When it comes to my favourite meal, I think afternoon tea may well have to be it. A glass of Champagne to start, unlimited offerings of the most delicious and refreshing teas, an array of sandwiches to satisfy anyone’s savoury cravings, as well as all of those sweet tooth desires – with more cakes and pastries than you could ever eat.
If that all sounds very familiar to you then why not spoil your loved one this Valentine’s Day by enjoying a very glamorous and romantic afternoon tea at one of London’s recently refurbished hotels – The Royal Lancaster London. This newly refurbished hotel is celebrating Valentine’s Day for the first time after an extensive £80 million renovation and after having the pleasure of staying here recently – I can confirm it’s a far cry from how this hotel used to look.
Looked after by head chef Ben Purton and executive head pastry chef Steven Penny, this Royal Valentine’s Afternoon Tea is held in the brand-new and rather gorgeous Hyde Lobby Bar. Expect to be surrounded in a room full of marble, copper and endless bottles of Champagne.
Our marble-topped table was covered in rose petals, all centred around a single red tealight and with a dedicated Valentines menu. The Royal Valentine’s Afternoon Tea is available from 7-20th February 2018 and starts from just £35 per person, or £50 per person including a glass of chilled Moët & Chandon Rose Champagne.
While we settled in and salivated over the menu, we began with a glass of that delicious rose Champagne which was served in some rather gorgeous tall flutes.
Once we finished our bubbles, we went on to choose from a selection of teas. I chose the warming peach & ginger tea which was so light and refreshing, while the other half enjoyed a rich short espresso which the staff were happy to accommodate in place of. Another tea that went perfectly with the Valentines theme was the Persian pomegranate which was a sweet and fruity.
When the full afternoon tea arrived at the table, I must confess it looked much more impressive than I’d imagined. Colourful, enticing and of course – romantic. First tier to be rather quickly consumed was the savoury offerings. A lovely selection of both sandwiches and small bites such as warm wild mushroom & truffle arancini balls and sesame seeded choux buns filled with a tomato and basil filling – along with a selection of delicious finger sandwiches. I really loved the smoked salmon pumpernickel wraps and tender beef sandwiches with horseradish.
And then there was my favourite tier of them all, the sweet treats. The best were the raspberry macarons. So light, a little chewy and with a nice gooey raspberry jam centre to them. Equally as impressive were the red velvet cheesecakes and I got rather addicted to those strawberry & cream lollipops. The hazelnut chocolate mousse on Sable Breton was actually more like a caramel textured Ferrero Rocher, which I loved too. If there was any room for improvements it would only be on the rosewater marshmallow tarts which needed just a little something extra as a layer. Perhaps some Turkish delight or fruity curd?
We finished up on a plate full of fluffy scones which were brought out warm straight from the kitchen. A selection of beautifully glazed plain scones, others laced with sultanas and my favourite – strawberry scones. The latter gave them a nice sweetness and touch of colour. They were all served with thick Cornish clotted cream and some homemade jam which should be sold by the jar – it was that good.
I really enjoyed this afternoon tea here at The Royal Lancaster Hotel and given what some other hotels are offering on comparison this is excellent value, especially given the quality of the of everything and creativity from the pastry team. Whether you’re looking to treat a loved one or simply treat a friend I’d advise you to getting booking now before this Valentines themed afternoon tea ends on February 20th! For more details or to book a table – click HERE.
NB: My afternoon tea 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. This afternoon tea really was delicious!