As soon as you hear the words Theatre Royal, Dury Lane you know you’re going to have the most unforgettable luxurious experience! The Grand Saloon at The Lane within The Theatre Royal is the perfect place to enjoy a slice of Afternoon Tea luxury in the heart of London’s theatre district.
Let’s quickly step back to 1812 when The Theatre Royal on Dury Lane first opened its doors. It has hosted iconic premieres and show stopping productions on and off stage for over 350 years including My Fair Lady in 1958 – a show which sold out for months and is regarded as one of the biggest nights in West End history. Sir Cecil Beaton won an Academy ward for best dressed costume design for My Fair Lady in 1965.
In 2019, the theatre underwent a £60 million renovation project allowing the unique architecture from 1812 to be restored to its former glory.
Being Grade I listed, the building is steeped in history and its majestic façade is truly beautiful. Winding around the corridors inside there are beautiful pieces of history and statues at every turn. The show stopping staircase is a piece of art itself! A circular landing swirls around towards a grand dark wooden door leading into the Grand Saloon which is where Afternoon Tea is served.
Now affectionately known as ‘The Lane’, the restoration has allowed the theatre to become a popular new destination not only for its stage shots, but for its food, bars, art and culture. This allows the iconic interiors to be enjoyed by all, not just theatre-goers allowing the architecture and historical interiors to be embraced and enjoyed by many admirers.
The Grand Saloon is an exquisite dining room, with many pieces of art-work and high curved ceilings trimmed in rich gold. The tall green pillars have matching gold floral details that reach up towards the ceiling, enhancing luxury from top to bottom, while three glass chandeliers glisten above the main section. Green marble worktop and dark wood make for a powerful and regal combination.
We started with a refreshing green tea to cleanse the pallet, while a full range of tea and coffee options are offered unlimited as part of the experience.
Our stand of sweet and savoury delicacies arrived on dainty custom fine bone china, featuring mythical characters designed by British interior designers Kit and Willow Kemp.
With a twist on the usual Afternoon Tea offering, The Lane offers up savoury madeleines topped with lapsang-souchong glazed salmon and pickled fennel, bitesize cannelés with goats’ cheese and pickled beetroot. We devoured the Lily’s signature puff pastry sausage rolls made with Cornish sausage meat, roast bacon lardons and a cider vinegar deglaze – so delicious.
Sweet treats included warm Lily Vanilli signature scones served with salted whipped butter, cream and homemade jam to enjoy whilst sipping on your tea, coffee or Taittinger champagne.
The menu changes seasonally and is created by Lily Vanilli, formally renowned as ‘Queen of cakes artisan baker and cake designer’.
The current sweet offering includes pink lemonade tart, with elderflower jelly, sticky toffee pudding with custard and salted caramel (one of my favourites), not forgetting the most beautiful cake on the menu – a a rich dark chocolate cake with biscuit crunch, salted caramel, buttercream and a chocolate cherub. The detailing on the icing and design was remarkable.
The final course included seasonal ice cream which I thought was fabulous – I’ve never come across afternoon tea with an ice cream course before and it’s such a quirky idea, brought over on a wooden ice cream trolley for an unforgettable experience.
As you wander to the end of the Grand Saloon there is another dining area full of fine art, featuring a free standing piano, which I am can imagine has been used for many luxurious parties and banquets. It stands proudly in front of a very delicate fireplace with tall gold candles framing the large mirror reflecting another dazzling glass chandelier.
The Regency Afternoon Tea at The Lane makes for a wonderfully relaxing and luxurious way to while away the day with friends and family. Book here. Prices start from £59 while there’s also a special Valentine’s (9-15th February) and Mother’s Day themed (16th- 21st March) Afternoon Tea available.