I cannot speak on behalf of staying here, as I have not.
What I can speak on is the high tea, which I did do, and was basic but nice.
Tophams is a intimate (meaning small but beautiful) hotel right near Victoria Station. I was meeting someone who was visiting London and she had bought a deal for a two-for-one high tea session and asked if I wanted to come along. Of course I did.
High Tea at Tophams is held in their dining room which is surprisingly modern. It almost felt like it lost some of the class of the rest of the hotel. I was expecting white linens, beautiful furniture and the likes. None of that. Don't get me wrong, it was still nice, but it just felt like any other dining room with funky wallpaper and mirrors everywhere. Nothing like the rest of the hotel.
Our server was, to put it bluntly, cold. She sat us down and told us this is champagne high tea. We got nibbles, tea and a glass of champagne. She wanted to know what we wanted first, and we went with tea. She left, brought it out and the tray of food and left. Later, when we wanted the champagne, we had to really signal her. She never checked on us again. Yikes.
The food though was lovely. A multi-tear wedding-cake style tray filled with sweets and mini sandwiches, all delicious. I was very happy nibbling and chatting and enjoying an afternoon of tea and drinks.
Still, I'm not sure I would come back and certainly not without another deal. Ah well.
Now short disclaimer here. I am not reviewing the hotel's rooms or any of its main restaurant cuisine. But me and friend did go here for afternoon tea, so I am more than qualified to review that! Trust me, I've looking forward to this one.
As a joint birthday present to ourselves, me and a friend (hope you're feeling better Natalie!) organised afternoon tea. After much rearranging, I found a Groupon for this place - it was listed as £64 for 2 people down to £25, so as someone that can't pass up THAT kind of discount, I was all over it like mould on bread... Ironically.
We arrived, lovely little boutique hotel in Victoria amongst other 'white with black front door and wrought iron railings' buildings, all the Londoners will know the ones I mean. The waitress took our Groupon and presented us with a glass of bubbly to kick things off. Now this was nice, good quality and prompt service so I was excited. The food came fairly quickly and in typical fashion, it looked like there would barely be enough to satisfy one person but fills 2 quite nicely. Afternoon tea is SO deceptive!
Cucumber and cream cheese, ham and emmentaal and smoked salmon sandwiches grounded the 3 tiered stand, with profiteroles, macaroons and brownies to continue before topping off the top tier were 2 scones complete with clotted cream and jam - all served with hot beverages of course. WE went for tea, how else can you do afternoon TEA! Side point, lovely teapots as they poured beautifully with no drips, a personal gripe of mine.
Everything started well, sandwiches were nice and dainty. Then we got excited and dove into the profiteroles. Well, it all happened in slow motion. Holding this profiterole, I thought I smelled something not quite right, but discounted it (as many would). I was about to ask my friend if she smelt it too, but thought 'after the profiterole obviously!' So on we both went to eat. Firstly, the profiterole was cold in the middle i.e. came from frozen (that little details makes the next part all the more impressive). I then horrifically noticed (simultaneously to my friend) that each of our profiteroles had been accompanied with a generous helping of MOULD. SERIOUSLY?!?!?!
Now we would have spat out the food but had already swallowed (behave you naughty people). Of course, I kicked off, in a diplomatic way (it was afternoon tea after all, and we are British!). We got numerous apologies from the waitresses, more tea, champagne, sandwiches and the rest. The reason we were given was the profiteroles seemed fine when they came from a delivery bag this morning. Great. Not even prepared fresh.
MOULD, sorry still getting it out of my system. The rest of the tea room was told of course, or they heard us wretching in the corner, who knows. Suffice to say, I felt rather ill afterwards.
Note to self, always consider a Groupon that gives such good discount. And next time, bite the bullet and go to Harrods. EEEWWW
Really trying to be something it's not because of the area. I found the staff pleasant and helpful though.
Yes, the walls are thin. The mattresses are lumpy. The lock to the adjoining door between my room and the room next door did not work. The TV worked sporadically. The housekeeping is sloppy (I know they are not changing my towels every day, even when I put them on the floor). Worst is the crabby American woman at the front desk who complains constantly about everything. If you can't be nice to people, get out of the service business. It's an overpriced, underwhelming experience here.
The only reason to stay at this hotel is the access to Victoria Station. There's not even much in the neighborhood, a few restaurants, a S'bucks and the ubiquitous Pret-A-Porter.
Avoid, so many better places in London for less money.
For the price of staying at this hotel...I didn't really have high expectations so this review is solely based on already set low expectations. Didn't meet my low expectations either.
The walls are SUPER THIN. At 3am I heard the couple next door having sex. I could hear their moans and groans...disgusting. The next night, I heard a man (not next door mind you) snoring.
While showering, the water turned cold.
The carpets are disgusting. The rooms are cold (not enough blankets and no heaters). The staff is also not too friendly. They were arguing most of the time while I was waiting in the lobby.
The only plus side is that it's close to the Victoria underground line and the train station..and it's located in central London.
If you are claustrophobic or very tall don't stay here, the place is super charming but very small. The only complaint that I have is the TV was hung right on the side of the bed, right there, along with the nightstand!
Anyways, I personally LOVED it! Two blocks from Victoria Station and within walking distance to Buckingham Palace!
We went for afternoon tea. The receptionist didn't lift a finger to help my disabled husband nor was there any ramp for wheelchair access. She was stony faced at every meeting.
The waitresss was pleasant but the fizzy wine was served with the pot of tea and I would have preferred to have it first and then had the tea nice and hot later. She placed the glasses using her hands to hold the rim - which shows a total lack of basic training and nowhere wishing to rate themselves as 4* should employ anyone who doesn't know that glasses are always held by the stem. I don't want to drink from a glass which somone has held just where I would put my lips. What did they hold last?
The sandwiches were nice, but the cakes were all shop bought and we received a cream doughnut cut in half and a cream eclair cut in half. Considering the price of £25 per person, this was simply not good enough. The little cupcakes were nice but again, shop bought.
When we left, the receptionist was surly and again offered no assistance nor for anyone to get a ramp.
Pretty faces are no good without a pretty character behind them.
The manager was pretty, smiling, well spoken and helpful, but I'd say she either hasn't had quality training herself or else she needs to start doing some basic on the job training with the staff she has. This should be a great little place,the flaws I noticed seem basic and obvious and could easily be rectified.
The hotel looks pretty, nice squishy sofas, didn't see any guest rooms, they may be lovely, but go elsewhere for your afternoon tea.
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