Afternoon tea is quickly becoming my most favourite thing ever. If it’s themed, then you’ve already won me over. Sunday, along with 27 other bloggers, I got to preview the Conrad St. James hotel’s (formerly the Intercontinental Westminser) Christmas afternoon tea. This was possibly the cutest assortment of food I’ve ever seen, not to mention super tasty.The savoury selection on the top tier included venison pastries, turkey ballotine with cranberry sauce, Brussels Sprouts and goat cheese mousse. Sandwiches were smoked salmon and lemon creme fraiche, gammon and mustard, and beetroot and spinach. I will tell you right now, I hate beetroot but oh man, that beetroot sandwich was amazing. It was funny as it seemed everyone at the table felt the same and the beetroot sandwiches were the ones left over. As I wanted another sandwich I sucked it up and took a bite. I was rewarded with the most tasty sandwich of the bunch and quickly exclaimed to everyone around me they had to try it. Everyone was just as impressed. Just goes to show you, try new things. The scones were orange and cranberry and came with clotted cream, strawberry jam and blackberry curd. I did the greedy sensible thing and piled mine with all three. Delicious.
My favourite savoury was the brussels sprouts and goat cheese mouse. I may have even nabbed another one from a neighbouring plate since no one was going to eat it. Waste not, right? This harp player was amazing, and really got everyone in the festive mood playing christmas tunes. He was so happy as well and every time someone pointed a camera at him or looked at him he’d give a big cheesy grin and play up to it. Loved him. The sweets selection was truly a winter wonderland, and it was ALMOST a shame to break it up onto our waiting plates. The cute christmas trees were winterberry flavoured with a delicious brownie base. Also on offer were the chocolate orange batten berg presents, snowflake macaroons, white forest lye log, Christmas postcard marshmallows, mini merengue snowmen, and the finishing touch of edible snow. I just thought that it was the perfect picture of Christmas. The tree’s were by far my favourite, the berry mouse inside was a bright purple once cut into and the brownie base was delicious. The green coat was achieved by spraying a white chocolate mixture over top of the whole thing. When head pastry chef Zoe stopped by, she explained the process and said they have to cover everything in the kitchen as the spray gets everywhere. The lengths they go to to create these perfect edible works of art is pretty incredible. When I put my sweets on my plate, I couldn’t help but sprinkle ‘snow’ all over it as well. I love when I can actually play with my food and not get looked down upon. It’s all part of the presentation right? I thought it was a really nice touch that they put a lot of the main ingredients used to make the food for the tea out in little bowls for everyone to see.The service we received was great, and one of the servers even gave us a background on London’s Gin history, as the hotel is going to have a Gin Bar opening soon. They were so lovely to talk to, and considering how many of us there were spread throughout the room, they were very attentive to anything we needed. I couldn’t fault the service at all, and the atmosphere they created was well and truly festive and made me believe we might have actually skipped a couple of months towards Christmas. If you’re looking for a special festive afternoon tea, I would highly recommend you book in. The ‘Christmas snow scene’ tea as it is called is £37 pounds, or you can opt for the more indulgent option of free-flowing Laurent-Perrier champagne for £45 which is excellent value I think. This special themed tea is available from November 24th right up until Christmas, and I wish I was going to be back in London so I could have it all again!
I feel as if this one afternoon tea has spoiled all my future ones as it will be tough to beat! If you’d like to see some other reviews and pictures from the day, have a look at the hashtag #LDNBloggersTea on twitter.