* Part 9 of a series *
I know it’s only been about 7 months since I went there, but I already miss London terribly. Once you fall in love with a city, you’ll constantly ache for it. You’ll always yearn to go back. That’s how I feel about Berlin and London. Only those afflicted with wanderlust can completely understand. The next best thing to revisiting the cities that I love is to eat food that will remind me of them. And that’s what The Royal Piccadilly is all about.
Piccadilly is an almost mile-long road within the City of Westminster in Central London, stretching from Hyde Park Corner all the way to Piccadilly Circus (the busy intersection between Piccadilly and Regent Street). It’s interesting to know that the land once belonged to a tailor named Robert Baker, who became successful by making and selling fashionable collars known in those days as piccadills. Today, Piccadilly is home to many of London’s famous shops, most notably Fortnum & Mason, a high-end department store established in 1707 and is also well-known for its tea room.
So, anyway…. I was so happy when I learned that this restaurant and cakery called The Royal Piccadilly opened in the Katipunan area in Quezon City sometime in 2013. I have been wanting to go there since then, but because it’s a bit of a trip from our place, I never really got around to visiting it — until last Sunday, on Mother’s Day, when my daughter Bea and I accompanied my husband to UP Diliman. The perfect opportunity presented itself, and I didn’t let it pass.
Let me just state that The Royal Piccadilly offers the most affordable choices in afternoon tea: there’s the most basic Cream Tea (two sultana scones with English cream and jam plus a pot of tea for only P140), Knightsbridge Set (two sultana scones, one Puffin, one caramel bar or mini-cupcake and a pot of tea for P199), Covent Garden Set (two sultana scones, four tea sandwiches and a pot of tea for P220), Russell Square Set (two sultana scones, four tea sandwiches, one Puffin, one caramel bar or mini-cupcake and a pot of tea for P280) and, finally, the Piccadilly Circus Set (two sultana scones, four tea sandwiches, two Puffins, two caramel bars or mini-cupcakes and a pot of tea for P335). Not only are the sets very affordable, but they’re also available any time of the day. Naturally, I wanted to feast on the Piccadilly Circus Set but was told that it was not available that time, so I just went for the Russell Square Set. They didn’t have the Puffins and since they had just run out of scones, I was asked if I was willing to wait for half-an-hour for the new batch of scones. I said yes, and the freshly-baked scones were worth the wait — totally awesome!
The tea sandwich selection includes crabstick and cucumber, tuna salad, ham and cheese, and coronation chicken — but you only get to choose one. I wanted the coronation chicken sandwich because it’s very British (Bea and I were able to taste it at Costa Coffee on our last day in London). Unfortunately, only the ham and cheese sandwich was available last Sunday. I guess to make up for it and because it was Mother’s Day, they let me have the regular size cupcake instead of a mini. From a handful of choices, I opted for the Earl Grey Tea Cupcake. It’s perfectly moist with a just-right sweetness and a well-balanced fruity flavor of the tea. So deliciously good. I loved it.
The Royal Piccadilly serves tea from Twinings, a London-based tea company which started more than 300 years ago in 1706. It’s still one of the leading tea brands in the world to this day and is one of my favorite teas to drink at home.
My afternoon tea experience in The Royal Piccadilly is one of the best in my book. The restaurant truly gets the concept of afternoon tea and this is evident in the food selection. Best of all, it’s so unbelievably inexpensive! It’s so worth the trip to Katipunan and worth every single centavo. I highly recommend this place to all the Anglophiles in Manila.
“Every nation in creation has its favorite drink / France is famous for its wine, it’s beer in Germany / Turkey has its coffee and they serve it blacker than ink / Russians go for vodka and England loves its tea… It’s a very good English custom / And a stimulant for the brain / When you feel a little weary, a cup’ll make you cheery / And it’s cheaper than champagne….” — from the song Everything Stops for Tea (1935) by Jack Buchanan