The Oyster Box is my idea of heaven! I wrote about my enchantment with the hotel in general some time ago and I am even more impressed now that I have been to a high tea. Now, it must be noted that I adore tea and cake and have therefore had some noteworthy experiences of taking tea. The Oyster Box, however, knocks the socks off anything else I have ever exprienced.

The experience began with a personalised note waiting on the table, welcoming us to the hotel. When I say personalised, I mean handwritten and addressed to us by name. Such a simple concept, yet so effective as we felt very valued.

 This is high tea in the most traditional sense. There were cucumber sarmies, scones and cake as well as a large selection of other delicacies which had us salivating in aticipation. There are many savoury treats available for those who don’t have a particularly sweet tooth and more than enough to satisfy even a cake and dessert connoisseur like me, from creme brulee in miniature tea cups to individual cheesecakes.

Contrary to what one may think, the hotel is very unpretentious and it is very easy to relax in the comfortable wicker chairs with your tea, listening to the sounds of piano music played by a live pianist sitting at the baby grand metres away.

I had booked the tea as a birthday treat for my sister-in-law and towards the end of the afternoon, the first notes of “Happy Birthday” sounded and she was presented with a sparkler-adorned cupcake, an Oyster Box peak and a selection of facial poducts from the spa.

High Tea at The Oyster Box is a truly decadent experience which leaves you feeling really special, as though you have had a taste of how European royalty must live. It is also a great gift idea for someone who deserves a truly wonderful afternoon.

Booking is essential, even on weekdays. Call 031 – 514 5000.