Oh Jersey you’ve done it again! You’ve given me sun. You’ve introduced me to some terrific people. You’ve fed me lots of Champagne and this time around – you’ve given me one of my favourite afternoon teas of the year. Bohemia is a Michelin starred restaurant at The Club Hotel & Spa in Jersey and is looked after by the multi-talented head chef Steve Smith and his team. Afternoon Tea however is looked after that little bit more by head pastry chef, Ellen de Jager.
Of course no afternoon tea should start without a glass of Champagne and so in true Foodaholic fashion we divulged on a glass, or two. It also gave us the opportunity to have a whiff inside each of the tea caddies. Floral, fruit and even chocolatey. I ended up going for the Weekend In Rome – the scent and flavour was heavenly.
The sandwiches here for this afternoon tea aren’t pushing boundaries or offering anything particularly different to others, but neither are they trying too. They’re classic and they’re lovely just the way they are. Ham and whole grain mustard, egg and tomato, cucumber and smoked salmon and a lovely tuna crunch on brown bread.
While the sandwiches were a nice way to start, the cakes and selection of patisserie is what turns this afternoon tea into an extraordinary one. They’re off the scale. So much precision and so much perfection. First of our sweet treats was a stunning lemon tart with white chocolate and basil. The pastry was rich and buttery, the presentation was beautiful and you could taste each flavour in the mouth individually. Egg custard were served in dainty broken egg cups and were again, fantastic. The perfect consistency with just the right amount of wobble – topped with a rhubarb crumble and white chocolate shard.
It got better still with the chocolate and nutty treats. After my many trips to Bordeaux, the classic Paris brest has been one of my favourite things to divulge in and the ones they serve here – now make part of my top three best ever. Light and flaky choux pastry, filled with a creamy praline filling. The thick slices of gateaux style cake were a real treat too. Layers of chocolate, salted caramel, even more chocolate and sugared peanuts.
And then there were the scones. Plain and raisin, plus a little extra perfection. Perhaps not the best looking scones on first glance, but as soon as you pick them up they crumble apart in half. Even the spreads were fantastic. Strawberry jam, thick clotted cream and luscious Jersey black butter. It’s the first time I’ve had black butter and it certainly won’t be the last. The only way to best describe it is a cross between a mince-pie and Christmas – it’s incredibly addictive. So was the pot of it I purchased and ate all of back at home too.
The afternoon tea we enjoyed here at Bohemia was in one word – stunning. It had class, it had so much flavour and it all looked beautiful. Not to mention the price. A Michelin starred afternoon tea like this in London would set you back who knows how much, but here in Jersey (excluding Champagne) it was only £19.95 for a full afternoon tea. It’s incredible that you can get this much quality and this much talent at such an affordable price. The Bohemia afternoon tea is Jersey’s best kept secret and I can’t wait to come back.
NB: I was invited to review and my meal was complimentary. All views are as always, my own. My views are not influenced by anyone other than my own palate and slightly poor eyesight.