Mini-Break: Hot Tea Spot in London pt. 3

English Tea With a French Accent
It should come as no surprise that Harrods serves afternoon tea. In fact, it serves several versions, in two locations. Best known is the tea served in the sprawling Georgian Restaurant on the fourth floor. Friendly waiters and replenishable servings recommend the elegant restaurant, but it's a fact that the Georgian caters to tourists. I prefer Laduree.
Situated at street level, Laduree has its own side entrance on Hans Road, as well as a macaroon boutique, which makes the tearoom a perfect spot for watching Londoners from the neighborhood pop in for a fix of the pretty pastel-colored, variously flavored confections for which Paris-based Laduree is so famous. A double-decker seating area overlooks the macaroon counter, and though the view is better downstairs, I settle into the cozy red-velvet loft.
Up in my aerie, I sip tea and linger over smoked salmon finger sandwiches, a raisin croissant, a pistachio "religieuse" (custard-filled puff pastry) and a raspberry tart. All around me on the plump red chairs are female tea-takers, sitting alone or in gossip-girl klatches, inclining over their tea and pastries to share a giggle. At the counter below, I see a stunning older couple delighting in the selection of their colorful macaroon purchases. All in all, Laduree is just the ticket for this out-of-towner seeking a spot of tea and a slice of London life in late afternoon.
Laduree Tearoom at Harrods (87 Brompton Rd., Knightsbridge, Afternoon tea daily 3:30-6 p.m., about $37. From:

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