You know when you just meet someone and have a feeling that you are going to be besties? That’s what happened with my friend Dan. We met at work last year and immediately I knew he was on my wavelength. Sadly, as our friendship began to blossom, I was asked to terminate his employment (through no fault of his own, I must add, he was great) and that put a spanner in the works for a while.
Luckily though, Dan doesn’t hold a grudge and still loves me despite my brutal Lord Sugar moment. Soz again about that babe. He’s a successful music blogger and we’ve had loads of fun together including when he invited me to see All Saints as a VIP and I was standing next to actual Baby Spice at the bar. After working in TV I don’t have many fan girl moments but…. it’s Baby Spice. I think that’s all I need to say about that. Another notable exception to this is when I met the Backstreet Boys at work once… here’s a picture of AJ and I which is completely irrelevant to this post but holds a special place in my heart.
He said I smelt fantastic *dies*
Dan is a special friend so I wanted us to do something fab together to celebrate his birthday. He mentioned afternoon tea and of course I wanted a lot of bubbles to be involved – particularly because it was National Prosecco Day (August 13th FYI) I also didn’t want to take him just anywhere, it needed to be something a bit different.
After searching for something fun I hit on R.S. Hispaniola, a docked boat near Embankment. Not only do they serve afternoon tea, but it’s bottomless, my favourite. It sounded perfect! An afternoon with one of my fave people eating cake and drinking prosecco on a boat.
I’ve visited R.S Hispaniola once before when it was turned into a Benefit pop up last spring – the Good Ship Benefit. The afternoon tea on that occasion was great, as was the novelty of being on a boat and we stuck around for some Espresso Martinis after which were delicious too. I was definitely looking forward to visiting again.
We were greeted by a really friendly waiter and were seated in the Upper Deck restaurant which is a lovely space. Probably my only bad point about the entire visit was that we asked if we could sit outside as it was an absolutely gorgeous day and were told we couldn’t as the afternoon tea isn’t available out there. This just seemed a bit strange as the outside area is literally a few feet away (and probably closer to the kitchen than our table was!) However, the waiter told us that we could move outside with our prosecco after we’d finished eating so we could enjoy the sunshine.
Upper Deck restaurant
The prosecco started flowing straight away and the afternoon tea itself arrived quickly afterwards. It was delicious! We had a selection of 6 finger sandwiches each – salmon and rocket, egg and cress and ham and mustard. Traditional fillings and nothing inventive, but they were really tasty, soft and freshly made. The real treats though were the cakes – lemon drizzle, chocolate brownie, macaroons and fruit tarts, as well as fruit and plain scones with cream and jam. We struggled to get through it all but definitely managed it!
The team also remembered Dan’s birthday (which I’d noted on the booking) and brought us over an extra macaroon with a candle, while one of the waiters serenaded him, a cute touch!
After we had finished our food, the waiter who seated us originally made sure that a table was found for us on the outside deck (which has AMAZING bright pink carpet), and introduced us to the barman out there who continued to make sure our glasses were topped up. It was an amazingly sunny day in London and we had a great time enjoying the sunshine and the scenery!
Beautiful weather, shame about the water!
The free-flowing afternoon tea was £39.50 for 1.5 hours, which is line with what I’ve paid for other deals in London and the food was lush, fresh and definitely worth it. We had a fab day, were made to feel so welcome and I’ll definitely be back to the boat soon to sample the other menus – especially if the sunny weather continues! (fingers crossed!)
Perfect for: a boozy afternoon tea, enjoying sunny London days with drinks on the outdoor deck.
Step onboard R.S. Hispaniola yourself at Victoria Embankment, London WC2N 5DJ.