Thursday, 7 July 2016
Royal-tea: Afternoon Tea fit for a Queen at the InterContinental London Park Lane
But the InterContinental Hotel on Park Lane took it upon themselves this summer to create an even more Royal tea: Royal-tea, if you will.
(You will because that's what it's called.)
For one month and one month only, to celebrate the Queen's 90th birthday, Park Lane's most prestigious address offered their most royal of teas. The day I visited with my flatmate, Jess, it was actually the final weekend Royal-tea was on so I'm afraid it's no longer available, but it was so lovely I thought I'd share the experience with you all anyway.
Plus, the hotel have various other teas on offer and I know I want to go back to try them all. Asap.
The InterContinental was the official hotel of The Patron's Lunch (celebrating Her Majesty's 90th), and a portion of the Royal-Tea proceeds went to the new charity, The Patron's Fund. I like that. So essentially, we were helping the world by eating cake. I know. So selfless.
As part of the tea, guests have the option of kicking things off with a Pimm's Royale, which is a wonderful new fruity, fizzy, delicious cocktail made with (unsurprisingly) Pimm's but also champagne.
"How can we make a classic Pimm's better?"
"Uhhh... dunno. How do we make anything better?"
It was fabulous and certainly set the summery tone for the proceedings.
No, OK. I'm getting carried away. It'd still be pretty good. But we of course had to make the most of the wide range of teas on offer at the InterContinental. Luckily our wonderful waiter Luigi was on hand to recommend the best of the best.
We started off with the darjeeling second flush - apparently it's the champagne of tea world, guys.
At the same time as the darjeeling, we also sipped the keemun. Word on the street is this black tea was Queen Victoria's fave. And hey, if it's good enough for Vicky, it's good enough for me. (Was that treason? Am I going to be hanged?!) Anyway, the tea was fruitier and Jess and I both really liked it.
Alrighty, on to the aforementioned sandwiches.
On an array of soft breads (no dry ends, hoorah!), we had: smoked salmon with cream cheese, lobster and shrimp with marie-rose sauce, egg and cress, honey roast ham with English mustard, and coronation chicken.
And because I'm a fussy little fuss-pot who doesn't like fish or seafood, the kitchen kindly gave me a smokey aubergine one and an extra coronation chicken instead. They were all scrumptious but oh my days, that coronation chicken. They'd added tiny dried apricot chunks and it was just fantastic. I could've eaten about 15. (But I didn't, Mum, don't worry).
Sandwiches demolished, it was time for a tea-swap to carry us on to the sweets. Luigi brought us an absolutely divine chocolatey tea, the name of which escapes me (soz, gang), as well as the No 1 Park Lane tea, which was another keemun blended with vanilla. They were both sweeter than the first two we'd had and I loved them. Safe to say Luigi knows his teas!
Having been served after we'd finished our sandwiches, the sultana and buttermilk scones were delightfully warm and not in the slightest bit dry.
And we'd made it to the home straight: the cakes.
Then we had "The Queen's Hat" which was a tipsy sponge sandwiched together with a layer of fruity jam. It was nice but nothing too special.
What a delight it had been to enjoy a traditionally British afternoon tea at such a prestigious hotel. The service, as you'd expect, was faultless and the food was all of the highest quality. It was a lovely thing to do to toast Her Majesty The Queen on her 90th birthday! Long may she reign.
Jess and I were guests of the InterContinental London Park Lane but my review is totally honest, I promise. Find out more about afternoon tea at the hotel here.
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