A Travel and Lifestyle Blog
Stepping outside of the tube station in Hammersmith, West London, we were a little unsure where we were heading for our afternoon tea. We knew we were off to The Melody restaurant, and we knew it was located within St Paul’s Hotel. That was what our gift experience voucher informed us anyway. We had been gifted this afternoon tea at The Melody by our eldest son’s girlfriend for Christmas, (you can see the details here), so was relying on google maps to get us to allllll the cake! Hammersmith is probably one of the areas in London that Im not as familiar with as others, so we had no real clue what to expect of the area. Well, the short walk from the station found us standing in the most gorgeous courtyard of this beautiful boutique hotel and restaurant. Let me tell you all about the beautiful Melody, and its varied and interesting past…
St Paul’s Hotel actually started life as a school. It was built in 1884 and designed by the architect Alfred Waterhouse, who also built the Natural History Museum, (one of my fave buildings in London fyi). It was converted to the gorgeous, character filled boutique hotel that it is now, in 1968. I was lucky enough to be shown around the hotel by the fabulous receptionist, and the rooms are beautiful. Each on is decorated differently, and some still have their original fire places. A great hotel to consider if you are in this part of town. Anyway, I digress, lets get to the cake…….
Nik and I got to the hotel a little early, but this was actually a blessing. We got ourselves a cold glass of wine, and sat in the grounds of the hotel. There is a gorgeous courtyard garden at the back, which windows from the restaurant look out on to. The red brick of the gothic hotel is stunning, and the little park that is beyond the hotel boundary means that it feels like an open, tranquil little oasis. You do not feel like you are in busy and bustling London! We thoroughly enjoyed sitting there for half an hour, immersing ourselves in the peace and quiet.
There are a couple of different rooms to The Melody, as well as a traditional Whisky Bar. The room that the afternoon tea is served in is gorgeous. Beautiful crisp table linen, well spaced out tables, original fireplace, and light flooding in through the windows made it bright and inviting. Chandeliers hung low from the ceiling resulted in the sun hitting them and created wall displays of twinkling, dancing lights. It was so pretty and just added to the elegance of the space. Our table was right next to the window, so we could still admire the pretty garden.
Now, I should probably tell you here that The Melody was unable to do a completely vegan afternoon tea, (I have had one totally vegan experience at The Oxo Tower Vegan Afternoon Tea) so I did have to have vegetarian. They could sort everything sandwich wise, but couldn’t guarantee that there was not eggs in the cakes. This is the second time that I have had to be a weeny bit flexible with my vegan diet since November, but I try not to beat myself up over it. To be fair, I only ate one of the cakes as I was so full up, so Nik was happy……..
Afternoon tea at The Melody is served in the traditional way. A tiered cake stand, adorned with finger sandwiches’, warm scones with clotted cream and rich strawberry jam, as well as a variety of other sweet treats. You also get a beautiful selection of coffee and teas, both traditional and offerings a little different. I chose the Lapsang Souchong, as I love rich, smokey teas. It was gorgeous. You can also opt for afternoon tea with champagne, either a glass of, or, brace yourself people, unlimited glasses of champers……..
The Melody restaurant was named after the 1971 well-known British film, Melody. The film was actually shot at St Paul’s Hotel, and its director, (the original director of Dr Who, Warris Hussein), was said to have fallen in love with the building. Naming the restaurant after the iconic film felt a fitting tribute. With its past guest list including the old school masters and scholars from St Paul’s school, and where Churchill himself came with Eisenhower and Montgomery to plan the D-day landings, its no wonder the hotel feels so full of character and history. The elegant and classic decor of The Melody compliment that long hotel heritage.
I absolutely love finding new little gems in London that were undiscovered by us. If you fancy your afternoon tea venue to be elegant, calm and unrushed, you will love afternoon tea at The Melody. Even sitting outside on a balmy London evening, glass of wine in hand, would be a wonderful end to a day in town. They also of course have dinner and lunch menu’s, as well as a Sunday lunch that I am told you need to book a fair way in advance. Using locally sourced and sustainable ingredients within the menu, I think afternoon tea, lunch or dinner at The Melody would suit everyone.
We thoroughly enjoyed our afternoon tea at The melody. It was very chilled out, but still had the elegance and standards of any of the “big hotel” afternoon tea’s. The deal through BuyaGift, (details here) was such good value we felt, (£39 for two) and well worth it. You can also add a glass of champagne through BuyaGift (details here), and that is £49 for two. Such fabulous value! I think it makes a gorgeous gift for someone and we were so grateful to our lovely Seiniz. The bottomless champagne version is £55 per person direct from The Melody if you fancy a boozy one. Do you think this makes a great gift idea? Do you like to receive experiences rather than things as gifts?