Afternoon tea at Le Méridien Piccadilly, courtesy of RIBA

Today we are breaking the tradition of a blog lifetime and telling you about something that happened midweek. On a Wednesday, in fact. But fear not – it was very exciting and blog-worthy…

We were invited by the team from the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) and the lovely people at Le Méridien to a bloggers’ afternoon tea at the beautiful hotel on Piccadilly. RIBA and Le Méridien are currently collaborating, and as part of this partnership, RIBA has curated a beautiful photography exhibition, ‘Unlock London: A City in Pictures’, showcasing a stunning selection of 17 black-and-white images of London’s most iconic landmarks taken by leading architectural photographers from the 1930s through to the 1960s.

We were given a tour of the balcony first, and the opportunity to snap a few pictures in the last of the summer sunshine…

Terrace at Le Meridien, Piccadilly

From atmospheric architectural shots down to finer details:

Flowerpot on table at Le Meridien, Piccadilly

Including a beautifully detailed sundial…

Sundial at Le Meridien, Piccadilly

We then were taken inside the Terrace Grill & Bar…

The Terrace Bar at Le Meridien, Piccadilly

For a sumptuous RIBA Afternoon Tea, created by Le Méridien’s acclaimed Chef de Cuisine, Michael Dutnall and inspired by the eras captured in the ‘Unlock London’ photographs. The sandwiches, scones and of course cakes were delicious and we would highly recommend them!

Cakes at Le Meridien, Piccadilly

From the extensive tea menu, he chose Darjeeling tea [I don’t tend to go for flowers in my tea] while I went for the extremely pretty Rose tea…

Jasmine tea at Le Meridien, Piccadilly

After we had eaten to our heart’s content and chatted to the other lovely bloggers present, we were fortunate to be talked through some of the pictures in the exhibition, which marks the public launch of RIBApix, an online wealth of stunning images from the RIBA collection, held to be the largest architectural photographic library in the country. It’s well worth a browse.

After the tea we took part in a wonderful photography workshop, which took place in one of the most ornate rooms in the hotel. We explored new techniques, inspired by other photographs from legendary photographers, including the worms’ eye view, from below, techniques of space and structure, and images using reflection and colour in different ways. The pictures we showed at the end were this one, where we tried to create an endless trail of chandeliers using mirrors:

Echoed chandeliers at Le Meridien, Piccadilly

And this one, a chandelier from directly underneath, which changes the perspective entirely:

Chandelier from below at Le Meridien, Piccadilly

It was inspiring to see other bloggers’ takes on the same space, and to hear helpful tips and perspectives from the experts. Not only that, but it was lots of fun to meet other lovely bloggers and chat through a midweek lunchtime. Both Le Méridien Piccadilly and RIBA are extremely welcoming and friendly, and we would really recommend a visit to either – or preferably both! The hotel are kindly offering all of our blog readers 20% off to experience afternoon tea at The Terrace Grill & Bar – just mention ‘A Month of Sundays’ when you go [and let us know what you think!].

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