Brown's Hotel and Lock & Co have created a hat-themed afternoon tea.

With Royal Ascot fast approaching and many more alfresco celebrations to look forward to, you could be forgiven for dreaming of more than one hat option. And where better a place to ponder this than in the beautiful surroundings of Brown's oak-panelled Drawing Room – the very same room where Queen Victoria was said to have taken tea back in the day.

From now until 31 August, the famous hotelier has joined forces with Lock & Co Hatters of St James's to create a limited-edition afternoon tea. Founded in 1676, Lock & Co is not only the oldest hat shop in the world but also one of the most established British family-owned businesses still going strong today. Renowned for quality and fit, every hat purchased is expertly hand-prepared, rather like the sweet treats and dainty finger sandwiches served in Brown's delicious afternoon tea.

There are scones, of course, and pretty pink macarons and choux buns in the shape of millinery masterpieces, all served silver-service style from one of Lock & Co's trademark hat boxes. As for the orange-infused Madeleines topped with a thick layer of dark Amedei Chuao chocolate, well, hats off to Brown's brilliant pastry chef, Mathieu Dias, for coming up with something so irresistibly moreish.

‘There are scones, of course, and pretty pink macarons and choux buns in the shape of millinery masterpieces’

Looking to book the best seat in the house? In that case, the table beside the fireplace is hard to beat. From here you can sink into a comfortable armchair and survey the entire room as the pianist tickles the ivories. It's also an ideal spot from which to get a glimpse of the stylish barflies through the glass of the original interlocking doorway as they take their seats in the adjoining Donovan Bar.

All eyes will also be drawn to Lock & Co's latest spring/summer 2024 couture collection, which is artfully dotted around the Drawing Room on window ledges and atop the piano. Inspired by royal tea parties and elegant garden gatherings, each new design takes its name from one of the 26 teas listed on the afternoon tea menu. Head-turners include the “Rose Bud” leather percher hat and the “Lady Grey” wide brim hat in black, all created by the brand's award-winning millinery designer, Awon Golding.

‘Lock & Co's latest spring/summer 2024 couture collection is artfully dotted around the Drawing Room on window ledges and atop the piano’

Those staying at Brown’s can also book an exclusive hat-styling session in the top floor atelier of the iconic Lock & Co store in St James's. With the summer season in full swing, the hat maker will offer a fast-tracked customisation and fitting service. As a result, guests can have their own very special creation in time for Royal Ascot, the most glamorous event on London's sporting calendar, in just one month, as opposed to the usual two.

Now, that's what we call pulling it out of the hat!

Brown's Hotel, 33 Albemarle Street, London W1S 4BP

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