Afternoon Tea

London-Afternoon-Tea

I’ve always been a fan of The Bloomsbury Hotel and consider its bar and terrace undiscovered gems in the heart of London.

Well, that’s what I thought a couple of years ago because since my last visit there have been developments that have completely transformed both spaces and now there seems to be plenty of chatter about this West End hotel.

The al fresco space which is a minute’s walk away from Oxford Street and Tottenham Court Road is now called the Dalloway Terrace.

Dalloway Terrace, The Bloomsbury Hotel

And when you consider Bloomsbury’s literary heritage, it makes sense that The Bloomsbury Hotel would name its finest feature after the most prolific character from one of Bloomsbury’s former residents, Virginia Woolf. In fact, to this day Bloomsbury is still considered one of the literary capitals of the world with Bloomsbury Publishing and Faber & Faber still residing within this beautiful area.

Dalloway Terrace, The Bloomsbury Hotel

So when I was invited to a bloggers afternoon tea which would be hosted by Angie, I was very excited to join EmmaLauren, Katie, Honey, Jess, Ben, and Mehreen.

Dalloway Terrace, The Bloomsbury Hotel

I knew it was going to be a chance to catch up with a few of my favourite bloggers as well as an opportunity to get to meet some new faces. And after plenty of mingling and Champagne …

Dalloway Terrace, The Bloomsbury Hotel

… we all took our seats to enjoy a new afternoon tea experience with the weather on our side.

Dalloway Terrace, The Bloomsbury Hotel

I’m not so much of a big tea drinker maybe it’s because I don’t think soya milk suits tea as it does coffee. But I do love non-milky tea and so I ordered their white tea, which I enjoyed.

Dalloway Terrace, The Bloomsbury Hotel

As for the menu, The Bloomsbury Afternoon Tea was inspired by original recipes from the 1920s and 1930s which have been given a modern twist by the hotel’s chefs.

I had a gluten-free version of the menu, which was the first time I had tried a gluten-free afternoon tea. Admittedly, it has made me reconsider cutting out wheat so drastically and for my next afternoon review I am planning on opting for the original menu for fear of missing out again.

Dalloway Terrace, The Bloomsbury Hotel

But all in all, the whole afternoon tea experience was a true delight. So much so, the …

Dalloway Terrace, The Bloomsbury Hotel

… conversations meandered into the evening when we left the terrace and made our way down the stairs, past the twinkling lights and live jazz music – and headed into the hotel’s bar which is another gem in itself. Unfortunately, soon after this photo (below) was taken the battery in my camera ran out so I have no photographic evidence of the wonderful cocktails served here.

Still, I guess it gives me another reason to return …

… along with the wonderful oasis set in the heart of the West End, that is the Dalloway Terrace.

*Thank you Angie and Dalloway Terrace for a gorgeous afternoon!

Dalloway Terrace, The Bloomsbury Hotel, 16-22 Great Russell Street, London WC1B 3NN.

Chelsea Girl

Yesterday’s non-stop rain reminded me of the last time we saw such a persistent downpour. I’d spent the afternoon at No.11 Cadogan Gardens Hotel which some of you may know I love. I also reviewed the hotel’s restaurant last year and as a result I was so pleased to be spending a rainy afternoon in such a gorgeous setting a few weeks ago. This place is really one of my favourite gems in Chelsea.Afternoon Tea at Number 11 Cadogan Gardens HotelFiona from London Unattached kindly invited me along to review No.11’s afternoon tea which had been originally set up in the room above but for the sake of getting a good photo, we moved into the conservatory area instead. Still, as usual with this place, I couldn’t resist snapping away because the details of each room are a great reason to enjoy the hotel.

Afternoon Tea at Number 11 Cadogan Gardens HotelCouldn’t you spend an afternoon lounging on this sofa?

Afternoon Tea at Number 11 Cadogan Gardens Hotel

As for the afternoon tea, No.11 offers a reasonably priced menu that can include a glass of Champagne if you’d like to add some sparkles to your day.Afternoon Tea at Number 11 Cadogan Gardens Hotel

And for me the highlight of the afternoon tea has to be No.11’s crème brûlée which I really enjoyed.Afternoon Tea at Number 11 Cadogan Gardens Hotel

These moist and delicious cakes were also quite something. As Fiona mentioned in her review, it was certainly a refreshing change to be given slices of real cakes which added to the sense of indulgence, along with sipping Champagne as the rain beat down on the glass roof of the hotel’s conservatory. A great way to spend an afternoon.Afternoon Tea at Number 11 Cadogan Gardens Hotel

No.11’s afternoon tea allows you to enjoy a sumptuous nook in the hotel or to expand the experience to include a group of friends in another room or corner. For me, the surroundings were as delicious as the crème brûlée that I still remember.

No.11 Cadogan Gardens, London SW3 2RJ. Disclaimer: Fiona and I were guests of the hotel. 
Chelsea Girl

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.

Last week I met up with Fiona for afternoon tea at The Rosebery inside the Mandarin Oriental in Knightsbridge. I’d been to the hotel a few times, either to Bar Boulud, the Mandarin Bar or their spa. But this was the first time I had visited The Rosebery itself.

Afternoon Tea at The Rosebery, Mandarin Oriental

When you enter the hotel, its dark rich interior doesn’t prepare you for the spectacular light and modern design of The Rosebery. Afternoon Tea at The Rosebery, Mandarin Oriental

From the corridor, the lights were the first to impact on me and walking inside I was struck by the huge sense of space. The tall windows and the unfussy furniture gives The Rosebery’s rooms a sense of comfort and style to relax in.Afternoon Tea at The Rosebery, Mandarin Oriental

Fiona and I were, in our general fashion, the first to arrive. This makes it great for us to take photos and to soak up the feeling of the place before it fills up, which The Rosebery did. By the time we left, there were friends, families and men in suits enjoying afternoon tea or some other wonderful treat from The Rosebery’s menu.Afternoon Tea at The Rosebery, Mandarin Oriental

As for Fiona and I, we were here for the afternoon tea which we both thoroughly enjoyed. Afternoon tea is served with a glass of Ruinart Blanc de Blancs. Or you could have either a glass of Ruinart Rosé or Krug Grande Cuvée if you prefer.

Afternoon Tea at The Rosebery, Mandarin Oriental

The selection of homemade pastries included an amber pyramid with floral essence, a meringue basket with berry cremeux, lilac macaron with chocolate ganache and violet petals, choux éclair with mint and coconut filling, and a white chocolate dome with jasmine.

Afternoon Tea at The Rosebery, Mandarin Oriental

The sandwiches were a real delight too. The bread was wonderfully light and the fillings so delicate yet tasty. I hadn’t had any lunch by the time I arrived so I enjoyed two servings of sandwiches which I had no problem doing so. These sandwiches were testament to how difficult it is to get it completely right. Sandwiches are a staple, they’re everywhere, so just like coffee it’s easy to just consume something for the sake of it. But when you do come across some that are this good, it really feels like a treat.

The fillings on this plate included slow roasted organic chicken and buttered corn, smoked salmon tartar with crème fraîche and dill, Cotswold egg and mustard cress, cucumber and cream cheese, Portland crab and crayfish fondue on brioche and Wiltshire cured ham and heritage tomatoes. A great selection.

Afternoon Tea at The Rosebery, Mandarin Oriental

And as much as the food is good here, I also enjoyed the fine details of The Rosebery. This amber apple that hangs off the stand on which the afternoon tea plates sit … Afternoon Tea at The Rosebery, Mandarin Oriental

… as well as the beautiful designs on the crockery that arrived on the table.
Afternoon Tea at The Rosebery, Mandarin Oriental

But most of all, I enjoyed the madeleines on this plate which were easily the best I’ve ever had. So wonderfully moist and flavoursome, it feels difficult to go back to the run-of-the-mill.Afternoon Tea at The Rosebery, Mandarin Oriental

As for the scones, I’m not a huge expert on scones but I know good scones are hard to find. These were balanced in their texture and moistness. And they were very easy to enjoy.Afternoon Tea at The Rosebery, Mandarin Oriental

The tea I chose was an apricot white tea, which was divine both in taste and aroma.

Afternoon Tea at The Rosebery, Mandarin Oriental

I also sneaked in a soya flat white which complimented my macaron very well. Afternoon Tea at The Rosebery, Mandarin Oriental

When it comes to afternoon tea the experience is made up of the setting as well as the food and drink. And when it comes to The Rosebery, I think they excel in both in spades. I wholly recommend a visit.Afternoon Tea at The Rosebery, Mandarin OrientalFiona and I were treated to complimentary afternoon tea for the purpose of this review and I would happily return as a customer.

The Rosebery, Mandarin Oriental, 66 Knightsbridge, London SW1X 7L.

Chelsea Girl

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