A few weeks ago, I hopped on the train to London feeling very excited because I was on my way to my first ever afternoon tea. Despite being born in Britain, and living here my whole life, I'd somehow managed to go nearly 27 years without ever participating in this Great British tradition.

The chosen venue was the Ham Yard Hotel, tucked down a small side street close to Leicester Square tube station. I was lucky enough to share my my first ever afternoon tea experience with my fave blogger babes, Lauren, Nirvana, Jenny, Justine and Tanya.

Before heading to the hotel, me and Lauren headed into Kensington to take some outfit photos. Although very mild for a January day, it was still very cold once we took our coats off to get the shots we wanted so this didn't take as long as expected! As a result, we ended up at the venue very early but they were more than happy to seat us then and there while we waited for the rest of our group to arrive.

While we waited, the service was very attentive and friendly, and we were given nice glasses of iced water to keep us going while we chatted and browsed the menu.

Once everyone had arrived, a waitress explained to us how everything works and asked if any of us had any dietary requirements or allergies. One of us has a nut allergy and they were happy to work around that. We were also given a selection of drinks to choose from: besides a selection of teas, we were offered coffee and hot chocolate as well. I personally went with a mint tea. 

Our food then arrived shortly afterwards. There was a separate nut-free stand, a stand to serve two people and a stand to serve three people. Each stand had a lovely selection of extravagant desserts, cute little sandwiches and of course, scones! Our waitress explained what everything was and left us to dig in. 

Now here's a little disclaimer: although I am now eating a mainly vegan diet now, I deliberately did not ask for the vegan menu. The reason for this being that although the Ham Yard website says a vegan afternoon tea can be created if notice is given when booking, there is no indicator of what a vegan afternoon tea would actually include. In fact, there's very little information about the standard afternoon tea available beyond "a selection of sandwiches, cakes and scones" which you know, is obvious. Me and the girls all agreed we much prefer to see exactly what's on offer before we go out for food. 

Now, grumbling aside, I have no regrets about ditching the vegan diet for this day. I tried every sandwich except the ones with egg and they were great, which is weird, because I'm not a huge sandwich fan. There was a lovely pesto and mozzarella one, but I liked the chicken and salmon ones a lot too. The scones were still warm from the oven and the coffee and walnut macarons are the kind of dessert I dream of. I would have liked to see more chocolate-based desserts, but in all honesty, I was so stuffed on scones, sandwiches and macarons that it wasn't too much of a loss! 

All in all, I had a really good time at my first ever afternoon tea. I enjoyed the food and the lovely little conservatory full of quirky decor really added to the atmosphere. At just £22 each as well, I feel it was very affordable for central London, particularly because we ended up taking food home with us because there was too much to eat then and there! We were given little boxes and hotel branded bags to take our leftovers in as well, which really added to the positive experience. 

If you're ever looking for an afternoon tea in London that doesn't break the bank but still takes place in a cool location with tasty goodies, I'd recommend the Ham Yard Hotel.