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Houses of Parliament tour plus afternoon tea

Houses of Parliament tour plus afternoon tea

Jan 20th, 2015, 07:41 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 12
Houses of Parliament tour plus afternoon tea

On my last trip to London I very much enjoyed the guided tour of the Houses of Parliament and plan to do it again on my trip this May. I just checked the website and see they offer afternoon tea in the Terrace Pavilion in the House of Commons following the tour. Can anyone share their experiences or offer any thoughts on whether this would be worthwhile? Thanks
tjd_ is offline  
Jan 20th, 2015, 09:38 PM
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 17,146
I've not done the tour, which is available in May for overseas visitors only on Saturdays and on a total of about two weekdays all month: the tea menu is at http://www.parliament.uk/documents/c...ting-menus.pdf (this site shows what are in effect wholesale catering prices for people organising events: the tour probably offers the Westminster tea) I've been to a number of events in the pavilion though.

The Terrace Pavilion is a very long and very recent riverside covered marquee (http://www.parliament.uk/visiting/ve...enues/terrace/ , with sort of terrific views of the uglier side of the river, but while sitting you can see only what's directly opposite. Security permitting, you can normally get out onto the terrace itself for a stroll - and that's got terrific views (except of course of Parliament itself)

The tea is tea: not quite as extortionately priced as in London's grislier theme park luxury hotels, but still ridiculous for a snack of almost no nutritional or gastronomic value. If this odd ritual interests you, the pavilion is as good a place as any to try it. Most eating and drinking places in the Palace of Westminster feel like a stately home soap opera set, with lots of panelling, oil paintings and William Morris wallpaper. The pavilion doesn't. Tastefully antiseptic: like the marquees you get at country weddings, without the flowers, spaniels or pretty girls.

On working days, the pavilion has a role for MPs to entertain constituents, and occasionally get involved with a spot of lobbying or being lobbied. The tour only happens on days that won't be going on: your fellow imbibers will all be people on the tour.
flanneruk is online now  
Jan 21st, 2015, 01:49 AM
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 52,380
if you miss it, will you be disappointed? will you go home wishing that you'd done it?

if the answer's yes, do it. If you'd rather pop off to the pub after the guided tour, do that instead.
annhig is offline  
Jan 21st, 2015, 07:01 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 12
Thanks for the quick responses. Very helpful info, especially the link with the picture. I think we'll skip the tea.
tjd_ is offline  

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