Living in London, there are plenty of gorgeous, opulent five-star luxury hotels. Some belong to large chains and others are more boutique, family owned hotels. The Lanesborough is one that comes of those opulent and elegant boutique hotel collection, but one that stands above the rest in its niche. The Lanesborough prides itself in being the crème de la crème of the hotel world, where people will travel from miles away just to experience the hospitality found there. It’s about those ‘pinch me’ moments when as soon as you walk into a hotel lobby and time after time, I get that same feeling whenever I step foot into The Lanesborough.
I was recently invited to experience the Frida Kahlo inspired afternoon tea, where quintessentially British sweet and savoury treats are met with a real Mexican essence in honour of Frida.
For those that aren’t familiar with Frida Kahlo, let me share a short insight to this inspiring artist. Frida was an inspiring lady, for multiple reasons but my favourite reason was she was a lady who celebrated herself. She was her own muse for her work, where most of her work were self-portraits. Not only that, she became a feminist icon of her time. Living in the mid 1900’s, it was not a time that feminists were open and proud like they are in the present. She was proud to be a female, even during the years where women weren’t often well respected. Above all this, Frida was in an accident at the age of 18, which left her seriously injured and caused continual health issues until her demise but that never stopped her being the inspirational lady she was. For me, she was female icon of her time and a role model for females and males of today.
Seeing hotels like The Lanesborough paying a tribute to this inspirational lady brings me nothing but joy, there was no chance I was going to miss this afternoon tea for the world!
The Frida Kahlo afternoon tea is served in Celeste, the hotel’s one Michelin starred restaurant. Having visited the restaurant for dinner before, I was excited to be in the presence of the gorgeous Roman style interiors which boasts some of my favourite colour tones – blue, white and a finnese of gold carved detailing. Not forgetting my favourite part, the three grand chandeliers that reside in the centre of the restaurant.
On this occasion, we swapped out champagne for peach and passionfruit mocktails, made with tangy passion fruit juice and white peach nectar, served in ice-cold martini glasses. Cheers! My sister and I raised and clinked glasses in honour of Frida Kahlo!
We commenced the main part of our afternoon tea with a pot of chocolate and gold leaves tea. From the fragrance to the taste, it was every chocolate lovers heaven. Pour me a cup, sir!
Just before our afternoon tea was served, the pianist began his harmonious, soothing melodies that made for the perfect accompaniment to our afternoon tea experience.
The sandwiches were the first part to come out. You know the drill guys, savoury first. The selection of finger sandwiches were egg and watercress, cucumber and mint, smoked salmon and cheese, chicken tinga and traditional guacamole. The chicken ting and guacamole sandwiches were specially Mexican themed, inspired by Frida.
As I don’t eat smoked salmon, the lovely team swapped out the salmon for an extra cucumber and mint sandwich. Bon appetite!
We were then brought over the goodies, fresh scones – both plain and raisin and an absolutely amazing double tier of sweet treats. Try and not to get too much dribble on your laptops guys, as tempting as this afternoon tea looks and sounds. If it helps, I can vouch for it all being absolutely mouthwatering! 😉
I think all credits to these delicious scones go to Gabriel Le Quang for the love that had gone into each one, they tasted fantastic. Served with a large spoon full of Devonshire clotted cream and divine strawberry preserve, I was in my element.
Moving up one tier to the first selection of sweet treats, there was a corn sablé with dulce de leche, with Mexican caramel. The idea behind this pastry was to bring together the flavours of Mexico with the traditional dulce de leche. On the same tier, traditional carrot cake with cinnamon star, carrot and orange jelly. It was served and decorated in a Frida-esque style. Lastly, a classic rum baba with mascarpone, vanilla and a margarita twist using agave and tequila served in a pipette. After all, margarita’s were Frida’s favourite.
Moving up to the final tier of the stand, there was an chocolate tartlet filled with chocolate ganache, all made with chocolate from Mexico and garnished with a sugar flower. My favourite sweet treat was definitely the raspberry and passion fruit éclair with white chocolate on top. Not only was it inspired by central American flavours, but also by the colourful work that Frida produced, with her much loved self-portrait painting printed on top.
I honestly think everyone needs to try the Frida Kahlo afternoon tea. Not only is it absolutely delectable, it is celebrates a special lady for her legacy and for all the good changes she made in the world. Thank you to The Lanesborough for allowing me to experience this special and yummy tribute to Frida.
Until next time…