Oh, I really enjoyed this.
As part of my 21st birthday treat day of fun in London (more to come on that later), the wonderful mother booked us in for a super snazzy Champagne afternoon tea at a five star hotel in Knightsbridge, London. *squeal*
Everyone knows I love afternoon tea, even just a slice of homemade cake and a mug of builders' tea at the kitchen table, but this was very special. Afternoon tea is such a fabulous british tradition, which made it all the more special for me to be having such a lovely one before leaving the UK for a year. *sob* Tea, I'm going to miss you! It's just not the same in Europe...
I cannot lie, I loved the poshness, the snazzy surroundings and the luxury, but I also, of course, wanted super scrummy food. And a proper traditional afternoon tea, too. The Cadogan fit the bill perfectly.
When we stepped into the hotel, we were promptly shown through to the Edwardian drawing room and to our cosy corner table, set-up ready and waiting. After a long day doing fun things in London, the plush sofas looked oh-so-appealing. I plonked down my bags and plonked myself down in what I hope was at least a slightly graceful fashion.
The drawing room is just perfect for afternoon tea, in my opinion. A traditional oak-panelled room full of comfy tweed armchairs and tables covered in white tablecloths, it's peaceful and relaxing.
After sitting down, a lovely, smiley waiter brought us over the Partridges tea menus. It's not just a choice of jasmine or English Breakfast at The Cadogan, no sir! There were eight different types of what I would call 'normal' tea, as well as six of what I call 'fruity, herby, floral weird' teas. I can't be doing with them.
Mama and I both went for Assam, which turned out to be a delightful choice. I quote: 'This is a strong, robust tea with a coppery colour. This tea tastes good with milk, which allows the rich, malty character to come through.' I'd have to agree.
I don't think the staff were expecting us to drink quite as much of it as we did (a good six cups each I'd say), but they were more than happy to keep topping up the water in our pot of tea leaves. (No tea bags here, ma dears.) What can I say? In the beautiful chinaware and the beautiful setting, the tea tasted extra great. And when you drag your afternoon tea out for nearly two hours, a girl's got to keep hydrated, hasn't she?
|Happy (early) birthday to me!|
Next up, we were served the main event. Just look at all this!
An assortment of freshly-prepared tea sandwiches, home baked scones, Chelsea buns, Cornish clotted cream & jams and an assortment of little cakes and pastries. Wow.
How the afternoon tea is served and presented really makes a difference in my opinion, and doesn't it all look wonderful?
Naturally, mama and I worked our way from the bottom up, starting with the delightful finger sandwiches. There were five different types, two of each, all on different breads. If I remember correctly, we had roast beef & mustard, smoked salmon, cucumber & cream cheese, cheese & pickle, and egg. They were absolutely lovely.
Next up, we moved on to layer two and started off with the scones. Initially, mama and I had thought, 'oh, they look a bit small,' but they were actually perfect. I guess The Cadogan knows better than we do, eh? What really made the scones, however, were the jams: strawberry & rose and elderflower, lemon & Champagne. The latter, in particular, was sensationally good. I'd never had anything like it.
Being in (or near, I'm not sure) Chelsea, the Chelsea bun was a nice touch - apparently not many of the top hotels include them in their afternoon tea. It was nice, but we have to admit we'd have preferred another scone each instead.
Oh, hello cakey layer! It's your turn now. The only question was: which order to eat them in? We decided to start with the tropical choux - a sort of profiterole filled with a passion fruit cream. I'm not usually a huge eclair/profiterole kinda gal, but these were lovely.
Next up, the mango chocolate macaroon - these were seriously good, and the best of the three in my opinion - chewy mango macaroon and a creamy chocolate filling. I wasn't sure how well the flavours would work but they totally did.
By this point, we were jolly full, but I was never going to leave the last cake untouched, despite many of our fellow afternoon tea-ers leaving some treats on their stands. A lighter raspberry mousse/sponge concoction was the perfect finishing bite, even though it wasn't the most flavoursome of all.
It was lovely to be able to take our time and work our way through it all, and the staff were friendly and attentive throughout.
I'd thoroughly recommend afternoon tea at The Cadogan - it was exactly my type of treat and the perfect 21st birthday present. Sharing it with my mother was simply delightful. Thanks, mama!
Oh, and if you book through this website, you may be able to get a cheeky little offer too.