It goes without saying, I love two things in particular when it comes to food – brunch and afternoon tea. No weekend should be spend without the goodness of a late breakfast merged with a full on lunch, in the form of brunch. Nor should a weekend (or weekday) be spent with a good catch up with your favourite few friends over champagne and sweet treats.
When Le Meridien, a luxury 5-star Starwood hotel put together the wonderful concept of combining the two loves of brunch and afternoon tea, I was absolutely mind blown. It is the first time any chef has combined two very different things and formed it into one. There has been a lot of buzz around this particular afternoon tea and it is already proving to be rather popular with the public.
We began our afternoon tea in a rather boozy way out on the terrace. Prosecco was being served and the fantastic ‘Pink Fizz’ cocktail which was a fruity twist on a mimosa, with grapefruit juice, chambord before being topped with prosecco. I think the terrace at Le Meridien Piccadilly is rather special. You find yourself sitting high up overlooking the ongoings of busy London immediately below you whilst having a peaceful drink without any interference at the same time.
After enjoying some time out on the terrace, we head into the restaurant where we began our afternoon tea experience. Each of our seatings were laid out with Le Meridien’s famous eclairs made by the pastry team, all personalised with our names. How cool!
I took mine home to enjoy for breakfast the following day, there was a whole afternoon tea to enjoy first.
Each of the afternoon tea standards were brought out and were carefully explained. As I mentioned before, the whole concept about this was to introduce afternoon tea with a brunch twist.
Each of the savouries were brunch themed. There was a ‘Yorkshire basket’ which was filled with cherry tomatoes, baked beans, a quail egg (and for those that eat pork/meat, cocktail sausages, streaky bacon and black pudding) but I had a mushroom instead for mine. I thought the concept of basically fitting a whole English breakfast into a small Yorkshire pudding was a genius idea. It tasted amazing too!
Next up was the eggs piccadilly, which was an English muffin with smoked salmon, poached quail egg and truffle, served with piping hot spinach hollandaise sauce. Mine came without the smoked salmon, because i’m not a fan. However, it was just as delicious as it sounds – I think it would be the perfect thing on a Sunday morning on a larger scale.
The third pastry was a duo of rosary ash and pickled asparagus on charcoal bread, a little something for those that miss the concept of sandwiches in a afternoon tea. Although, it was more of an open sandwich with a twist – I mean a proper sandwich would be far too regular.
As a part of afternoon tea week coming up, the afternoon tea is served with 3 signature paired cocktails too. The Pink Fizz which we had started drinking before our afternoon tea had begun is the first cocktail to be paired with the savouries.
The delicate, soft and fluffy scones were served. Keeping on the theme of brunch, we were served a sweet scone which was made with raspberry and chocolate. Along with a savoury scone of red pepper, chilli & cheese with avocado. However, there are a large selection of different options including feta & garlic, apple & blueberry and cheese & pesto.
The scones were served with tomato relish & hummus mix, along with the traditional conserves and clotted cream in small, elegant glass pots. Just perfect!
The scones was paired with a ‘Brunch Punch’ cocktail made with tequila, orange juice, apricot liquor, lime juice and fresh chillies. It had a sweet touch with a little kick of spice, which was unique and rather nice.
Onto my favourite part of any afternoon tea, the sweet treats. Boy oh boy, were they good and so incredibly cute. We were served up a chocolate egg with wafer soldiers, a sweet potato and beetroot brownie and a seasonal fruit tart.
I have to say the chocolate egg was my favourite. It was filled with with perfectly light chocolate ganache with little crispy chocolate covered rice balls. It was the perfect way of portraying the traditional egg and soldiers in a sweet form.
The seasonal fruit tart had some sweet and tangy fruits on top of a buttery, crumbly pastry base. It was so, so good. Not forgetting the beetroot and sweet potato brownie that I was rather skeptical about. However, I couldn’t taste any of the vegetables in this pastry, but instead it was moist and indulgent with a lovely marshmallow surprise on top.
The final tier was served with a ‘Aranciano Coffee’ cocktail which was made with an espresso, orange juice, Frangelico (a hazelnut liqueur) and vanilla syrup. A lovely way to end a smashing afternoon tea at Le Meridien Piccadilly.
The cocktail paring with the afternoon tea is Le Meridien’s way of celebrating National Afternoon Tea weekend that is returning on 14th August, which will be offered throughout the whole week for just £35. It is incredible value, considering most cocktails in London cost around £10 each, where as you’re getting a whole afternoon tea experience and cocktails for £35 per person.
Okay, okay. I can do something ever better… Thanks to all of you being such loyal readers of Fresh And Fearless, I am giving you £5 off discount code ‘PICABNT’ that you can quote when making a booking over the phone. Just make sure the booking is made for any day between Monday 14th – Sunday 20th August. Now, the whole experience is just £30. There are no excuses not to try it now!
Until next time…
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