Here's a treat... how about booking yourself an afternoon tea in one of the riverside restaurants at the Houses of Parliament?
It sounds almost unbelievable, but it's possible for the public to book a sitting in the elegant Terrace Pavilion -- the same place where the MPs eat during the week. (Note: It's not always in the Terrace Pavilion, because there might be parliamentary business going on).
You'll get a seasonal menu of savouries and sweets by Parliament's award-winning chefs, served up with a selection of luxury teas and coffees.
Important note: It's not possible to have the tea on it's own. You need to combine it with a tour, which costs extra. What you need to do is book yourself a Saturday tour of Parliament beforehand (at least one day in advance -- you can't just turn up and do it on the same day). And you need to book your tour time at least two hours in advance of the tea, to give you time to complete it. The tea has sittings at 2 PM and 3.45 PM.
The tour comes in two different versions: a guided tour, and a self-guided tour on a pair of headphones. Craig has tried them both and described them on his blog. Read his review of the guided tour and review of the self-guided tour before you go, to help you decide which one to pick.
If you're into luxury teas then there are plenty more to choose from. How about an Afternoon Tea at The Ritz? That really is the ultimate tea in London, but it will make a big dent in your wallet. Another option is the Tea at Fortnum & Mason (a posh shop in Piccadilly). Or maybe you could book yourself an evening meal onboard a Bateaux Cruise as it floats slowly down the Thames?
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Craig’s review – “I love this place. I even love the politicians inside it (well, most of them). If you come to London and don't go to the Summer Opening at the Houses of Parliament then you're basically nuts. It will have been a wasted trip. It's like going to Rome and not seeing the Vatican. Or going to Amsterdam and not getting stoned. A tour of this place will make your holiday. Th… continued”
Read Craig’s Houses of Parliament review
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