Last year I made a debut to a very British customs ‘Afternoon Tea’. The concept of it is similar to Cream Tea that I occasionally have, however, they are a little different. Basically Afternoon Tea is a mixture of lunch and tea time together which serves tea with some sandwiches and dessert. By knowing it is a traditional custom for upper class people, it is a little intimidating experience but it is becoming more popular among wider range of people these days.
I had another opportunity to try this high end custom (at a reasonable price) the other day. It was a farewell occasion with somebody who helped me out and is leaving the UK soon.
To be honest it is quite difficult to choose the venue. Of course if you want to spend lots of money for the best experience there is no problem. The top quality afternoon tea costs over £100 per head. However, if you want to find a venue for a great experience but reasonably priced, you have to do a lot of research.
I finally booked a table in a hotel, but I was worried if it was not as good as I hoped it would be. However, once we arrived at the hotel I got a good feeling. Although the restaurant is located on the ground floor, we were led to the Executive Lounge which is on their 14th floor. There were some other people having tea already but tables were placed with some distance so our conversation was not disturbed at all.
We settled at the table and not waiting that long, our tea arrived, followed by a three tiered cake stand.
We started munching from the bottom tier which had four types of sandwiches, Egg mayonnaise and cress, Smoked salmon, Cucumber & peppered Crème Fraiche and Ham and Pommery mustard.
I don’t know why but traditionally the poshest sandwich filling is cucumber and our sandwiches were not the exception to that. You may think that none of the fillings sounds anything special but I tell you the bread was fresh and soft and all the filling was very tasty. It was the good start.
When we finished the sandwiches two flutes of strawberry champagne were brought to us. It was a fruity cocktail but not too sweet to fight with the sweetness of the dessert to come.
We moved onto the second tier. The sweets on the middle tier were Chocolate & Walnut Brownie, Sachertorte, Fruits Tart, Pannacotta with Berry compote and Red Velvet cake.
We moved on to the third and the last tier with fruits scone.
I put some clotted cream first on the scone and strawberry jam on top. I love clotted cream and normally put more on my scone. However, I was starting to feel full up by this time and used less cream.
Then I felt my only criticism of this whole experience. The scone was a bit dry. Maybe it was toasted too long? It was such a shame because I was looking forward to having a scone with clotted cream and also it was a perfect Afternoon Tea until that moment.
So, that was it. It was great! I will do Afternoon Tea again whenever another opportunity arises.
We used a voucher for this venue and that was a super value for this great experience.
Sparkling Cocktail Afternoon Tea at ‘Hilton, London Canary Wharf‘