AFTERNOON TEA AT ST PAUL’S CATHEDRAL

GUYS I WENT TO HOGWARTS!

(Except not really. Except I kinda did.)

The lovely Ed lured a handful of bloggers over for afternoon tea and a promise of a behind-the scenes tour of the cathedral.

And once I’d realised that the tour included a visit to the Divination/DADA/Ravenclaw Tower staircase from several Harry Potter films… well. I obviously said a massive YES PLEASE AND THANK YOU.

Partly cos I’m a massive Harry Potter geek. Also because I’ve lived in London for 2 and a half years and I’d never been to the Cathedral. And my Grandad was a vicar. And I studied History of Art for A-Level…

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So first of all, let’s talk about the zoom on my camera (again). ISN’T IT AWESOME?

Second of all, let’s talk about the fact that you’re not meant to take any photos from inside the cathedral.

And then let’s talk about the fact that I’m a rebel and broke all the rules. I’m sorry. I am really really sorry.

But LOOK HOW BEAUTIFUL IT ALL IS. I just couldn’t resist.

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OK yeah I’m a bad person. Moving on…

We set off on our Guided Tour of the more secretive areas of St Paul’s.

FUN FACT: all the parts we visited are actually available for anyone to view. You just have to book yourself in at the front desk and pay an extra £8 on top of your entry.

And trust me, it’s SO worth it!

We saw the original design-paintings for the mosaics in the Dome. We saw the cathedral from the very top of the nave. We also walked past the library, but couldn’t go in this time cos the librarian wasn’t around. Sigh.

We did peer in through the keyhole though (seriously) and it looked AMAZING. Lots of wood, classic leather-bound books, old globes… I mean, it was basically Dumbledore’s office.

And if you’re STILL not convinced that it was actually Hogwarts I visited, care to explain how come this statue was stood RIGHT OUTSIDE THE DOOR?

Yeah. That’s what I thought.

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We also visited the Great Model room.

It holds the plans and drawings for the cathedral, as well as a perfectly scaled model of it, made of wood and plaster. It was originally constructed by Christopher Wren (the architect) to show how everything fitted together and how it would look on completion.

The detail on it is absolutely incredible and it even has tiny little model human figures, which helps process the size of it.

It actually has a hollow interior as well, that was put in place so that King Charles II could stick his head inside it and get a feel for how big it would be!

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^ Let’s play Where’s Angela!

(I actually didn’t notice her small face in this until yesterday when I finally got round to editing these photos. She’s basically a photobomb ninja.)

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THE STAIRCASE.

I squealed. Sophie squealed. We skipped down the stairs as happy as clams, pretending we were witches…

And then Ed had to go and mention that the stairs are actually only supported by about one and a half inches of stone from the step beneath it. And that the only reason they’re perfectly safe and held in place is because of the ingenious way they’re stacked.

So yeah. I stopped skipping at that point.

And walked down really carefully and really slowly. Because I’m a scaredycat. But that’s OK cos by then it was time for tea.

And cake always makes me feel better!

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The lovely team from The Restaurant at St Paul’s greeted us with glasses of delicious English sparkling wine jazzed up with a touch of elderflower and apple juice.

And then we sat down a total feast!

Sandwiches: smoked salmon, egg & cress, cucumber & cream cheese and ham & mustard. All of them were perfectly fresh and stuffed with filling. The salmon was (as always) my fave but I also really liked the egg one!

Next, we moved on to scones: one plain and one fruit each, freshly baked and served with proper Cornish clotted cream and an amazing home-made rhubarb jam.

We finished off with a fab selection of cakes, including a mini lemon meringue pie, a raspberry cheesecake and a slither of Bakewell Battenberg cake. I think it’s actually one of my absolute favourite afternoon teas in London so far.

The restaurant is small but light and airy, with super-friendly staff and a great menu. It’s not even that pricey either. I looked it up on the website and our whole meal, including our glass of sparkling wine and unlimited refills of hot tea, is actually only £16 each.

A total bargain considering we all left stuffed to bursting!

Just as well St Paul’s provides a very handy way of working it all off really…

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Huff and puff your way up 300+ steps and you’ll find yourself right at the very top of the Dome.

It’s (obviously) scarily high. But it’s SO worth the climb. I’d love to see it on a sunny day. Blue skies could only improve it, don’t you think? Perfectly marvellous views all the way round!

We also went to the Evensong service which was incredible. The choir is superb and the whole thing felt utterly magical.

In fact, the whole trip was a delight and I honestly can’t recommend it enough. Whether you’re religious or not, I insist you book yourself in for an afternoon at St Paul’s!

THE RESTAURANT AT ST PAUL’S

St Paul’s Cathedral
City of London
EC4M 8AD

*I was a guest at the Afternoon Tea.
As always, if I didn’t love it, I wouldn’t blog it! :)

Disclaimer: you really shouldn’t take photos in St Paul’s!

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  • Minniemousechic

    Looks like you had an amazing day! I love Harry Potter and them cakes looked amazing! So jealous. Lovely post
    http://minniemousechic.blogspot.co.uk/?m=1

  • MissLilly

    I’m looking forward to go too!!! Can you go in the restaurant and do the visit as well or do we need to book separately?

    • It’s separate I think Lilly! You could always do what we did and go for one of the actual church services, if you don’t want to pay for the visit as well as the tea :) xxx

  • Was so jealous when I saw on IG and so jealous now. On my need to visit list now!

  • Sounds like you guys had a fab time! I’d love to book in there as a treat for my mum. the view looks amazing, i imagine it would be lovely in the evening, too! xx

    Hannah x hannatalks

    • It would be an amaaazing place to treat your Mum! The afternoon tea especially, is an absolute joy and really not pricey :) xxx

  • My first job in London I worked in an office a stones throw from St Pauls, I always told myself I’d go in for an explore … I made it to a carol concert my first Christmas in London but that’s as far as I got. Climb to the roof remained on my bucket list the whole 5 years I was there. Gutted I didn’t do it now, it looks seriously beautiful! Next time I’m in the big smoke I’ll have to make a visit!
    Chloe x
    newgirlintoon.co.uk

    • I reaaaally want to go for a carol service. We were all asking about it haha! I bet it’s magical at Christmas time :) xxx

  • You took such gorgeous photos of the cathedral!! And the tea looks amazing as well!

    http://thecourtneydiaries.com

    • Thank you Courtney!! So rule-breaking… but so worth it *cheeky monkey emoji*

  • St. Paul looks amazing, is high on my list to visit in London. The afternoon sounds fab and at £16 is a bargain considering the location.

    • I know right?? I was expecting it to be £25 at the very least. Especially as it contains a glass of sparkling wine!! xx

  • Siobhan Rothwell

    The desserts sounds drool worthy! Cheesecake, yes please!

    x
    http://Www.siobhanrothwell.wordpress.com

    • Allll about the cheesecake. My fave was the mini lemon meringue pie though. SO YUM. xxx

  • Oh my god. THE STAIRCASE. I just have to go there next time I’m in London! Not only for the fact that it’s totally Hogwarts, but it also seems to be the most beautiful cathedral! I’ve only ever walked past outside, but it really seems worth the visit. The afternoon tea looks amazing too.

    xx Mimmi, Muted Mornings

    • It’s sooo beautiful inside. The architecture and decor are just amazing. So worth a visit!! :) xxx

  • Dee

    OMG!!! The next time something like this happens for bloggers…PLEASE PLEASE take me as your +1!!! I love the fact that you technically went to Hogwarts and all of it looked amazing!! “HARRY POTTER! YOU STOP RIGHT NOW!’ Couldn’t resist! haha! xxx

    Dee PromptsbyDee

    • Haha I didn’t get a +1 for this unfortunately! It was a very tiny group of us :) AND OHMYGOD THAT WAS THE QUOTE I KEPT DOING HAHA. Luna 4eva <3

  • Cat

    This looks AMAZING…so jealous of prancing about on those stairs…although I’d have probably been the same as you and been scared after being told that hah! Looks like you had a wonderful time and I’m not jealous at all NO NOT AT ALL….ok a bit x

    http://www.moreaboutcat.co.uk

    • SKIPPY SKIP SKIP. If I’d had more time I probs would have started pretending I was Luna and shouted after Harry. But there you go. xxx

  • Oh this looks incredible! I still haven’t been to St. Pauls but walked past it a lot, it’s absolutely stunning – and seemingly even more so on the inside!!

    Milly // http://www.mini-adventures.com

    • The ceiling art is amazing. It’s like the less-known version of St Peter’s in the Vatican City!! All mosaics and gold leaf everywhere. xxx

  • This looks like such an amazing afternoon! I can’t remember the last time I visited St Paul’s cathedral, you’ve definitely persuaded me to visit xx

    Ioanna | Hearting.co.uk

    • I’d been here 2 and a half years and never been! I think it’s just one of those palces that we all consider tourist traps so no Londoner ever actually goes haha xxx

  • HOW did I not realise quite how stunning ST.Pauls was?! I totally need to visit now! Your photos are SO good, definitely worth breaking the rules for ;) Also, can we note how gorgeous your play/jumpsuit is?! Love!

    http://www.stylesunrise.co.uk

    x

    • Thaaaanks :D the playsuit is from New Look! Don’t think they have it on the website anymore though :( xxx

  • Sophie LovesFood

    Love the picture of you at the top of the Dome!
    Just reliving those amazing steps. I’ve start reading HP from the start all over again now because of #teawithjesus! x

    • Haha I’m sooo tempted! Might get cracking on them again once I finish my current book :) xx

  • Views like that make the stairs totally worthwhile, also what a great way to burn of those lovely sandwiches.

    http://www.emmainks.com

    • Haha I know right? I can think of worse ways to get my exercise in!!! x

  • Best views for a tea ever! xx

  • Cristina

    HOW DID I NOT KNOW THIS WHEN I WAS IN LONDON!!! Omg the pictures look so aesthetically pleasing, your zoom is awesome indeed! You lucky girl for having those views while having afternoon tea!

    Cristina xo // My Cup Of Tea

    • I’ve lived here for 2 and a half years and had NO idea until now haha!!! :) xxx

  • Cake & Whisky

    I want to go to Pouddlard too! (Also, seriously impressed with the zoom thing!)

    Sandra | Cake + Whisky

    • To err…where?? Hahaha xxx

      • Cake & Whisky

        Alright, alright, I kind of betrayed myself here. I’d definitely be at Beauxbatons!
        xx

        • OHMYGOD IS THAT THE FRENCH TRANSLATION FOR HOGWARTS??????!!!! :O

          • Cake & Whisky

            Yuuuuuuup!

  • THE STAIRS

  • Love the pics and looks like an amazing afternoon! You still got a fab view despite it being overcast :)
    Miss Pond | Lifestyle Blog

    • Thanks Emma!! :) I know right? We were pretty lucky I think :) at least it wasn’t raining! xxx

  • Tania Pryer

    I’ve always wanted to go there to have a look around and of course, THE STAIRCASE OF HEAVEN!! It looks like you had a great time :) Tania xx taniamichele.blogspot.co.uk

    • Hahahaha. I’m sure Professor Trelawney would have something to say about that name hahah xxx

  • How fabulous! I’ve always wanted to go inside, but the price even for a family of three is just crazy. And I couldn’t bring myself to pretend to be a worshipper and go in for free. It really does look like they (or JKR) took a bit of Hogwarts inspiration from the interior. Gorgeous illicit pics!!

    • It’s pretty pricey, but honestly I think it’s so worth it :) xxx

  • OMG THAT STAIRCASE!! :O

    I’ve been to st pauls many times but never went inside though… :(
    Your photos are beautiful and it looks so gorgeous on the inside! I hope I get the chance to go inside one day too :)

    x Val / Valerie Randomness

    • Thank you Valerie! :) I think it’s so worth the trip. Definitely keep it in mind for next time you’re in town! Xxx

  • How can you not take photos its so beautiful! Xx

  • The cathedral looks so beautiful, I’m so jealous you saw the staircase! (That would be a very weird thing to say if it wasn’t Harry Potter related haha, but I’m also a HP geek.) The afternoon tea looks lovely too, I would have expected it to cost more than £16! xx

    Toasty

    • I know right?? I was expecting at least £25. It’s a total bargain! :D xxx

  • It’s so pretty!! I’d go just to that that perfect staircase xD The food sounds delicious too!

  • I’m still so happy about this day. Everything was totally perfect – one of the best blogging events EVER