I tried the new festive themed afternoon tea at a hotel in the Strand, where they even have performers to entertain you as you eat on weekends.

The Strand Palace Hotel has launched its new Ice Palace themed afternoon tea, hosted at their Haxells restaurant, offering anyone from families to friends a chance to enjoy a festive afternoon tea to mark the winter season.

The hotel is in a prime location, within a stone's throw of Somerset House’s popular ice rink and Christmas shopping at Covent Garden Market.

The restaurant has also been decorated with icicles and winter foliage, which is something the restaurant does to coincide with the theme of the afternoon tea, which changes from season to season.

News Shopper: Festive decorations at the Strand Palace HotelFestive decorations at the Strand Palace Hotel (Image: Emily Davison)

What you need to know

On weekdays afternoon tea costs £49 for adults and £25 for children, and on weekends it costs £59 for adults and £30 for children.

The Ice Palace afternoon tea is available up until the end of December and is bookable between the times of 12:30pm and 4pm.

If you visit on the weekends, you will be treated to entertainment from characters like Jack Frost himself or the Ice Ballerina.

The afternoon tea also includes a complimentary welcome drink, where guests can choose between a glass of prosecco or a themed cocktail.

They also offer a vegan friendly afternoon tea option too.

News Shopper: Strand Palace Hotel Afternoon Tea selectionStrand Palace Hotel Afternoon Tea selection (Image: Emily Davison)

The Afternoon Tea

The afternoon tea is themed around the festive season, with a host of festive flavours even down to the scones.

For savouries there was a Whipped Ashgrove Goat’s Cheese, Caramelised Onion and Sage Tartlet, a Spinach Wrap with Roasted Butternut Squash, a Grilled Red Pepper and Feta, traditional British Roast Turkey with Cranberry Mayonnaise on a Brioche Bun, and classic Prawn Cocktail in Marie Rose Sauce Crostini.

Personally, I’ve always been someone who likes afternoon teas that depart from the conventional route of just sandwiches.

News Shopper: Emily at the Ice Palace afternoon teaEmily at the Ice Palace afternoon tea (Image: Emily Davison)

The savouries were a good mix of takes on festive classics, like the prawn cocktail and flavours like turkey and cranberry.

However, my personal favourite had to be the wrap stuffed with peppers and feta, which had a nice mix of textures and flavours.

But, I’d say that if you’re looking for a mix of flavours and aren’t someone who could sit and eat a whole plate of sandwiches, this afternoon tea definitely catered to that.

The scones served had a slight festive twist and came served with clotted cream and a cranberry and raspberry preserve.

It didn’t stray too far from the conventional scone, however the slight change in flavour with the cranberries was a nice nod to the festive period and made a change from the strawberry jam that is usually served at afternoon teas.

News Shopper: Festive macaronsFestive macarons (Image: Emily Davison)

For sweets there are a range of festive themed options with flavours from chocolate, orange, coconut and cherry.

The sweet options included a Chocolate and Orange Macaron with a White Chocolate Snowflake, a Chocolate and Cherry Reindeer Yule Log, Coconut and Citrus Snowball, and a White Chocolate and Vanilla Christmas Tree Cakesicle.

My favourite out of all the options was definitely the Chocolate and Cherry Reindeer Yule Log, as the sponge was moist and the cherry filling was lovely against the chocolate.

The flavours were all very traditional and seemed to be very child-friendly for younger guests, who may not have the palates for overly sophisticated combinations of flavours.

News Shopper: Reindeer yule logsReindeer yule logs (Image: Emily Davison)

For teas, there was a menu of different options to choose from, which included traditional options like Earl Grey and their own take on a breakfast blend.

However, there were also some unusual options blended with peppermint and caramel, and another which was made with white peony and rosebuds.

As we visited during the weekend, there was also one of their performers in residence. That week was the return of Jack Frost, who was performing juggling acts for the young diners.

This was a first for me, I’ve never been for an afternoon tea where there are performers and I think it added a unique touch to the whole thing.

All in all, if you’re looking for a fun and family-friendly outing this Christmas, I’d definitely recommend giving this place a try.