Afternoon tea has become an institution in London for tourists and locals alike. It is the perfect way to celebrate a special occasion or to just indulge in bite size portions of your favourite food groups.
Arguably some of the best teas are in the city’s finest hotels, so with a limited edition offering that promised to take me back to my sweetest childhood memories, the Corinthia was my venue of choice for a long overdue catch up with Helen.
I have been to the Corinthia a couple of times before for parties, but only really explored the ballroom, so visiting the hotel in daylight and outside of the Christmas period was a first for me, and a lovely way to spend a Saturday afternoon.
The hotel’s interior is sleek and modern, with flowers in abundance at every turn. The afternoon tea is served in the lobby lounge; the elegant centrepiece of the hotel and a light, spacious room ideal for the relaxing ritual of taking tea. The host greeted us and showed us to our window table which looked into the beautiful room, and began talking us through the menu and options. The limited edition tea has been created by the Corinthia’s new Head Pastry Chef, Sarah Barber who was inspired by tastes of her childhood.
With tea and champagne chosen (Wedding Tea for Helen and traditional Earl Grey for me), it was time to get started on the afternoon fare and animated girly chat that occasions like this are designed for.First to arrive was the savoury course of traditional finger sandwiches. Six varieties of the quintessential British favourite were sliced and arranged with precision on the gorgeous striped china. My favourite had to be the roast Cumbrian beef with horseradish, closely followed by Cheddar cheese and pickle; a reminder of my own childhood, as I grew up in the Somerset village and this simple sandwich was a staple of my school lunch box.Whilst I have a sweet tooth, Helen is a savoury fanatic, and after devouring her plate in record time, the hostess generously replaced it with another.
Leaving all but crumbs on a second helping was something Helen soon came to regret when the iconic tiered stand arrived brimming with sweet treats.Following our warm scones with strawberry jam and decadent clotted cream, it was time to get stuck into the tea’s highlight, the sugary fancies.Many of Sarah’s cakes in the limited edition tea reference a trip to the sweetshop with her Grandfather in either flavour or visual form.
A bright raspberry macaroon sprinkled with hundreds and thousands caught my eye instantly and its taste didn’t disappoint either.I particularly loved the ‘Jaffa cake’ consisting of chocolate orange pavé, ganache, and mandarin jam, whilst Helen’s favourite was a delicate slice made up of layers of peanut mousse and salted caramel, the Corinthia’s interpretation of a ‘Snickers’Despite our best efforts, the tea defeated us and we were ‘forced’ (read: DELIGHTED) to take home our remaining treats in a box for later.
The Childhood Memories Afternoon Tea at the Corinthia is only on until 31st August and is priced from £50.
For further information please visit the website >