This is an old review which used to live elsewhere but my failure to make properly fluffy and sweet scones last night (no thanks Nigella Lawson) made me want to revisit and repost it.
When I originally wrote my review I thought that the Hidden Tea Room was the best of the “domestic” underground restaurants I had tried at that time (this is meant to exclude Nuno Mendes’ efforts as there is nothing less than professional about his place, The Loft). This was for the simple reason that Lady Gray and her husband had got the concept right; high tea. Brilliant. Simple, and easy to maintain the quality.
This was one of the first underground restaurants reviewed by Time Out and has always meant that getting a booking is a bit tricky. However, I managed to get a space there at the end of the summer and took two friends there. I would definitely try to go in summer as Lady Gray has an advantage most Londoners don’t have; outside space. Perfect for champagne and her best dish, cheese biscuity nibbles.
After the opening drinks you find yourself in Lady Gray’s front room squeezed in around a table that touches every corner of the room. You don’t forget for one second that this is not a restaurant and that is part of its beauty. The service, the surroundings, the food are all at a tangent of your “normal” experience. I mean, we even spoke to the people sitting opposite.
The effort Lady Gray and her husband took to relax, feed and stuff you were laudable. As already mentioned the cheese biscuits to go with the champagne were the highlight but the rest of the cream tea was good. Not grand Hotel good, but good. Where they really stood out was on the teas, a selection of 10s and with each person getting their own little teapot.
All you can do when you meet such nice people as Lady Gray and her husband is wish them well and thank them for a great experience.
- Price – £25 a head with all the tea you want
- Address – somewhere secret near Old Street roundabout