One of the things I love about London is the many free museums and art galleries that one can go to and spend a few happy hours at.
Hertford House which houses The Wallace collection is nestled in a quiet street just off the buzzing Oxford Street.The stunning historic townhouse is home to 25 galleries housing everything from world class armoury to Old Masters paintings.
In 1871 thanks to the political upheaval in France, comte de Nieuwerkerke was looking to sell off his huge collection of French art collection. Which happened to be around the time that Sir Richard Wallace came into money and was looking to expand his inherited art collection. This is how The Wallace Collection came into being. Thanks to this turn of events, a spectacular and renowned collection of medieval and renaissance works of art and arms and armour is available for viewing to us to this day
Amongst the many galleries, not to be missed is The Great Gallery which has been described as “the greatest picture gallery in Europe.”
Though this national museum has free admission, I was invited as a guest by The Wallace Restaurant courtesy my friend Fiona MacLean who blogs at London Unattached, to sample their delicious afternoon tea in the magnificent in-house restaurant. A huge central glass covered courtyard is a haven, minutes away from the crowds and noise of one of London’s busiest shopping area. Flooded with natural light the atrium restaurant offers an alfresco dining experience.
A huge central glass covered courtyard is a haven, minutes away from the crowds and noise of one of London’s busiest shopping area. Flooded with natural light the atrium restaurant offers an alfresco dining experience.
A group of us food bloggers (Madeleine, Heidi, Jess, and Emma) were seated at a large table inside the stunning courtyard. I loved the experience of sitting in a large open space yet not being exposed to the elements – almost like a secret hideaway. The natural light made clicking pictures that much more an enjoyable experience.
I choose to have a pot of a fruity herbal tea, my pick was the orange rooibos – a light and fragrant tea with a delicate colour. I think it was a perfect accompaniment to the freshly prepared finger sandwiches.
I managed to devour most of the large scone with a blob of clotted cream and some Peyton and Byrne preserve. We were also served an eclair with burnt caramel and creme’ chantilly, lemony madeleines and amaretti biscuit with orange zest. I nibbled at all of the sweet treats but enjoyed the eclair the most although I must admit the burnt caramel topping was too sweet for my taste buds. I most enjoyed the sandwiches and the tea and a glass of Champagne.
For £26 with Champagne, this afternoon tea is an absolute treat, especially since one can really relax in the enclosed courtyard after a spot of gazing at paintings and gawking at magnificent Objets d’Art.
*With thanks to The Wallace Collection and Fiona for the invite. No monetary compensation was offered for a positive review. As always all opinions expressed here are entirely my own.