Some are born for Christmas, some achieve Christmas, and some have Christmas thrust upon them.
As I’m often the one doing the thrusting of Christmas upon others, it’s always exciting to find anything which looks like a festive activity you can legitimately do – and I can legitimately make people do – weeks, maybe months ahead of Christmas.
The festive afternoon tea at Lanes of London is ideal, as it launched in early November, and very little persuasion’s required on my part to convince people this isn’t something we should have to wait for mid-December to try out. In fact, the menu and the venue do most of the persuading for me – somehow resistance to the festiveness of it all just melts away once there’s talk of Jing tea-infused cocktails, quail’s egg mayonnaise sandwiches and snowman-shaped macaroons.
Brought glasses of Moët & Chandon Brut to keep us out of trouble, and then a tray of tea samples to smell, I choose a Silver Needle Jing tea, and my chaperone picks a Phoenix Honey Orchid tea from the oolong menu. That’s the start of the processional of afternoon tea courses – the sandwiches, then the scones, jam and cream, then the very Christmassy coup of festive pastries and cakes.
We leave into a dark afternoon feeling at least 80% more festive than on arrival. And considering it’s still just the beginning of December that’s no mean feat. A few more visits to Lanes of London should have us at 100% easily – and with chocolate and pistachio Christmas-tree shaped brownies to spare – by 25th of December.
The Festive Afternoon Tea at Lanes of London will be on offer every day from 12pm to 5pm. For bookings call 020 76475664. Lanes of London is at the London Marriott Hotel, 140, Park Lane, London, W1K 7AA. Website.