There are many reasons I love afternoon tea, apart from the obvious fact that it passes as a meal and mostly consists of gorging yourself on gluten, dairy and tea! However it is one of those simple pleasures that I just don’t feel I indulge myself in enough.
This weekend the date finally came around to watch Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, having bought the tickets for £20 per part last April. My mum came to London to see it with me and I thought I would use the opportunity to celebrate Mothers Day early and go for afternoon tea. After a quick search on Groupon (they have so many) I came across K+K Hotel George who were offering a sparkling afternoon tea for 2 for just £28.
Another thing I love about afternoon tea is the gorgeous kitsch china that feels totally nostalgic from visiting Grandparents and older relatives. The mismatched beauty of incomplete sets makes me feel like I’m in the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party in Alice in Wonderland and I absolutely love it. Perusing the gorgeous selection of individually wrapped Twinings tea bags in silk tea bags and endeavouring to make my way through the full selection whilst sipping tea out of miniature tea cups filled from a delicate floral kettle is such a great way to spend our Sunday afternoon.
Naturally, afternoon tea is also paired with a 3 tiered china cake stand that presents your meal using a tier system for starters, main and dessert. Now there was some discrepancy in the way other guests in the restaurant approached their tier system, but we decided to start from the bottom and make our way to the top which meant that tiny finger sandwiches were first on the list.
The choices were fairly simple vegetarian and pescetarian options, but the sourdough fingers were absolutely delicious. If I were able to design my own post afternoon tea sandwich menu I think my ideal sandwiches would be:
- Goats cheese, walnut and honey
- Rosemary, fig jam and brie
- Mature cheddar and grape
- Pumpkin, blue cheese and rocket
I am much more of a sweet than savoury person, so sandwiches need to be pretty special to keep my attention. I appreciate these might not be everyone’s ideal, so feel free to leave your favourites in the comments below and I will read (judge) them accordingly.
The most important part of this layer though, is that you feel as if you have ticked the savoury quota before moving on to the sweet courses, which this afternoon tea did achieve.
The next layer was a delectable trio of carrot cake, chocolate fudge cake and orange cheesecake. All three were absolutely delicious and I definitely did not want this portion to end. The cheesecake felt as if it burst into your mouth every time you took a bite and the slightly bitter orange was perfect in comparison to the super sweet chocolate fudge or cream cheese carrot cake. Even my mum who is normally fairly restrained when it comes to sweet treats asked for a second. Our waiter was perhaps the sweetest most attentive waiter I have come across in London and nothing was too much trouble for him, including the extra glass of Champagne and cake he brought us – winning. Now as much as I love Champagne, there is no greater combination than mini cakes and tea. All afternoon tea dreams I had in preparation for this were answered by the unlimited supply and delicious mini cakes we were presented.
After your scone it’s all gone (that rhymes in my accent), and sadly that was the case when we had finished these delicious scones (including the 2nd scone I had even though I was so full at this point). Equal parts jam, cream and scone was a perfect equation and after a small debate over which one is first (I jam and then cream – it’s the best way) we washed this one down with an English Breakfast tea.
2 glasses of Champagne, 2 Earl Greys, an English Breakfast and a superberry tea later we finished a delicious afternoon tea and ever since I can’t stop thinking about buying my own set of afternoon tea crockery and spending my Sunday afternoons this way for ever more (ebay here I come).
On top of the previously mentioned sandwiches, my dream cake combination would probably have to be:
- Coffee cake (the kind with rich coffee cream and walnuts)
- Orange cheesecake (as described earlier) or a lemon posset style cake
- Banoffee (banana bread with caramel sauce and mascarpone)
The tea selection needs to weigh heavily on the side of Earl Grey, English Breakfast and Moroccan mint with at least half a bottle of Champagne on arrival.
I will definitely be back to K+K in the summer because their pictures of afternoon tea in the garden are just too dreamy to resist.
What are your thoughts on afternoon tea and your dream menu? Who knows, maybe instead of a dinner party I will be the queen of afternoon tea parties. How very civilised…
Love to hear from you!