There’s a particularly lovely, old-world glow that whooshes around you when you enter Dean Street Townhouse. Perhaps it’s the leaded windows that make the room seem like a throwback to Dickensian London, or the single candles flickering in Wee Willie Winkie-style brass holders on every table, or the clink-clink-clink of silver on china. Or perhaps, more than all this, it’s the notion that you’ve ducked out of the humdrum for a while; afternoon tea here feels comforting and fun, like you’re joining the others living it up in Soho at 4pm on a Tuesday.
Tea is served in the lounge, with its handsome velvet arm chairs in sage green and ketchup red, jade-painted wooden panelling, jazz soundtrack and curated art – the collection in Dean Street includes pieces by Tracey Emin, Peter Blake, Fiona Banner and Mat Collishaw, alongside a number of emerging artists such as illustrator Dan Hillier. The Collet Brut Champagne (if you’re boozing) comes in a cut-glass coupe, the tea – of which there are 10 varieties from lapsang souchong to rooibos – in black-and-white floral-print Burleigh Pottery (a special commission for the Soho House group). The scones are fluffy, the Burford Brown-egg-and-mayonnaise sandwiches dainty and the cakes brilliantly retro: chocolate Swiss roll, mini Victoria sponges with strawberries and cream, Battenberg in hot pink and egg-yolk yellow, tooth-rasping lemon tart with a blueberry on top. But most delicious of all is the laid-back atmosphere