High Tea at the Stafford Hotel, St James'

I had a very rare treat yesterday, high tea in a swanky hotel in town. The ritual of taking afternoon tea in beautiful surroundings is so very British, the French have followed suite with their Salons de The but frankly they don't stand up to our traditions.

The room at the Stafford Hotel is nothing short of old fashioned grandeur, with a harpist playing discreetly as the attentive staff bring out tempting delights. One is instantly transported to yesteryear when elegant ladies swished across the floor in their sweeping dresses. Funnily we did all dress up for our tea date to celebrate a beautiful friend's bold entrance into that marvellous 40's club, that I also belong to.

Tea was poured and we were served perfect little sandwiches with a variety of fillings: Cheese, smoked salmon, ham and mustard and of course that ultimate tea time favourite cucumber. The scones were wonderful, light, fluffy subtly flavoured with rosemary or lavender. Topped with rich clotted cream and the sweetest strawberry jam, these were my highlight of the afternoon.

The patisserie was to die for with pistachio chocolate parcels and fruit tarts aplenty. One disappointment came in the form of the Macaron which was very dry and bland, with a chocolate filling it was barely edible. The small glasses filled with Panna cotta topped with a fruit coulis on the other hand were stunning! For £32.50 per person it was absolutely worth it, we enjoyed every mouthful accompanied by the silver service, and eaten from the pristine fine bone china crockery.

A splendid afternoon spent in the company of some glamorous ladies was just perfect.