Japanese Garden At Blakes

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Japanese Garden at Blakes
Chelsea

Blakes opened on a quiet South Kensington street in 1978, with interiors by renowned society designer Anouska Hempel. Recently refurbished, it has retained its moody Oriental vibe, and tea can be taken in the downstairs Chinese room, which compensates for a lack of natural light with sumptuous printed screens and lavish cushions.

We prefer the serene Japanese Garden, a bijoux courtyard to the rear of the hotel boasting a handful of alfresco tables, with ludicrously attractive staff to boot. Dark walls and black parasols are offset by potted bay trees and topiary, making for a sophisticated setting, but it’s downhill from there.

Our under-filled finger sandwiches were on the dry side, while a single slice of dreary chocolate cake seemed stingy. Scones served with both jam and fresh strawberries were better, though whipped rather than clotted cream proved a disappointment. If you favour style over substance, this might fit the bill.

Venue name: Japanese Garden At Blakes
Contact:
Address: Blakes Hotel
London
SW7 3PF
Cross street: 33 Roland Gardens
Opening hours: Afternoon tea served 12.30-5.30pm daily
Transport: Tube: South Kensington or Earl's Court tube or 430 bus
Price: Afternoon tea £19 per head
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