Afternoon tea has been around for years before we were alive, starting in the 1840’s. It was already popular amongst many individuals, when I was born in the late 1990’s. This love for luxurious way to celebrate or catch up with loved ones descended onto my generation. During the jazz era, afternoon tea would be had whilst a band would be playing in the background to entertain the guests. This was also the era that the Sheraton hotel group started. In celebration of Sheraton Grand Park lane 90th birthday, they are throwing it back to the 1920’s and celebrating with afternoon tea, jazz style.
I caught up with two of my favourite bloggers, Binny from Binny’s Kitchen and Emma from Adventures of a London Kiwi, in the beautiful lobby area of the hotel. We settled down with a nice glass of ice-cold fizz, whilst we caught up on the latest in each others lives.
Our waiter Paulo had explained to us the reason behind the launch of the jazz afternoon tea, a little bit of background on the hotel (although we are no strangers to this property) and what would be served in the the afternoon tea.
We commenced by choosing some of their fresh teas to have, I went for the Zanzibar chai. A place that is very close to my heart in terms of a destination, but also because chai is always a good choice. Emma tried the Apple and Elderflower Green Tea.
Our champagne had been poured and our piping hot tea was brewed. We were ready for the amazing selection of sweet treats to be served up.
The concept behind the bird cage presentation was based around Sir Bracewell Smith who built the Sheraton Grand hotel. He was often known as “the birdcage” as he oversaw many different ingenious steel building techniques. It is a lovely way to commemorate him.
The savouries that were served started with an array of sandwiches. As there were a few fish based sandwiches such as cray fish and salmon, I had a couple of mine changed to Portobello mushroom, provolone cheese and olive salad sandwich and avocado, sun blushed tomatoes and jalapeno mayonnaise – from their vegetarian offerings. However, the rest remained the same with cajun chicken, jalapeno mayonnaise and watercress sandwich, creole spiced Surrey farm sirloin of beef and onion chutney sandwich and finally free range egg and paprika crème fraiche sandwich.
My favourite part of afternoon teas are undoubtedly the scones. They are always super soft and fluffy and I only find that hotel pastry chefs can make them that well. We were served up sultana and plain scones, served with homemade converses, clotted cream and lemon curd. Deeeelish!
The pastries and sweet treats were decorated and garnished to fit the theme of the jazz afternoon tea. Having some live jazz music or a harpist playing in the background too, it truly makes for a fun afternoon treat.
We were served a chocolate tart with basil lime ganache, sablé breton cake with honey mousse, saffron crème & blackberry gelée, followed by coconut dacquoise with pinacolada crème & tropical compote which was very exotic and finally red velvet cake with orange butter.
We all had a wonderful time, with our tea and champagne being refilled and lots of laughter in the air. I love catching up with friends over afternoon tea, but with the service we were given at Sheraton Grand Park Lane, it made for an even more enjoyable experience.
It’s only on for a limited time, so be sure to take your jazz lovin’ friends down for a treat.
Until next time…