cut ham.

Scones were soft and fluffy and there was the option of plain or fruit served with the requisite cream and jam.

 

The cakes included a Victoria sponge fit for a queen and gooey slice of brownie. The choices were classic but a little on the small side and not as luxurious and decadent as I’ve had at other hotels but it was good for me as I’m still atoning for my greed in South Africa. Also the tea is excellent value for money at £22 or £35 with champagne.
Lauren is currently on a dairy-free diet, and the hotel were so wonderful in accommodating her needs. Substitutes were made for the sandwich spread and she was really pleased to see one of her favourites, carrot cake, to replace the scones. She loved the top layer of fruit cake, flapjack and macaroons (yes, double oo) and even took the leftovers back so she’d have some dairy-free treats at home.
No.11 Cadogan Gardens is a real hidden gem, the tea is great value for money with service that is both attentive and friendly. The perfect place to replace your sugar levels after shopping on Sloane Square.
In celebration of Royal Ascot from 16 -20 June guests can experience the Haute Hair Package in partnership with luxury hair salon Errol Douglas. The package starts from £1,350 including a suite with daily breakfast and a hair appointment at Errol Douglas. The package includes a bottle of champagne and a chauffeur service to the salon and on to Royal Ascot.
No.11 Cadogan Gardens
Knightsbridge
London
SW3 2RJ
020 7730 7000
Our afternoon tea was complimentary
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  • I love hidden gems like this! I agree with you on the smoked salmon sandwich test – it really is the key for me! So great that they were so accommodating for dietary requirements – did you have to let them know in advance?Fantastic value as well – especially for where the hotel is located. Great find!

    Lauren xx | The Lifestyle Diaries

    • We did let them know in advance and the dairy free was prepared perfectly. I hope you pop in and try in.
      Lots of love,
      Angie

  • Love your smoked salmon sandwich test! Some hotels/restaurant only place a measly, wafer-thin slice in the middle … not good enough in my books! 😀 xx

    • Sooo true, yep it well and truly passed the test.
      Lots of love,
      Angie

  • Looking lovely Angie! And that gilt mirror ain't bad too (sorry, I'm on an antique window-shopping spree!). I'm loving the decor, what a lovely place to have afternoon tea. That it's a hidden gem makes it all the more special, like a happy little secret spot! x

    Jasiminne | Posh, Broke, & Bored

    • It's full of antiques and lovely little details, a really interesting and unique place.
      Lots of love,
      Angie

  • I've heard of the scone test, but the smoked salmon sandwich one sounds even better! This looks like a lovely spot for afternoon tea – I need to check it out 🙂

    Kasha xx

    • Yes! Plus excellent value.
      Lots of love,
      Angie

  • I love those flowers in a frame. It looks like a really lovely place for afternoon tea.

    • I'm so glad that you enjoyed it 🙂

  • Cake, big goldy portraits and a little blue ghost (ahem) in the mirror, huh? What's not to love .
    I only care about the cake and champers when it comes to afternoon tea, but it's also nice not to have stale bread 😉

    • lol! They were generous with the champers too 🙂

  • Ooo I love me a good value deal! This place looks cracking. (Absolutely nothing worse than not a measly portion of filling in the sandwiches!) I'm glad they passed the smoked salmon test 🙂 Lots of love, Andrea xxx

    http://www.andreaspassions.com

    • It's a really lovely place xx

  • Ooh I love the decor of the lounge! Looks like a lovely afternoon tea – nothing beats a good smoked salmon sandwich! Except maybe a realllly good scone… 😉

    Etta xx
    http://www.thebrunchdiaries.co.uk

    • We found the sandwiches a Harrods really dry but that's partly cos there were so many people they must have been quite mass produced.
      Lots of love,
      Angie

  • Mmm, cake!

    • mmmm…smoked salmon!

  • As much as I love afternoon tea, I think I could quite happily sacrifice everything else aside from the smoked salmon sandwiches and scones! Laura xx

    • A girl after my heart!
      Lots of love,
      Angie

  • i love an afternoon tea. I cooked scones here in Souther California last week and I was "the cutest" and "very English" Loved it! But nothing like going and being treated to a delicious afternoon tea!

  • Such a pretty surround, 'blue ghost' and all – plus such great value!

    • It was really good value

  • Wow what a stunner! I love secret little hotels, it's nice to have a great quality afternoon tea with some peace and quiet – some of the more well known hotels can get a little rammed at tea time. Definitely adding this one to the list x

    • It's such a cutie, I mentioned to them the cake could be a little bigger 😉
      Lots of love,
      Angie

    • It's such a cutie, I mentioned to them the cake could be a little bigger 😉
      Lots of love,
      Angie

  • Thank you for your wonderful comments and the lovely post Angie <3
    Nothing can beat a Champagne Afternoon Tea with a friend in our Drawing Room !
    Make sure to link your pictures to us when you visit us 🙂 See you soon !

    • Thank you for having me, it was such a lovely day and perfect for my friend and her baby.
      Lots of love,
      Angie

  • Ooooh this does look good! Such a cute hotel. I'm glad the dairy-free was good too. I love carrot cake but I do wish more places mastered dairy-free scones – when done well they are SO good! But might have to give this one a try anyway 🙂

    • Stupidly I didn't realise scones were dairy, but Lauren loved the carrot cake.
      Lots of love,
      Angie

  • That really is a very reasonably priced afternoon tea and good that they can accommodate different dietary requirements Lucy x

    • They are really lovely there!
      Lots of love,
      Angie

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