As a travel blogger, I feel so lucky to be able to taste many parts of the world in my home city, London. I think it’s so unique that famous and experienced chefs from all around the world have brought their home countries delights to the big smoke. We have all tried the traditional dishes, just as pici pasta from Italy or the best paella from Spain, but what about cuisine themed afternoon tea?
I teamed up with lastminute.com to experience afternoon tea in a different light, a more cultured European way. Three different London hotels and kitchens had sent over their talented pastry chefs to present their afternoon teas. We were presented with afternoon teas from At The Hampshire Lounge Bar, May Fair Kitchen and Monmouth Kitchen, where each of the afternoon teas were inspired by different countries.
The Hampshire Lounge Bar had brought the ‘Le Thé Du Soir’ afternoon tea which embraced the heart of the West End of London with bespoke Moët and Chandon Ice Imperial infused dishes along with their signature champagne tea experiences. I definitely loved the concept of champagne infused dishes, I mean, even the steak tartare was infused with a guzzle of champagne. Right up my street!
The steak tartare with Moët & Chandon Ice Impérial-fused egg yolk was a hit around the table – especially as it was so flavoursome. There was also spiced crispy calamars frits with Moët & Chandon Ice Impérial mayonnaise and finally apple, pomegranate and pine nut smoked salad with Moët & Chandon Ice Impérial and lime dressing.
The softest chocolate and vanilla scones were served along with freshly baked raisin and apple scones. I have had chocolate and vanilla scones before but nothing quite like green apple scones. The unique ingredient almost gave it a slightly more savoury taste which would be more appealing who aren’t a fan of extremely sweet scones. They were served with Cornish clotted cream and strawberry preserve with a touch Moët inside.
The patisseries served where English strawberry shortbread, chocolate noir & roasted hazelnut cake, an almond macaron with raspberry and Moët preserve (how delicious!) and finally my favourite, the blood orange and mousse au chocolat blanc.
Served with the Hampshire Lounge Bar afternoon tea was Moët & Chandon Ice Impérial with a couple of ice-cubes. I’ve never had champagne with ice before, but it certainly worked if you want your drink chilled fast.
The May Fair Kitchen had brought their signature Charbonnel et Walker afternoon tea. This one definitely made me weak at the knees, as Charbonnel et Walker is one of my favourite chocolate brands. Along with the famous luxury chocolate themed afternoon tea, the culinary delights were inspired by a Italy and Spain.
A trio of bruschetta was served, one with cherry tomato and parmesan, another with king crab with avocado and chilli and lastly with spinach and soft cheese, not forgetting the pan con tomate. My favourite was the cherry tomato and parmesan, purely because the tomatoes were ripe and full of flavour and the parmesan cheese complimented it so well.
The scones served were Sicilian lemon and the other was Charbonnel et Walker chocolate scones. My two favourite things served as ingredients within scones. Does it get any better than this? I don’t think so! The scones were served with orange and nectarine preserve and vanilla mascarpone. Love it!
The sweet delights that were served were a mix of Charbonnel et Walker Pink Marc de Champagne truffles (my favourite!) with dusted milk sea salt caramel truffles and dark chocolate. It’s very luxe touch to an afternoon tea, that’s for sure.
Along with the divine treats that accompanied the chocolates were flourless Charbonnel et Walker chocolate and orange cake, sugar-coated doughnuts with silky C&W chocolate sauce. Not forgetting the gorgeous and sweet tiramisu with C&W chocolate shavings. Just divine!
The choice of drink that was served with the Charbonnel et Walker afternoon tea was the Peruvian Pisco sour which blended well with the South American theme. Pisco sours are definitely a drink with a good kick, but equally as satisfying.
Monmouth Kitchen brought their ‘El Dolce Semplice’ afternoon tea which was based around the delights of the Mediterranean and South America and Italy. I really enjoyed the concept behind this afternoon tea, especially as some of the treats were nothing like I have ever been served before.
Monmouth Kitchen introduced another trio of bruschetta with Parmigiana, cherry tomato, spinach and soft cheese. The amazingly spiced bite size salmon and jalapeño tacos were a perfect substitute to the usual sandwiches. A great exotic touch to their afternoon tea offering.
The amaretto scones were an unusual touch, as I had never tasted alcohol infused scones before but they were a real winner in my eyes. The sweetness from the alcohol complimented this the fluffy scones so well, especially with the orange and nectarine preserve that was served.
On the sweet delights section, there was flourless chocolate and orange cake, a divine fresh fruit tartlet, churros with thick Peruvian chocolate sauce and a white peach and oregano panna cotta. It is so nice to see that many of the sweet treats have been adapted to those who are gluten intolerant.
The choice of drink served with this afternoon tea was a sangria which was garnished with edible flowers, slices of lemon and piece of strawberry. It doesn’t get more perfect than this!
I was so, so impressed. The way all three venues incorporated different international cuisines into their afternoon teas, it almost felt like I had a whistle stop tour of the world. I had to remind myself that I was still standing in the heart of Mayfair enough all these amazing treats without even having to get on a plane.
If I had to pick one favourite though, it would have to be the Charbonnel et Walker afternoon tea by the May Fair Kitchen. I think it was beautifully presented and so well made, every little attention to detail was covered. This is an afternoon tea worth trying, guys!
I can definitely vouch for lastminte.com as being the perfect platform to find everything you need, from afternoon teas to flights and hotels. I know where i’ll be looking to book my next trip abroad.
Until next time…