Yesterday I spent a marvelous afternoon at the Athenaeum on London’s Picadilly, having afternoon tea and a REN facial treatment. Before I go into any further detail, can I just draw your attention to the beekeeper in the above picture? Have you ever seen a happier face? He looks absolutely pleased as punch to have brought in the honey from the Royal Parks! (And so he should be – it was amazing honey!)
Now for obvious reasons, I can’t really do ‘high tea’ that often. Cakes, crumpets and scones do not bode well for a fashion model’s career. Not on a regular basis, anyhow. So yesterday, as a special treat to myself (and because it would have been rude not to) I threw caution to the wind and partook (is that even a word?) in a three course afternoon tea. The Honey-Tea has only just launched at the Athenaeum and is the latest of their ‘themed’ teas – it celebrates the excellent honey made in the beehives in the Royal Parks, just across the road from the hotel.
I consumed, in no particular order: two lavender and honey macaroons, an elderflower jelly, a honey cheesecake, a scone with jam and cream, a goat’s cheese and honey sandwich, a honey roast ham sandwich, a glass of honey fizz and two cups of peach green tea. Everything was beyond excellent. I was truly stuffed after this lot, but there was loads left. You could easily have this tea as your main meal – although it would be a little nutritionally unsound, probably!
The Honey Tea costs £39 for two people and it’s a lovely way to spend a long, lazy afternoon. The tea room is warm and cosy and it really feels quite special to be served tea and cakes on gorgeous china and silverware.
After tea, I went to have a wander around the newly opened spa – it has only just been re-launched after extensive refurbishment and it has a very swish steam room and hot tub area. If ‘hot tub’ sounds a little off-putting to you, then instead envisage two wooden-sided tubs with gently bubbling water in a tranquil room. Unfortunately I didn’t have my Speedos with me (haha!) otherwise I would have taken a dip!
The treatment room has two beds so that coupes or friends can have treatments side-by-side, which is a lovely idea. I had a 30 minute REN Manouka Honey Treatment which was a slow, luxurious facial using very relaxing massage techniques. My skin was really glowing afterwards! I felt so relaxed that I had the weird sensation that I was falling through the treatment bed!
Honey Tea and then a treatment in the spa would be the perfect girly afternoon in my opinion – I will be back. Such a treat on a grey January day!
Treatments in the Spa cost from £50 for 30 minutes and there’s a huge range that can be adapted to suit your needs. Call +44 (0) 20 7640 3557 for details, or browse the spa menu at www.athenaeumhotel.com
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