It’s finally Spring! You know what that means?! Easter is on its way. The scents of freshly cut grass, bright blooming flowers and new life being born. The adorable chicks, bunnies and not to forget my favourites… foals (baby horses). Easter comes with the theme of chocolate and easter eggs, a time of indulging and treats. Yum!
My last trip to the Langham Hotel, was to try the festive afternoon tea. This time to fit the occasion, the talented pastry chef Cherish Finden had put together a smashing Easter themed afternoon tea and I was luckily invited in to try it prior to the launch. I’ll let you in on something before I start, it’s FANTASTIC!
To start with we were poured a glass of Lauren Perrier Brut, my favourite, followed by a vanilla blancmange with rhubarb compete on top.
For those that do not know what a blancmange is, it is cream/milk mixed with sugar with added gelatine to thicken the consistency. Often served as a dessert.
Post-amuse bouche, we were ready to get stuck in with the delicious array of sandwiches.
The sandwiches selection was made up of a truffled egg brioche (which I have had before and absolutely loved!), smoked salmon and asparagus on rye crackers, cucumber with cream cheese and chive, peppered beef pastrami with red Leicester coleslaw and corn-fed chicken with golden sultanas and carrot bread. The chicken sandwich was definitely my favourite as it also boasted a delicious sweet chutney inside too that gave it the sweet and savoury flavour.
I always get so full on the first part of afternoon teas, as there is so much bread involved and I rarely eat bread in my day to day life. However, when you get offered a second helping of any of the sandwich selection, it’s so hard to resist another mouth watering chicken sandwich. Definitely regretted it as soon as the fresh scones came out!
Cherish beautiful made ‘hot cross scones’, which I thought were a lovely way of incorporating the much loved Easter classic of hot cross buns into her afternoon tea. The hot cross scones had sultanas inside with a touch of cinnamon to give it a bit of a twist. There was also the traditional plain scones on offer too.
Out of all the afternoon teas I have tried in London, none of the scones compare to the way Cherish makes her scones. They have a special touch that I can’t quite put my finger on, but whatever it is, she does it very well.
I had to initiate the debate of clotted cream or jam first, the majority of the table sided with me that the cream must go first whilst a couple of others decided it was all about the jam first.
Now, for the most anticipated part of the tea, the Easter themed pastry selection.
What first meets the eyes is a selection of Easter themed pastries with cute chicks and bunnies everywhere, but there is actually a story behind it. The first section is the Show Jumping Bunnies, which present three different stages of the jump – the run up, the climb and the leap over the hoop, which was based around a tropical/passion fruit jelly with a white chocolate mousse inside on top of a soft moist cake. The next step was the Chicken or The Egg? pattern (this might start up another debate, but which did come first?!) on a lemon finger tart. A lovely rich lemony favour infused into soft creamy inner on a shortbread base. The next feature was a Sunny Side Up, a white chocolate sunny side up egg balanced on two hollow, crispy outer white chocolate eggs. The Rabbit Warren was next, served in a tower glass representing the tunnel dug by the rabbit, to reach the apple flavoured marshmallow and foam sitting on top. Finally, was the Bunny See-Saw which was balanced on 64% chocolate mousseine with a delicious raspberry and pistachio finanicer.
Cherish wanted to make a themed tea that would make children smile, which in turn makes their parents smile too. How thoughtful!
I was lucky enough to meet the lady who makes it all happen. Cherish is a truly wonderful soul. Did you know Cherish will be featured on Great British Bake Off as a pastry judge? It’s a spin off where professionals will compete against each other and is due to air on BB2 towards the end of March, so be sure to look out for her if you tune in.
If you’re looking to do something over the Easter weekend, I would strong suggest trying out Cherish’s beautiful creation at the Langham Hotel. This tea is very exclusive and will be running for one week only, 21st March – 28th March – so get a booking in whilst you can!
Until next time…