Sunday, 29 May 2016

The Dorchester's floral champagne afternoon tea and the Chelsea Flower Show 2016

Tuesday evenings aren't usually the most exciting evening of the week. Thursdays are often where it all happens, am I right?

But last Tuesday was without a doubt the best Tuesday evening I've had since moving to London. I wasn't planning on blogging about it, but then it was just so fabulous that I couldn't resist.

I scurried away from work a smidge earlier than usual and shimmied my way over to Chelsea for my first visit to the Chelsea Flower Show.

Like most ladies, I love a good flower, but I'm by no means a gardening aficionado. However, I was really excited. For the gardens, for sure, but mainly also because I'd been invited to try the Dorchester's champagne floral afternoon tea at the flower show. And let's be real here scones > gardens.

So with that in mind, we'll get to the flowers and kick off with a glass of Laurent-Perrier champagne, as any Tuesday evening should.
The Dorchester are serving their floral tea in the prettiest tent. I say tent, but it's not really a tent. Look:

And it's their first pop-up ever actually as it's so hard to take the whole kitchen, all the staff and the Dorchester quality and service out of the Park Lane hotel.

The flower arrangements are, as you'd expect, stunning, designed by the Dorchester's amazing 28-year-old florist, Philip Hammond (no, not that Philip Hammond). Tbh they're exactly the sort of flower arrangements I'd want at my wedding. And yes I am very single right now.
Alongside my champagne I sipped the Dorchester's Paris blend which I thoroughly recommend - it's a black tea but with sort of caramel undertones. I loved it.

So, finger sandwich time!
Egg mayo with shallot confit and shiso cress on white bread, roast chicken with pommery mustard on basil bread, smoked salmon with sweet mustard and dill on granary bread, and cucumber with mint cream cheese on caraway seed bread.

I often find with finger sandwiches that the bread is a bit dry on the outside, almost as if the sandwiches have been sitting around for a little while. Not these ones, ma dears. These babies were well, soft as a baby's bottom.

My friend Alicia from the fab About Time Mag and I asked for more of the chicken and cucumber ones. This arrived:
We were not disappointed.

I am in love with the chicken sandwich. If you like pesto (and who doesn't like pesto?) you're going to be a fan. So great.

And with the savouries aside it was time to move on to the sweets.


Before the pudding, we were brought a pre-pudding. Duhh.
This was incredible. It was white chocolate mousse with a layer of strawberry, topped with dark chocolate crumble. You then poured raspberry coulis from the watering can on top. Even the convincing-looking pebbles were actually chocolate-coated nuts.

I mean, the creativity! It was ingenious! It was so detailed! But most importantly, it was delicious.

And now on to the main sweets. Scones first, of course.
With the scones, we were served homemade strawberry jam (full of big strawberries, which I loved), pear and vanilla jam, lemon curd and clotted cream. And the scones - both raisin and plain ones - were perfect. Neither dry nor too crumbly. Fab.
Now, I only wish I'd noted down what each of these scrummy treats was. As you can probably see, they were incredibly intricate but also stylishly designed, in keeping with the beautiful theme.

We had:

The Garden Basket - created in a chocolate shell with salted caramel sauce, a chocolate cremeux and roasted peanut top. Dressed with a green butter cream decoration, three sugar flowers and a chocolate lady bird. I know.

A strawberry rhubarb cheese cake with Marsala cream - crunchy biscuit base, strawberry cheesecake, rhubarb strawberry jelly and marsala vine mousse, decorated with a crystalized flower, wild strawberry and puff pastry crisp. And you thought it couldn't get more elaborate...

The Dorchester and the Giant Peach - a spherical peach mousse with peach and verbena insert on a rice crispy biscuit. (In celebration of the 50th anniversary of Roald Dahl).

A lemongrass praline - lemongrass shortbread and almond praline mousse with white chocolate lemongrass cream.
The chocolatey peanutty caramel one (garden basket) was perhaps unsurprisingly my fave. I was less keen on the lemongrass.

We'd stuffed ourselves silly with deliciousness and with just 45 minutes until the show was to close for the day, we hot-footed it round the gardens. Here are a few of my faves:
As you can imagine, it all smelled AMAZING! And I was seriously wowed by all the gardens. The gardeners are so clever and talented.

I loved the new Princess Charlotte flower:
And of course, I couldn't not stop to marvel at the spectacular display of almost 300,000 hand-knitted poppies honouring our armed forces. It was incredible.
The Chelsea Flower Show is one of those thoroughly British affairs that I love. And now I've been once, I may have to make a habit of it. With champagne afternoon tea, natch.

What are your thoughts on Chelsea Flower Show?


  1. Ooh the Dorchester's tea blend sounds great! Really lovely post - everything looks beautiful! xo

    1. Thank you Zara, I hope you get to try it soon x

  2. Afternoon tea and flowers are both so beautiful to look at! This sounds like a really lovely way to spend a Tuesday, glad you enjoyed it :)
    Jennifer x
    Ginevrella | Lifestyle Blog


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
© Handbags and Cupcakes. All rights reserved.