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International-and-London-Hotel-Restaurants

This week started the best way it could – with afternoon tea at Corinthia Hotel London. Fiona from London Unattached had invited me to try their new Childhood Memories afternoon tea menu which is the creation of the hotel’s new head pastry chef Sarah Barber and which is designed to turn back the clocks to remind us of our favourite childhood treats.
Afternoon Tea at Corinthia Hotel London

And I can’t think of a more luxurious setting for such a wonderful idea.
Afternoon Tea at Corinthia Hotel London

When Fiona arrived we were served a glass of Laurent-Perrier Rosé each. You also have the choice of Laurent-Perrier Brut or no Champagne with your afternoon tea.

Afternoon Tea at Corinthia Hotel London

But for me, I was thinking pink with all the fun cakes on their way. Afternoon Tea at Corinthia Hotel London

The Childhood Memories afternoon tea started with a selection of sandwiches that included: Loch Var smoked salmon, cream cheese and chive coronation chicken; egg mayonnaise and watercress; Mrs Kirkham’s Lancashire cheese and piccalilli roast beef and creamed horseradish; as well as Severn and Wye Smoked Trout and Cucumber. All of the finger sandwiches were very good; the fillings tasty.

Afternoon Tea, Corinthia Hotel London

As for the scones, faultless. And whilst I normally enjoy clotted cream and jam on my scones, I don’t think I have ever tried afternoon tea where I decided to abandon any guilt of indulgence as much as I did on Monday because the clotted cream was divine. Normally one spoonful is enough but in this case I felt the need to keep my scone topped up.

Afternoon Tea at Corinthia Hotel London

After the scones, we moved onto the cakes which included a Snickers slice with peanut mousse, tanariva and aerated salted caramel; a Crunchy Toffee Cream; and a Strawberries & Cream tart with wild strawberry mousseline and lemon curd.

Afternoon Tea at Corinthia Hotel London

On the other plate there was the BFG cake which was a chocolate cherry gateaux with kirsch chantilly and kirsch cherries; a Jaffa Cake; a Rose Choquette with raspberry lychee cremeux, rose choux bun, and crystallised roses; as well as a Bubblegum Macaron covered in hundreds and thousands.

Afternoon Tea at Corinthia Hotel LondonAll of the English Tea Fancies were divine, so much so it would have been a sin to not try every single one of them. The Snickers (formerly known as a Marathon bar) was sublime; light in texture and wholly reminiscent of what it is supposed to taste like. The Bubblegum Macaroon truly tastes like bubblegum sparking nostalgia in a most enjoyable way. And as for the BFG? Anything with a slice of Roald Dahl gets my vote and especially if it tastes as delicious as this.

As for my pot of tea, I enjoyed the Dragon Phoenix Pearl Falls which is a jasmine tea blended with jasmine flower. Wonderful!

Overall the Childhood Memories afternoon tea is very similar to the hotel it is served in. There is a real pleasure in looking at it; time stands still to allow you to savour every detail; and by the time you walk away, you know you’ve just experienced one of the best. And I have no reservations in recommending this fantastic menu.

Childhood Memories Afternoon Tea is served in The Lobby Lounge at the hotel until 31st August and is priced from £50. For further information please visit Corinthia Hotel London’s website.

Disclaimer: Fiona and I were guests of Corinthia Hotel London and I would like to thank them for an exceptional afternoon tea as well as a fantastic start to the week.

How many days until Christmas? Someone is counting somewhere. I’ve seen evidence on Twitter. It’s exciting and it’ll be amazing how, before we know it, we’ll be running around on Christmas Eve buying last-minute presents.

Surely that’s not just me? I’m quite the last minute shopper and when it comes down to Christmas and except for perhaps a holiday, anything to organise I tend to go with the flow. But the other week, I went along to a *drumroll* Christmas afternoon tea with a few bloggers. I say a few but there were quite a lot of us. So much so, I didn’t get to say hi to everyone. Both Selena from Oh, the places we will go! (I have to ask Selena next time I see her if her blog is reference to Dr. Seuss’s awe-inspiring read.) and Melanie from Sunny in London, did such a great job organising a fantastic afternoon tea that has raised the bar for me.

The location was Conrad London St. James, which you might have known as the formerly named Intercontinental London Westminster.

Christmas Afternoon Tea and Conrad London St. James Hotel

The setting was Christmas afternoon tea with bubbles.

Christmas Afternoon Tea and Conrad London St. James Hotel

Our price included a glass but a few of us couldn’t resist a couple more. It was very easy to get in the mood, especially given our airy and light surroundings as a harpist entertained us. (We had a room all to ourselves, it was really quite fantastic.)

Christmas Afternoon Tea and Conrad London St. James Hotel

The pastries and sandwiches all had a festive twist. And whilst I was particularly impressed with the venison bite in puff pastry, the brussel sprout palate cleanser truly surprised me because it was very pleasant and easy to enjoy.

Along with the sandwiches, which included smoked salmon & lemon crème fraîche, cured gammon & mustard as well as beetroot & spinach, I also really enjoyed the scones which arrived with clotted cream, home-made strawberry jam and blackberry curd.

And as we ate, drank and talked away, I thought the afternoon’s delights were what I saw before me. What I didn’t know – or any of us knew – was that the Christmas Snow Scene afternoon tea also included more treats. Many more treats.

Christmas Afternoon Tea and Conrad London St. James Hotel

These …

Christmas Afternoon Tea and Conrad London St. James Hotel

A closer look below. Don’t they look scrumptious? They included, a winter berry Christmas tree, a chocolate orange Battenberg present, a snowflake macaroon, a white forest yule log, Christmas postcard marshmallows, mini meringue snowmen and edible snow. Amazing.

My favourite was definitely the winter berry Christmas tree which turned out to be a mousse when you cut into it. So light and tasty, I’d left the tree until the end and ended up wishing that I had started with it.

Christmas Afternoon Tea and Conrad London St. James HotelAs far as afternoon teas go, this one exercised both imagination and great craft. And when it comes to Christmas treats, I think this would be difficult to beat. An all-round wonderful experience with great company. Win, win.

Conrad London St. James, 22-28 Broadway, London,SW1H 0BH. 

You may have seen my tweet about Bar Boulud’s cocktail, La Juliet, as I admired the rose petals in the ice. It was so good. It included imperial silver vodka, kwai lychee liqueur, lychee syrup, rose syrup and soda water. Divine.

Bar Boulud

Last week, I had popped in for a drink with the OH but as soon as we sat down we knew we had to order one of their burgers too. There were too many around to ignore.

I had the Yankee burger: beef patty, iceberg lettuce, tomato, pickle and sweet onion with a sesame bun … 

Bar Boulud

… whilst the OH had the Frenchie: beef patty, confit pork belly, rocket, dijon, tomato compote and morbier cheese with a peppered bun.

Bar Boulud

I’m not a burger connoisseur so I won’t wax lyrical about why Bar Boulud is considered one of the best places for a good burger. I just know between the juicy meat, light bun and flavoursome cheese, both the OH and I enjoyed our very late lunch or very early supper. We were there around 4.30pm on a Saturday afternoon and it was very easy to get a table as we arrived just before the evening rush.

The highlight of the afternoon however had to be the Koko Alfonso cocktail, which included koko kanu, mango puree, apricot liqueur and lime, which has a limited availability each day. And looking at how much preparation it must take to make one of these, it’s no wonder. Apparently, the prep includes a balloon and various stages of freezing. This cocktail was utterly divine. If you love mangoes you will love the richness of this experience. Just wonderful and so easy to sip.

Bar Boulud

Bar Boulud is a great place to pop into, be it for a drink or a delicious bite to eat. There was a first date at one table (pardon the eavesdropping), a mother and daughter spending quality time together and a woman grabbing a burger and sipping wine as she killed time before meeting up with a friend. It’s one of those laid back places where you can enjoy burgers and cocktails on another level. I loved it!

Bar Boulud, Mandarin Oriental, Hyde Park, 66 Knightsbridge, London SW1X 7LA.

Recently I popped into The Langham, London, hotel …

Artesian bar - Langham London

It wasn’t my first time and it wasn’t my first visit to their Artesian bar which officially holds the World’s Best Bar title. Here’s a short video which shows you why …

Artesian bar - Langham LondonBut it was my first encounter with their Artesian cocktail menu which I absolutely loved. Using a slider on the side of the metallic menu, you can spin a dial that takes you through the choices of cocktails on offer.

Artesian bar - Langham LondonIn the end, I chose the Reality Czech because I was tempted by the lychee and raspberry combination and because it was a warm afternoon.

Arriving in a chilled tankard and with a butterfly shaped ice cube inside, this cocktail was not only refreshing but it was packed with layers of flavour which really surprised me. I thought I had some idea of what to expect but every sip left my tastebuds tingling with curiosity: which flavours was I tasting with each sip?

Artesian bar - Langham LondonI hear on the grapevine that the Artesian bar are launching something exciting, sometime soon, and I for one can’t wait to return to try it!

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