24 Karat Gold afternoon tea, St James Court Taj Hotel

Afternoon tea follows a fairly traditional formula, sandwiches, scones, cake all served with a lashing of tea.  To stand out from the crowds, we’ve seen restaurants do a Chinese afternoon tea, chocolatey overload afternoon tea at Oxo tower and even a Cuban inspired afternoon tea!

The Taj hotel have jumped on this bandwagon and are offering a 24 Karat gold afternoon tea, sadly this doesn’t mean they offer jewellery with every tea, but more that the tea is laid on with decadent gold leaf.

Taj hotel courtyard

Taj hotel courtyard

The Taj hotel is located in busy Victoria, but is tucked away on a side street and walking in to the beautiful courtyard, you’re transported to foreign exotic lands!

The interiors are a bit more sedate and soon enough, we’re settled in with some tea from a shimmery gold tea service.  The 24 Karat gold tea is not the only one they do, I can spot others having a Royal afternoon tea and an Alice in Wonderland themed one, the latter of which has a table decorated Alice in Wonderland style!

As is traditional with afternoon teas, the first course is sandwiches. At the Taj though, the sandwiches are savouries that come with their own hint of gold.  The salmon had a luxurious mascarpone cream cheese layer topped with caviar, there was gold in the quail’s egg and egg mayo tart, gold flecks on the vegetable, tomato and black olive parcel.  The chicken and chorizo sandwich and minted cucumbers were pretty normal, although delicious.

I like the taste of all these savouries, but I’m not entirely sure what the gold has added to this fare…



And that’s a theme that largely continues on through dessert.  Almost every dessert has some form of gold flake or leaf on it and while it’s very glitteringly pretty, I’m really after a dessert that tastes better than it looks.

The champagne and gold leaf jelly is a boozy hit as I do love my bubbly but I simply wasn’t a fan of the remaining desserts.  The scones were very good, but not particularly different to any other high end afternoon tea I’ve ever been to.

We got to chatting over afternoon tea over what you were really getting for a golden afternoon tea and came to the conclusion that while the afternoon tea is of good quality, as you would expect of a hotel of its calibre, the addition of the gold leaf simply didn’t add up to much. Perhaps it’s there for the talkability point only but that’s not really a good enough reason is it.

My recommendation: go along for the tea, just don’t have high hopes for the gold. Remember, just because it glitters, doesn’t mean it’s golden.

Disclosure: I was invited by Zomato to try out the afternoon tea, but I always tell the golden truth.

St James' Courtyard - St. James' Court Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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