The Rubens Hotel makes the most of its proximity to Buckingham Palace and brings out the flag-waving royalist in all its guests, British subjects or not. Tea is served in the Palace Lounge overlooking the Royal Mews (as close as most of us will get to taking tea with Her Majesty). In descending order of grandeur, choose from the Queen’s (£37.50), the Royal (£32.50) or the Rubens (£27.50). All include traditional sandwiches such as coronation chicken or prawn-cocktail bridge rolls, as well as fine home-baked cakes and pastries including Scottish thistle shortbread, summer pudding slice and, of course, scones with clotted cream. As well as a decent choice of traditional, herbal and oriental teas, there are no fewer than six Champagnes by the glass (including Laurent-Perrier Rosé). A children’s tea is also available (£15).
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