Festive Tea at Bond and Brook – a Shopper’s Delight:
I love shopping. And, I love afternoon tea. And, I have a soft spot for Fenwicks, one of London’s oldest department stores. Bond and Brook is a relative newcomer to the store – a venture between Rhubarb, restaurant critic Fay Maschler, and journalist and broadcaster Simon Davis. I’ve been before and enjoyed my lunch there, but I’ve never tried afternoon tea, even though the elegant, minimalist space lends itself perfectly to that most English of experiences. What better to shop and then stop for Tea Palace teas served from silver pots.
Well, there is one thing…a glass of champagne to revive those flagging Christmas Shopping Spirits…at Bond and Brook served rather charmingly in old fashioned champagne sauces rather than flutes.
I was delighted to see that my favourite silver tipped jasmine tea was on the tea menu while my companion picked a fruit tea from the list.
A Christmas themed afternoon tea is on offer right now with a whole range of special treats. It does arrive looking like something from Father Christmas’s Factory with cake pops, a little orange jelly with mulled wine foam and some very seasonal sandwiches
Starting on the bottom tier of the stand, there are a selection of festive sandwiches. Salmon, cheese, ham and mustard. The sort of things I remember from my mother’s canape plates for Christmas drinks.
My personal favourite was the smoked salmon roll filled with a light cream cheese mousse and garnished with a little thai basil.
The little mustardy ham toasty was just a bit strong for my companion, but I really enjoyed the piquant flavour.
Scones were almost miniature but quite delicious. One feature of hotel afternoon teas is that you can find you have far more to eat than is reasonable. I’ve taken to skipping lunch when I am going for tea which isn’t always easy. Here the portion size is a little more restrained and the light, fluffy scones are part of that. They are served with clotted cream and jam – a perfect excuse to create a delicious, calorific treat.
The tiny cakes on the top layer of the cake stand were the most visually ‘christmassy’ element of the tea. I particularly loved the clementine jelly with mulled wine mousse. In fact I would have happily had a full sized dessert portion of this particular dish.
There were also some tiny marzipan ‘christmas cakes’
And of course the Christmas pudding cake pops coated in white chocolate.
All in a very well balanced and delicious afternoon tea that will leave you satiated rather than stuffed. We actually ended up packing up some of the cakes to take home! Rather charmingly there are also smarties on every table too.
This tea is priced at £17.50 per person or £27.50 with champagne.
Definitely the sort of self indulgence we should all afford at Christmas.
Bond and Brook
63 New Bond Street