EDIT December 2016: please note the Steigenberger Wiltcher’s Hotel is no longer offering their afternoon tea.
Christmas is around the corner. Yes, another year which is coming to an end. But before we break for the festive season … we had time to enjoy afternoon tea in Brussels at the Steigenberger Wiltcher’s Hotel.
Why am I sharing this with you now? Because their afternoon tea is the perfect oasis of calm from all the Christmas shopping frenzy! We went there on a Friday afternoon and forgot the crazy Avenue Louise buzz in an instant, forgot the bags that were hanging off our arms … and for over an hour enjoyed the soft jazz music and the delicious afternoon tea.
I have to admit I didn’t know the Steigenberger Wiltcher’s Hotel offers afternoon tea. Overall, I am not aware of many Brussels establishments offering afternoon (high) tea. Which are so very popular across the channel! And stopping for afternoon tea is for me the ideal festive spirit boost: glass of champagne, little dainty sandwiches, a tray of the most perfect little desserts … and of course tea.
The gorgeous corner building is an imposing hotel, with over 250 rooms and suites located right in the middle of Brussels. Although I never stayed in the hotel, I have been at several functions there and they have always been what you expect: posh and glamorous.
The Steigenberger Wiltcher’s Hotel offers their afternoon tea in The Library for over 1 year now. On our visit we ordered the Belgian Afternoon Tea (24e) and the Festive Afternoon Tea (24e). Before you read on a word of warning! Don’t think in terms of British afternoon tea. If you tried the afternoon tea in the UK do not expect the Steigenberger Wiltcher’s to offer the same. At first, a bit of a shock as of course I was ‘tea brainwashed’ with the British version.
However after embracing the individuality and Belgian interpretation of the afternoon tea by the hotel, I have to say I very much enjoyed my time in The Library. This afternoon tea in Brussels includes mini sandwiches packaged in a ‘pain surprise’ a big hollow bread where all sandwiches are neatly tucked in. We enjoyed cheese and ham, smoked salmon, and egg salad sandwiches alongside a cup of Darjeeling Summer and Morning Star tea. The choice of tea is fantastic and bonus points for being served in proper, posh Villeroy & Boch china. I always believe tea tastes that much more special if served in proper fancy cups, don’t you?
The dessert tray included a selection of speculoos foam tart, advocaad (alcoholic cream) tart, a mini miserable, a mini buche de Noel … all made with premium local Belgian products, making best use of the famous Belgian chocolate. The dessert tray also included ‘scones’ and clotted cream. For scones aficionados I would say … take a deep breath and enjoy the brioche style ‘scones’ without much huff and puff 🙂 Granted, I am not in the best position to judge scones but I do have to admit that brioche defines the little buns we were offered in The Library much better. Moving on.
Just when we thought our afternoon tea was coming to an end … we were offered the most exquisite mini vol au vents (creamy chicken in delicious flaky pastry) to finish us off.
The live music on the piano was the perfect traditional festive accompaniment and the fact that The Library is set in the back of the hotel offered a very much needed break from the hustle and bustle of Brussels pre-Christmas. A textbook festive afternoon break!
Steinberger Wiltcher’s Hotel – website
I would like to extend our thanks to the Steigenberger Wiltcher’s Hotel for inviting us to discover their afternoon tea and dealing with our endless questions and cameras with grace. Disclaimer: as always, all opinions written are our own.
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