I will have barely had time to recover from National Unicorn Day before the next fun National Day is upon us. Any ideas as to what it might be? For those that said it’s National Tea Day on the 21st of April that’s 100 points each, well done. We are of course a Nation of Tea drinkers which is why it’s a blooming good day to celebrate. But wait it gets better, why not celebrate it in style like me and celebrate by indulging in an afternoon tea!
Afternoon teas have grown in popularity and there are so many fabulous ones available to choose from so you really are spoilt for choice. The prices vary but I have found that booking them directly can be far more costly. A while back I stayed at the London Hilton on Park Lane with a friend and ever since I’ve been wanting to go and enjoy an afternoon tea there. Well now is the time for me to really push out the boat and make it happen. Now I’ve been enjoying this fabulous traditional British pastime for many years and being pretty adept at finding the best offers on the ones I really want to try.
Buyagift had a great offer on the Champagne Chocoholic Afternoon Tea at the London Hilton on Park Lane. Instead of £98 it’s only £59 for two people. Bargain!
The afternoon tea is served at the Podium Restaurant and Bar within the Hilton on Park Lane. The restaurant has a modern look and a relaxed atmosphere. It wasn’t as bright as I had expected it to be but it was nice and spacious.
Staff were friendly, helpful and efficient. I did ask a few questions that normal clientele wouldn’t consider to ask unless they were foodies and where they didn’t know they found out the information for me which was great. They encouraged us to get seconds of the sandwiches which was nice rather than making us feel uncomfortable for asking. It was quite busy when we went so service wasn’t the fastest at times but we weren’t in a hurry so it didn’t matter to us.
The afternoon tea has been designed and created by Executive Chef Anthony Marshall and is a feast for the eyes. I watched as the tea was served to other guests and was wowed by the beautifully designed pastries that graced the stand. The top layer of cakes were carefully placed on an edible chocolate plate as yo will see from the video which if you have just watched will have you salivating!!!!
First came the teas. Mine was the Rosy Fig White Tea which was delicate in flavour and had a hint of rose and fig that give it a gentle sweetness.
My friend had the Nutty Chocolate Tea. This rich Assam tea has a gorgeous nutty flavour with a hint of chocolate in the background. Both teas were lovely and went well with the sandwiches and cakes.
First came the sandwiches. The bread was soft and fresh. Little squares of bread with varying toppings. Most often I’ve had normal sandwiches rather than open which normally works well as it is that bit more filling. The good thing was that the sandwiches are replenishable so you can try them all out then order more of your favourites. These will keep coming as long as you want just ask.
On Ciabatta Bloomer
Coronation Chicken, Curry, Pineapple
This was tasty and the small pieces of pineapple made a nice addition adding a little sweetness alongside the raisins. The fresh coriander also added flavour and the mix went well together.
Ham and Tomato with Tomato Relish
This was fantastic. One of my favourites as it contained a great deal of flavour from the ham and the tomato relish. These topping were placed on top of a paste which had a mousse like texture also made from the same ingredients to add flavour to it which it succeeded in doing exceptionally well.
On Malted Seeded Bread
Cucumber, Cream Cheese and Chive
This was a delicately flavoured sandwich which as not very exciting as a sandwich but made a great palate cleanser. The flavour as we know work well and the cucumber was fresh and crisp and the cheese cool and creamy.On round two of sandwiches I had that one last so I would prepare my mouth for the scones which would follow.
Prawn Cocktail On Lettuce
The lettuce here was exceptionally fresh. The prawn cocktail was tasty but the ensemble wasn’t particularly exciting. The prawns were juicy although personally I would have used larger ones and cut them into large chunks.
Smoked Salmon and Horseradish Cream
This was gorgeous. The salmon was lovely and went beautifully with the smooth, creamy horseradish which was light in flavour and texture but strong enough to give a good flavour addition.
First of course we begun with freshly baked scones. There were three different types to choose from: plain, raisin, chocolate chip scones served with homemade chocolate praline spread, strawberry jam and clotted cream. The scones were cooked to perfection, not a dry one in the batch even though there were different ones included. Each was buttery, crumbly, soft and warm. The strawberry jam was delicious, it was more like a couli than a thick jam. The chocolate spread was divinely creamy and rich in flavour. The chocolate used was a good quality obvious from it’s first trip to our mouths. The clotted cream was as it should be, thick and deliciously creamy.
Raspberry & Dark Chocolate Parfait
What a stunning creation. The good news is it tastes just as wonderful as it looks. The thick creamy chocolate mousse within is coated in a thin layer of raspberry that has a light tartness to it to add a great flavour contrast to the indulgent dark chocolate. The fusion of flavours here is in a word ‘perfection’.
Mint & White Chocolate Tart
The white chocolate mousse is light and airy and not sickly sweet. Nestled within are chocolate discs which of course are yummy and look pretty. There were baby cherries (how cute are they) that had been soaked in alcohol that were really tasty and a nice surprise.
Orange & Chocolate
Who doesn’t love macaroons!! These look stunning and have the added bonus of being glued together with chocolate. Not exceptionally orangey in flavour (is that a word?) but an eye catching dessert with it’s bright orange colour.
Chocolate & Coffee Puck
A thin brownie topped with coffee cream and coffee mousse and pretty chocolate decorations. The coffee cream seen below on the left is pipped onto the brownie. The coffee comes through well and has a stronger coffee flavour than the chocolate coated coffee mousse that lies parallel to it. It’s a feast for the eyes and also pretty good to eat too.
Lemon Meringue Cup
This was another favourite. The cup filled with mouth wateringly tart lemon curd that is topped with just the right amount of meringue to add a touch more sweetness is another favourite. This looks great and tastes even better.
A gorgeous brownie that is rich and gooey with a thin crisp crust. The mandarin mousse is light and fluffy with a fabulous tang. It’s like eating a mandarin cloud! The combination works exceptionally well with the tangyness of the mousse cutting through the sweetness of the brownie. This really is an exciting treat for those wanting something that little bit different.
As well as tea we washed down the cakes with a very tasty hot chocolate. A good choice in my opinion.
The afternoon tea was lovely. The tea selection was great, the service was good, the room was nice. I loved the desserts these clearly were well thought out but I thought with so much though having gone into these it was a shame the sandwiches were not a bit more exciting to keep it all balanced. Don’t get me wrong the sandwiches were nice but experimenting with a few different flavours as they have with the desserts would have been great. This is a really nice afternoon tea and one of the better ones from those that are out there. All ingredients were extremely fresh which was clear on seeing and tasting.
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I was invited to the review the Hilton Park Lane Champagne Chocoholic Afternoon Tea in exchange of an honest review. All opinions and images are my own.