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High Coffee at the Intercontinental Park Lane

Coffee lovers will rejoice when they discover the latest craze in regards to Afternoon Tea – the High Coffee.  Afternoon tea is just one of those things you all must try at least once. Okay, let’s face it, if you try a good one the first time you’ll be wanting to repeat the process over and over and over just like my friends and I have been for years.  It’s a truly enjoyable experience normally in lovely surroundings and with a range of sumptuous mouthfuls of deliciousness to tantalise the taste buds.

I was excited to hear that the Intercontinental Hotel Park Lane, a hotel that I have visited before for a meal with friends have been experimenting to bring something totally new to the afternoon scene.  Gone are the simple classics and in their place are a range of stunning new mini masterpieces both savoury and sweet to tempt us.  Not only has the food been given a modern twist, they have also been hard at work pairing the courses with a range of high-grade, handcrafted, hand roasted, wood fired coffees of the highest quality in numerous delightful forms.  This unique tasting experience is the first of its kind in the UK.

The hotel itself for those that have never visited is stunning.  The Wellington Lounge where we were to enjoy our high coffee was bright and airy.  The tables were spacious, chairs very comfortable and at the side of each was a stand on which the various courses would be served.  Both Afternoon Tea and High Coffee are available to enjoy here, I suggest you go along and discover why this British tradition is so popular!!!

We had a great seat by the window where we could relax, enjoy our experience and watch the world pass us by.  We were served water to start followed by a Salted Caramel Espresso Martini which was to be drunk with the first course.

Cold Savouries

Served with a Salted Caramel Espresso Martini

The martini was strong and smooth and delicious.  The blend was great as it wasn’t excessively sweet or bitter a perfect marriage of ingredients.

Three beautifully presented and colourful sandwiches, served with the Salted Caramel Espresso Martini were the perfect way to begin.  Each was unique in its creation, well thought out and pretty.  The eye catching colours added to their appeal.  The breads were all freshly made and it was nice that each was on a different type of bread.  The sandwiches appeared on the menu in the suggested order that they were to be eaten.  The ingredients were all fresh.  I loved that each dinner gets their own plate with items already portioned out.

Free range chicken, celeriac and sweet pepper remoulade on buttermilk bread

Lovely and light flavours which worked well with the coffee.  I loved the use of the edible flowers – viola.  This was a nice touch and made a simple sandwich look great.

Heirloom tomato caprese, watercress pesto on a mixed olive roll

The olives in the bread add a lovely saltiness to the flavour combination.  The classic fresh flavours of the cheese and tomato goes well with the watercress pesto.  Topped by some pretty micro herbs (amaranth) that add a burst of colour and a slight sweetness to the sandwich.

Smoked eel, pickled red onion, caper aioli on a beetroot brioche roll

Our favourite of the three and the sandwich packed with the most flavour too.  The eel was something different and what a refreshing idea.  The addition of the pickled red onion (not overpowering) gave a great flavour and texture contrast with the soft smoothness of the smokey eel and more crisp, firm texture of the onion.  The onion added to the flavour of the sandwich rather than dominating it.  The caper aioli was delicious and if it was me making these I would have added a touch more.  Again the use of micro herbs, this time coriander a herb I simply adore and adds a beautiful flavour that finishes the sandwich perfectly.

Warm Savouries

This was a great addition to the normal style ensemble and worked well with the caffe freddo.  The chefs have been thinking outside the box to bring us something not only different but actually an upgrade to the classic afternoon tea style set up.  Each portion was nicely presented and had its of unique flavour.

Served with a Caffé Freddo

The coffee was full bodied and worked impressively well with the different warm savouries.

Lamb and rosemary open pie

My goodness this was good. Full of flavour and containing pure meat, no any pieces to sift through and remove.  It had a nice peppery kick to it.  A texture contrast comes in the form of crisps strategically placed on top and perfect to use as edible spoons.

Wild mushroom tumble weed

This was really lovely and quite honestly tasted so much nicer than I expected.  The soft smooth creaminess of the mushroom not only goes well with the coffee taking away the bitter edge like the addition of milk can do, it also works well with the saltiness and crunchy texture from the vermicelli.  I found this rather addictive to be quite honest and could have easily eaten more.

Sun blushed tomato spiral, warm piccalilli

The pastry was lovely, the tomato flavour did seem to be lacking a little though and could have done with a slightly larger addition to increase the contrast with the piccalilli.

Palate Cleanser

Blood orange and ginger sorbet

An interesting and extremely welcome addition to the selection.  The palate cleanser was perfect to help separate the courses and give a gentle introduction to the sweet chapter of this fun culinary adventure.  I love fresh sorbets and this one was exceptional.  The sorbet itself was not overly sweet and the candied ginger was a surprising inclusion, the collaboration of the two worked well and had clearly been masterminded by a culinary genius.

Whilst we were enjoying our sorbet we were greeted by music.  A pianist was playing in the background, not to loud so we could comfortably talk without needing to raise our voices to be hear.  She played beautifully and this added to the enjoyment of the experience.

Traditional Warm Scones

Sultana and buttermilk scones,
Devon clotted cream, forest fruits jam

These were freshly made and warm when served.  There is nothing like perfectly made warm scones with a nice dollop of clotted cream and a smothering of jam.  These went down a treat and were light, buttery and crumbly.


Hazelnut opera

The chocolate and hazelnut mix is nicely balanced.  The chocolate crunchy disc was interesting and worked well. This is heaven for all chocoholics out there.

Bailey’s chocolate éclair

I loved this. It was soooo good I could have eaten more then one although I was pretty stuffed at this stage.  You can really taste the Baileys in this and the choux pastry was perfect.

Black forest gateaux

Encased inside a chocolate box is hidden a rich, decadent chocolate mouse.  Beneath this you will find a tangy tasty cherry compote.  The ensemble is topped with cream and a glace cherry.  This was a different approach to the classic.  For me, I felt the chocolate sponge should have been included too maybe in the making of the box.

Macaroon with salt caramel

This is simply put heaven.  I’m not sure how I can improve on that apart from to mention the flavours were perfectly balanced.  I have had the pleasure of indulging in macaroons straight from Paris and this is equally as good as those.

Lemongrass and lime crème brûlée

With the balance of desserts somewhat heavy on the chocolate side this was a welcome addition.  This has a lovely light infusion of flavours delicately combined to create a beautifully flavoured and creamy dessert. It’s flavours work well and help cleanse the palate after the varied chocolate offerings that preceded it.

Desserts were served with a choice of:

Espresso, Latte, Mocha, Macchiato,
Cortado, Cappuccino or Canarino

Our choice; one latte and one mocha.  These were not as strong as some of the other coffees we had already had but by this stage were in no doubt that the coffee had kicked in and given us a buzz.

To finish a signature Caffé Coretto which was the ideal end to the High Coffee.

For the vegetarians out there you have not been forgotten, there is a vegetarian menu also available.

Theresa our waitress for the day did an amazing job making sure we were briefed as to the thinking behind the food and coffee selections for the High Tea.  If you want to find out more or share the experience with us then make sure you take a look at the video below.



What do you think of the selection of foods and coffees we were served on our visit? Which would you like to try most?

The High Coffee costs £42 per person.

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Disclaimer: I was invited along to review the High Coffee.  All thoughts and pictures are my own. Please do not use my pictures without permission, thanks x

This Post Has 59 Comments

  1. This sounds like heaven. I love coffee and afternoon teas so it’s perfect for me.

    1. I strongly suggest you visit them and try this. I know you’re going to love it!!!

  2. Yummy. The food here looks amazing. I want to try that martini it looks like heaven.

    1. The martini was lovely. It was just right and went well with the food.

  3. Oh wow I love the sound of the unique sandwich options and those cakes look heavenly!

    1. The savoury section was a breath of fresh air. Something different from what one would normally sample at a traditional afternoon tea.

  4. We’ve never heard of high coffee but it looks just as good as afternoon tea and we love the diversity of the plates of food, must go and check it out!

    1. They did have a lovely range of tasty treats from savoury to sweet.

  5. That looks like a high coffee fit for a princess – my tummy is rumbling now

    1. It sure is. I think they did a wonderful job.

  6. Oh wow this looks amazing! Not only does it sound delicious but it’s so well presented too!

    1. It sure is. The food all looked lovely and tasted great x

  7. Well that all looks rather wonderful! I’m not sure what is more fabulous, the furnishings or the food!

    1. It is a lovely setting isn’t it. The food was lovely too!!

  8. Wow! Everything looked delectable. I can’t take my eye off the sorbet. I feel like I really should give it a try. Ha ha

    1. OMG that sorbet was amazing!

  9. Now this sounds like an amazing place to go and get some high coffee! Everything looks so perfectly served as well.

    1. It is a great place for an afternoon tea. Everything was yummy and the service was very good.

  10. Ooh now this is definitely my idea of a delicious afternoon tea and I especially love the sound of the heirloom tomato caprese and the scones . The salted expresso martini sounds lovely, do they do decaf options? As I can’t have caffeine.

    1. I’m sure they do. You can have hot chocolate or tea if you prefer.

  11. I’ve had afternoon tea here and it was lovely. I want to go try the high coffee that sounds really nice.

    1. The high coffee is lovely, I’m sure you will find it just as nice as the afternoon tea.

  12. I love that it is high coffee, rather than high tea. They are some amazing looking scones too – I want to bite in to them.

    1. The scones were amazing. Perfectly made!

  13. This looks amazing and somewhere I’d love to visit with friends – the food looks delicious and such a beautiful place!

    1. It is a gorgeous hotel to visit and to stay in. I do hope you get to go sometime.

  14. Salted.caramel.esspresso.martini – I have never seen a more beautiful string of words. This all looks absolutely amazing! I’m so sick of boring high teas with the standard soggy cucumber sandwiches or god forbid, served on one of those weird mini picnic tables. I love the look of whats on offer here, especially the desserts. Blimey!

    1. This one was far from boring. The mix of savouries was really good and very different.

  15. That salted caramel espresso martini looks totally yummy. I would love to try it! Hoping to visit them soon!

    1. Hope you manage too. You will love it!

  16. What a beautiful venue for high coffee! LOVE the sound of that salted caramel espresso martini, and all the food looks divine too!

    1. The martini was lovely and so was all the food.

  17. this is absolutely genius and I hope more people start to do it. I would love this!

    1. It’s a great idea and a nice change from tea.

  18. Wow wow wow I thing I’ve just died and gone to coffee and cake heaven the food drinks and venue look insane

    1. I know!!!! That’s exactly what this is x

  19. My goodness, this all looks wonderful! We would really enjoy the coffee the food looks incredible. I think we’ll have to treat ourselves to the High Coffee the next time we visit London together!

    1. I am sure you will love it. The coffees and foods go very well together.

  20. I the food looks amazing but I would love the café with the pastries!

    1. The coffee was really good and went well with the food.

  21. This place sounds like heaven and isn’t too far from me x

    1. Perfect for you in that case. I hope you enjoy the High Coffee.

  22. As someone who often asks for coffee with Afternoon Tea, this a just what I’ve been looking for. I definitely need that salted caramel coffee martini in my life

    1. It’s lovely and goes very well with the food.

  23. This place looks so nice and the food is to die for from your pictures 🙂

    1. Thanks Hannah. It was a lovely setting and the High Coffee was great!

  24. An afternoon tea upgraded to include an espresso martini is my idea of heaven!
    C x

  25. Now this sounds like an amazing place to go and have an afternoon bite to eat and drink. It seems really relaxed and offering delicious food.

  26. Oh the warm savouries are a bit different, I’ve not seen bits like those before x

  27. Ooo this looks super lovely. Deffo my kind of day out for sure x

  28. High Coffee really appeals to me. I love afternoon tea but I am definitely more of a coffee gal! And those canapes – wow!

  29. How amazing that they are serving high coffee instead for coffee lovers. I do love the selection of food being offered at the intercontinental park lane! All the food looks so delish especially the eclairs, macaroons and scones. Yummy!!

  30. I’m not a big coffee fan myself but I would definitely go for the food haha

    1. That wouldn’t be a problem you can have tea instead or hot chocolate.

  31. That sounds awesome. I haven’t done an afternoon tea yet but the high coffee sounds delicious especially with the tasty pastries.

    1. It was really good. Highly recommended.

  32. We’ve never had high coffee before and we adore the treats you had, black forest gateau is our favourite! It makes a nice change from tea all the time x

    1. It is a great idea and I love that the food is also different from what you would normally be given.

  33. Forget High Tea (as I hate tea, blurgh!), it’s all about the High Coffee 🙂 I would love to try this experience, it sounds fab for a coffee enthusiast like myself! x

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