Pre-WW2 Grosvenor Square (GS) was considered one of the four most uber-cool hangouts in the Old Smoke – receiving its name from the reigning Duke of Westminster (1700-32) Sir Richard Grosvenor, who kicked off the square’s construction around 1721.

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In the 1920s GS was a playground for the ‘Bentley Massive’: Tim Birkin, Bernard Rubin, Woolf Barnato and Glen Kidston. The quartet hogged the south-eastern corner of said square, neighbouring each other in separate gaffs. Bon viveuring was high on the sports-car-lovers agenda – the Bentley boyz all-day soirees and shindigs became renowned – booze was guzzled like that of Mercer Series 5 Raceabout’s engine, with no finishing line in sight.

We owe thanks to The Duchess of Bedford’s hearty appetite for the Low Tea Movement – tucking into a biscuit or two, served on a low table, to keep her ‘strength up’ before supper soon caught on.

The Grosvenor Square Hotel, GS, is home to the decedent Luggage Room, a speakeasy-esque bar that feels like you’re imbibing aboard the Titanic but with the same interior and tailoring as the exterior of a Louis Vuitton trunk. We were very much at home.

It was a roaring welcome to the roaring 20s style establishment – as soon as we parked our derrières we were offered: Punch a la Romaine: Champagne and Romaine sorbet, plantation 5yr fresh ginger extract. Fresh lemon juice, House made lemon sherbet, egg white built and served up, at £14. The zing and zest from the sherbet and lemon juice hits you first, beautifully softened by the egg white and champagne, all merged with a ginger undertone. An acceleration to fifth gear – scrumptious.

Low Tea, means tea – so tea, is what we had. We shared a Lapsang Souchong: think log-fires, grandad’s pipe and that time you snogged a cigar smoker. A bit like ferret legging, not for everyone, but for those that do – a huge amount of pleasure. Now stocked in our office. As well as: China White Monkey: a light and delicate bouquet of freshly cut lemongrass infused with dainty floral flavours – pleasant.

The alluring array of savoury and sweet delicacies was served in a prohibition era, American medical box – all adding to the 20s eroticism.

Ours for the taking: Pickled New Forrest Mushrooms, Thyme, Crème Fraiche Tarts – a decent crunch to buttery pastry, the herb, creme and shrooms worked. H Foreman & Sons Smoked Eel, Horseradish, Crème Fraiche Vol Au Vent – as eels go, this slippery sucker had it goin’ on – lacking that metallic taste (that’s a good thing) the fishy flavour is complemented with a gentle punch from the horseradish – all fused by the crème.

Devonshire Wild Boar Sausage Roll, Tiptree Grain Mustard – we have a #winner (emoji: smiley-face wavy-hands). Hummmm – yum scrum. Beats those of Maltby St Market. Quality sausage – who doesn’t like one of those? Lyburn Smoked Cheddar & Sage Scone, Spiced Pear Chutney. The cheese notes pulled through but a tad dry – the mild, but bursting with pear-power, chutney made up for it.

Devilled Balmoral Venison, Free range Clarence Court Scotch Egg. On par with Mac & Wild’s – if you haven’t tried Mac & Wild’s wares yet; stop reading this and immediately book a table – you neanderthal. My deers, egg-cellent. “Luggage Room Signature” Tea-Cured Salmon by H Foreman & Sons, Caviar. Pure class on a white ceramic spoon – the fish eggs popped salty gorgeousness seconds after touching the tongue, lifting the salmon to another seafood taste level.

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To wash down the mini puds we were steered in the direction of Jack Rose (“You jump, I jump remember?”): Laid’s Applejack, House-made Grenadine, fresh lime juice, nutmeg shaken and served at £14. Cranberry in colour with ripe apple aromas – not even an iceberg could sink this beverage – an undercurrent of spice and hints of citrus kept all afloat.

Next up: Luggage Room Limited Edition Plantation Rum Syllabub – neither a mousse, crème or parfait – room temperature, creamy and airy with a strong orange current, quite unique – superb. Tiptree Tawny Marmalade infused Carrot Cake – steam pudding moist but without the residue – laced with sweet-carroty-goodness – (emoji: thumbs up). Classic Victoria Sponge – the late Queen would’ve been chuffed: sponge, jam and cream – nothing went wrong. Neat.


As well as Tiptree Jarred Scone Trifle. This deconstruction malarkey – in France you can now buy steak tartare in a can, from a vending machine! Anyways, this spoon full of – a lot of sugar – did not help the medicine go down. Too sweet – not toot sweets, different film – an overload of sickly cream. And to finish us off: Salted Caramel Meringue. Think French macaroons – crisp, honeyed and sugary with a smidge of seasoning – oui oui oui.

Bentleys, Vuitton cases and buoys are not required – you won’t wanna jump overboard. Appetites – not dissimilar to that of The Duchess of Bedford’s, a good palate and your manners (the service is exceptional), are.

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Low Tea £48

The Luggage Room
Grosvenor Square
T: 0207 493 1232 E:

Opening times: Low Tea. Wednesday – Saturday from 12.00, last sitting 15.00 – Low Tea. Sunday 12:00 – 17:00. The Bar. 17.00 till late

About the author: Thabian Sutherland
I’ve lived in the Old Smoke since 1999 with a career in fashion, fitness and events. I discovered the joys of writing beginning of 2014. Since then I’ve been tapping digits to keys. Subjects include food, theatre, exhibitions, London life and other topics that tickle my taste-buds. Other publications include Timeout, Gay Times and So So Gay Magazine.