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Tea Total

London Confidential's most enticing afternoon teas

Written by . Published on October 3rd 2011.


Tea Total

Mad Hatter’s Tea

 Sanderson  
50 Berners Street
W1T 3NG
Mon – Fri: 2pm – 5:30pm, Sat – Sun: 1pm – 5:30pm
£35 per person

There are no words to describe the absolute fairy tale madness the Mad Hatter’s Tea brings upon its guests. Sanderson’s chef, Peter Lloyd, is playing with food logic and has invented pure gastronomic adventures that will, beyond any doubts, take you on a food trip you’ve never experienced before. The menu includes a bottle named ‘Drink Me’, which beholds a potion of apple pie, English toffee and lemon curd and blueberry lollipops that turn tongues from hot to cold. Furthermore, classic finger sandwiches are served in a rainbow of colours and are accompanied by hazelnut praline ice-cream lollipops that explode with a single bite. The way to handle it? Just close your eyes and go with the madness.


Bijoux Afternoon TeaBijoux Afternoon Tea

Bijoux Afternoon Tea

The Langham
1c Portland Place
Regent Street
W1B 1JA T
Different time slots
£63

In an enticing and curious collaboration, jewellery designer Stephen Webster and the afternoon tea chef at The Langham have joined pastry forces to create a fashion-worthy selection of edible masterpieces. The pastries are inspired by Webster’s latest jewellery collection, Murder She Wrote, which uses diamonds and colourful stones to create dramatic, statement pieces. The selection consists of a waterfall of funky names that awake your palettes. Such as the poison apple, or red peppercorn with dark chocolate shortbread, equals pure lust and greediness, while the crystal clear diamond can be described as a manly Guinness macaroon that’s covered in the sweetness of blackcurrant jelly – and there’s more where that came from.


Men's Afternoon TeaMen's Afternoon Tea

Men’s Afternoon Tea


Mandeville Hotel
deVille Restaurant
Mandeville Place
W1U 2BE
Fri – Sat: 1pm – 5:30pm, Sun: 1pm – 5pm
£26.50

Do you think that afternoon tea parties are strictly intended for sophisticated ladies, tourists or mad guys wearing funny hats? Think again. Mandeville Hotel has brushed off the dust of the classic tea affair and has transformed Britain’s afternoon tea into a manly event. Forget about the cakes, biscuits and madeleines, bring in the roast sirloin sandwiches, chicken satays and hearty, masculine chocolate brownies and wash them away with a neat whisky.


Pret-A-PorteaPret-A-Portea

Prêt-à-Portea Afternoon Tea


The Berkeley
Wilton Place
SW1X 7RL
Mon – Sun: 1pm – 6pm
£36.50

Beside the savoury skewers, taster spoons, elegant canapés and tea sandwiches, Mayfair’s The Berkeley trades in the afternoon tea’s regulars for designer fancies. Cakes and pastries are inspired by the upcoming Spring/Summer 2011 collections, and this season sees the likes of Victoria Beckham, Miu Miu and Tom Ford make their debut on the tea stand. Guests can expect to nibble on Marc Jacobs’ raspberry and lychee jumpsuit, including the oversized chocolate flower belt, Jill Sander’s colour blocking dress of crème de menthe and coconut jelly, with must-have sparkly sunglasses and, among many, many more, Chloe’s praline clutch, topped with gold chocolate beads.


Cocktails And CupcakesCocktails And Cupcakes

Cocktails and Cupcakes


May Fair Bar
The May Fair Hotel
Stratton Street
W1J 8LT
Different time slots
£20

Technically speaking, this is not afternoon tea in the classic sense of the word. It is, however, an indulgence of mouth-watering cupcakes and creamy cocktails. Close enough, we’d say. The cocktail menu is inspired by the usual choice of tea blends and coffee roasts, which leads to enticing creations such as the boozy Peach Iced Tea. Other drinks to choose from are the caramel espresso martini, boasting a crème brûlée kind of caramel crust, the chamomile, which sees hot spiced rum mixed with pomegranate and presented in a classic glass tea set, or the peppermint tea martini, simply peppermint tea with lashings of crème de menthe. Selections of mini cupcakes accompany the cocktails.


Afternoon De-LightAfternoon De-Light

Afternoon De-Light


Metropolitan London
Met Bar
19 Old Park Lane
W1K 1LB
Thurs – Sun: 3pm – 6pm
£24

Afternoon tea is a quintessentially British affair, impossible to get around, but rather daunting on the waist... Leave it to those behind the scenes of über cool Met Bar to find a waist-friendly solution for this problem, and expect a healthy yet yummy response. Their Afternoon De-Light menu offers all the indulgence without the bad conscience, including low-gluten cupcakes, potato flour scones, wheat-free macaroons and no-bread sandwich pots. Promoting modern, healthy lifestyles, chefs at the Met have given old classics a healthy twist, using flour substitutes, low fat crème fraîche, fresh fruit purees and olive oil.


 

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