Afternoon Tea

London-Afternoon-Tea

How quickly did March whizz by? Not to mention the Easter break. If you’re looking for some April ‘don’t miss’ tips. Here are my suggestions:

1. Just because Easter is over, it doesn’t mean you have to stop your chocolate eggs indulgence. Gallery Mess, the restaurant at Saatchi’s Art Gallery on Duke of York Square, have their Easter afternoon tea on the menu until 7th April. I tried it last month and can definitely recommend it. Read about my experience here.

2. Donna Ida’s Chelsea store is currently being refurbished and so Donna Ida’s denim boutique has temporarily moved across the road to the ex-Jean Paul Gaultier space: 171 Draycott Avenue SW3 3AE.

To celebrate the new-look Donna Ida store (106 Draycott Avenue SW3 3AE)  which is reopening on Monday 15th April, this glorious denim boutique will be serving all-day breakfast treats and launching the brand new Spring Summer 2013 season with a ‘Surf’s Up’ theme.

To celebrate the store’s reopening, Donna Ida will be giving away a pair of designer jeans every 30 minutes (on 15th April), which is the time it takes for a Denim Clinic in any of the Donna Ida boutiques. A Simeon Farrar tee will also be given away with the first 50 purchases on the re-opening day. So maybe see you there?

Donna Ida's Pop Up Chelsea Store

3. The atmospheric speakeasy bar, Evans & Peel, have their next Burlesque show on 7th April. If you want to find out more about it or if you’d like to discover what lies within this Earls Court basement, have a read of my post here.

4. Theo Fennell is launching an exclusive jewellery-inspired afternoon tea with the delectable Langham Hotel on 8th April.

Created by the hotel’s award winning Head Pastry Chef Cherish Finden, the Theo Fennell Bijoux Afternoon Tea comprises of a selection of decadent savoury and sweet  delicacies – the latter of which pay homage to some of the brand’s most iconic pieces. Priced at £49 per person, the afternoon tea will be available until November 2013.

Theo Fennell and Langham Hotel

5. Chelsea Theatre’s SACRED season continues into April and will be running into June. If you’d like to find out what’s on over the spring/summer, here is my latest post on Chelsea Theatre.

What are you up to this month? Have you got any Don’t Miss tips?

Last week had been quite a long week and on Sunday, following lunch and as the in-laws made their way into the BADA Art and Antique Fair on Duke of York Square, the bf and I headed to Gallery Mess to wind down.

Gallery MessThe restaurant was already buzzing with folks finishing off their lunch and having afternoon tea. And the great atmosphere was emphasised by the venue’s wonderfully airy space.

When we arrived, we were served the Easter Afternoon Tea menu which included mini sandwiches (smoked salmon, cucumber and egg & cress) …

Gallery MessScones with clotted cream and jam …

Gallery MessAnd an assortment of Easter themed cakes, cookies and Easter eggs.

Gallery MessThe bf was also served a glass of Prosecco Pinot Rosé whilst I asked for a Virgin Mojito Cocktail, which complimented my fresh mint tea. The other teas available on the menu include Assam, afternoon blend, chamomile, Darjeeling, Earl Grey, jasmine, Sencha green and wild berries.

By the time we left, the two-tiers on which our afternoon tea arrived on were completely empty. We enjoyed every morsel, so much so you wouldn’t have guessed that he had had a Sunday pub lunch earlier.

The sandwiches were light and tasty whilst I really enjoyed the passion fruit macarons and the gooey surprise inside the easter egg. The cookie was delicate in a deliciously buttery way – and I enjoyed the cupcake too.

On Sunday afternoon, there was a mixed crowd at Gallery Mess: couples enjoying quality time together; girlfriends catching up; and groups of friends engrossed in each other’s company.

The Easter menu is available until 7th April 2013 and if afternoon tea is something you enjoy, I recommend you try this menu. It’s a great way to spend an afternoon for sure.

Gallery Mess, Duke of York’s HQ, King’s Rd, London SW3 4RY. 020 7730 8135.

*The food and drink were complimentary for the purpose of the review.*

Trying the new bar menu and cocktails at The Botanist. (Click on the photo for my review)

Dessert at The Orange pub on Pimlico Road. The best kind!

Boris Bikes off Pimlico Road. I tried them for the first time this week – a couple of times – and am a big fan now!

Private view of Bob Willoughby: The Silver Age of Hollywood, Proud Chelsea exhibition.

Checking out Sloane Square’s newest bar, Tonteria! I love it!

The Society Club is probably my favourite bookshop in London now. Wonder why. 😉

Happy hour lychee martini at La Brasserie.

Afternoon Tea at The Kensington Hotel.

Dashing across King’s Road in a cab late last night.

The reason why this is my favourite time of year in Chelsea. Just waiting for the lights to go on across the road on Sloane Square now. Can’t wait!

What were the highlights of your week? What did you get up to this weekend? x

Scallops at Aubrey Doyle, which I’ve enjoyed before.

Yet another ‘I love London’ moment earlier this week.

Cocktail and Cake Liquid Afternoon Tea tasting at The Royal Horseguards Hotel.

Ross X Bute fashion event.

Red Velvet Cupcake from The Chelsea Teapot.

Discovering Addies Thai in Earls Court, almost opposite Ping. Win!

Brunch at Carluccio’s in Kensington.

Picking up some magazines from My Fulham News – one of the only few newsagents left in Chelsea and where I bought my first issues of Just 17 and Smash Hits. These guys are local legends!

Today’s brunch from my fave chef, the bf!

xox

Given the option I tend to opt for a cocktail over pudding after a meal. But imagine if one didn’t have to make that choice? What if cocktails and sweet treats were one and the same, combined?

When I received my invitation to taste the Cocktail & Cake Liquid Afternoon Tea menu at The Royal Horseguards Hotel, I discovered that this was possible. Hallelujah!

The sight of cocktail glasses lined up at the hotel’s Equus Bar was heavenly. This was going to be an afternoon tea designed for me, or so it felt like it.

And as much as I adore traditional tea and scones, I realised instantly that this experience was going to be somewhat different from anything I had ever tried.

The tastings started off with canapés and were followed by food demonstrations …

The ice lolly machine was very interesting – and apparently, this iced platform is also great for carpaccio!

I tried the Long Island Ice Tea jelly shots … Yum!

And one of the Strawberry Daiquiri Macaroons … Delish.

There were also cocktail making sessions. This Lord Kitchener cocktail was to die for! – if you prefer martinis to have a kick, which I do.

After the demonstrations, we were taken around the hotel to learn about its formidable history as well as discover its hidden gems.

My favourite historical nugget is knowing that what is now the hotel reception used to be a bar where Winston Churchill spent much time as a young man when he was a Liberal.

But even as a Conservative, Churchill returned to this building which was and still is in part associated with the National Liberal Club. What would he make of today’s coalition? We can only wonder.

It’s also not a surprise that cocktails on the Equus Bar menu reflect not only Churchill’s association with the building but also its other past inhabitants: George Bernard Shaw, Lord Kitchener and William Gladstone. The hotel used to also be a block of flats.

The tour of the hotel was stunning. This really is a beautiful building and it didn’t feel as if we were in Central London but rather on some country estate far far away.

As for the tastings, what can I say? Each experience was full of flavour. Each of the canapés were a delightful surprise, including this fish and chips in a teacup dish – which is essentially creamy haddock soup with a potato chip carefully laid on top. Amazing.

The cocktails were stellar. The Churchill cocktail included a combination of bourbon, homemade tobacco syrup and aromatic bitters and I can’t recommend it enough.

But if you prefer something sweeter, the Sir Mansfield-Cumming is also a good option …

It contains a mixture of Scotch, Quince Liquer, fresh lemon and Whisky barrel aged bitters – with a maraschino cherry. Admittedly, I ordered this drink because I was thinking more about James Bond. Mansfield-Cumming had set up MI6. But I did enjoy it and again I was met with surprising bursts of flavours.

This Cocktail and Liquid Afternoon Tea menu is only available for a limited time: from 5th until 14th October 2012. And to book or for more information, you can click here.

If you do make it down, have a fabulous time. I’ll definitely be heading back because I hear Adrian (the principal bartender) makes a great Manhattan and I have yet to taste one that blows me away. I cannot wait!

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