The art of afternoon tea-ing in London has been taken to a whole new level. Newspapers there frequently create a ‘Top afternoon tea‘ list to entice readers, and I have fallen into the trap of imagining sinking my being into decadent pastries amidst sips of Darjeeling tea. My brother and I recently treated my Dad and the family to a smashingly sophisticated tea at Cafe Royal on Regent Street, to celebrate his 75th birthday. This was my first time there and my heart stopped the moment I walked into the wildly opulent Oscar Wilde bar (a place where he apparently dined regularly).
The amuse bouche was an apple and goat’s cheese tartlet with two syringes loaded with apple juice, stuck into the tartlet. The idea is to slowly inject the juice in, take a bite, and tantalize your taste buds. The presentation was very creative and the taste, cracking. Traditional offerings of cucumber and salmon sandwiches were delectable, with soft white buttered bread melting in your mouth. Darjeeling tea was resplendent, as were other unique offerings such as mango noir and lychee and rose. The piece de resistance was the magnificent sweet selection such as Coconut and Mango Dacquoise and the fantastic strawberry -mojito macaroons. The latter had managed to successfully marry the flavors of both fruit and libation, and it was soooo good.
This unforgettable afternoon tea menu is £42 per person with unlimited sandwiches/cakes/tea on request. The champagne tea is the same menu plus champagne, at £55. Steep prices, but completely worth it for a special occasion or a spontaneous splurge.