Having visited Vivi restaurant at Centre Point before, I was delighted to be invited back to try their afternoon tea. A very British institution, afternoon tea has to be done right to be worth it. So I was looking forward to visiting again with some other bloggers from Love Pop Ups London, to check out Vivi’s afternoon tea.
*Full disclosure my afternoon tea was free in return for this honest review*
Afternoon tea at Vivi, Centre Point London
Vivi is centrally located at Centre Point, right next to Tottenham Court Road underground station. Tucked away on the first floor, with windows overlooking the courtyard and New Oxford Street, it has great light during the day.
As I mentioned I’ve dined at Vivi before with the ladies from Love Pop Ups London. To see what dinner at Vivi is like, read the full review here:
Afternoon tea at Vivi:
We were at Vivi on Saturday afternoon for afternoon tea though.
For £29.50 you get the full stand of food, tea and candy floss! For an extra £9.50 you can get a glass of champagne to accompany your afternoon tea. Or why not order a cocktail?
There is a wide selection of teas to choose from. The waiter recommended trying one of the more unusual ones, with the opportunity to change to a different tea if we didn’t enjoy them. So I chose the chocolate noir and Beth the mango tea. Laura stuck with a classic earl grey.
Tea is served in glass teapots with loose leaf tea blends. Each cup has its own strainer to catch the bits and hence it truly felt like a ceremony to pour the tea.
I liked the chocolate tea – which was a black tea with chocolate, rather than a pure chocolate drink, but the flavours went together well. I also tried Beth’s mango tea which was lovely too.
As we drank the tea or it got a bit cold, the staff came around with more hot water to top up our tea pots.
The savoury food for Vivi’s afternoon tea consisted of dainty finger sandwiches. We had the classic cucumber sandwich, smoked salmon and cream cheese, egg mayo and cress, roast beef and horseradish and coronation chicken.
All of the sandwiches are typical ‘British flavours’ I have to admit I wasn’t feeling the coronation chicken, despite the fact it included mango chutney! As I was quite full still from an earlier meal I only ate the smoked salmon and egg mayo sandwiches – which were both lovely.
Now if tea makes an afternoon tea, then the other thing it needs to be a ‘proper’ afternoon tea is scones!
We were served one plain and one with sultanas in, with the requisite clotted cream and jam.
As there is a large debate over which to out on your scone first (cream or jam), I tried it both ways. I think cream first is the winner! (To be fair my technique is to load AS MUCH cream as possible on and then ask for refills ?)
I’ve had scones in more prestigious establishments before and was bitterly disappointed that they were undercooked in the middle – so this is something I watch out for. The scone was perfectly cooked and still warm from the oven, so 10/10 here.
As you traditionally start with savoury and work your way up the stand to the sweet layer, I was quite full when I started trying these! Read more about what afternoon tea is and how to eat it here:
Our sweet course included the fabulous, albeit a little random, candy floss. In hindsight I should have eaten this straightaway as it doesn’t keep well – candy floss is meant to be eaten immediately!
Then the sweet plate at the top of the stand had a chocolate eclair, Battenberg cake with its distinctive chequered look, a macaron, carrot cake and a Victoria sponge with gold leaf – fancy!
The first thing I dove into was the chocolate eclair. This was very delicate and almost oozed out the other end as I bit in. Luckily I was able to stop getting covered in chocolate. I liked the eclair – you can’t go wrong with chocolate flavoured anything in my book!
The blackberry macaron looked pretty but was a bit of a disappointment for me. Having made macarons myself I know they are tricky, however the filling didn’t burst with flavour (it just tasted like cream) and the shell didn’t seem crisp enough – disappearing into the filling.
Read about how to make your own gin filled macarons here:
The other cakes I took home with me and had them the next day, so maybe they were at their best then. The carrot cake had chunky nuts in it, which didn’t work so well with such a small item. However it tasted good still. The fancy gold leaf Victoria sponge had a layer of whipped cream and some jam in the middle. The Battenberg cake was encircled in marzipan, which made me crave a glass of Vin Santo – the sweet Italian dessert wine – to have with it.
We were privileged to have a cocktail included with our afternoon tea. You can order any additional drinks from their menu to have with your afternoon tea.
The Weeping Guitar cocktail I chose was very refreshing and I love the bergamot flavours from the Italicus. I wanted to choose a Scottish gin based cocktail, it being International Scottish Gin Day, but instead I picked the Spanish gin, Gin Mare, as this cocktail was more what I fancied.
Read more about International Scottish Gin Day here:
My friend tried the Pink Floyd rhubarb cocktail, which was also very prettily presented:
I’ll always recommend that you try Vivi’s cocktails as they are well thought out and beautiful to look at.
Well there was far too much food for me to finish. So I asked to take home the remaining sweet treats (someone else could have my cucumber sandwich). The waitress brought us take out boxes for us to pack our remaining goodies in.
For me this afternoon was worth the money. Unlike some higher priced afternoon teas in central London, Vivi includes a stand each – so you know what food is yours and don’t have to share/split a cake between two!
They didn’t ask if we wanted refills of anything, however we didn’t eat all the items on our stand. Usually with an afternoon tea you can get refills of savoury items, but not the cake.
I also liked that it was super easy to take away the uneaten treats – so you get what you pay for even if you can’t eat it all in one sitting.
Find Vivi at:
(take exit 4 from Tottenham Court Road Station)
Lunch (Tues-Fri): 12:00-15:30
Afternoon Tea (Tues-Sun): 15:00-18:00
Theatre (Tues-Sat): 17:30-19:00 & 22:00-23:00
Dinner (Tues-Sat): 17:30-23:00
Brunch (Sat-Sun): 11:00-15:30