Lanes of London Festive Afternoon Tea:
Afternoon tea is one of those things that everyone seems to be doing now – my Facebook and Instagram feeds are frequently exploding with filtered sandwiches, scones and pastries. Yet, I had actually never been to one!
Then I went on my very first one during a weekend back at home. Not even worthy of a photo. So when I was invited to try out the Festive Afternoon Tea at Lanes of London on Park Lane, I jumped at the chance. And I realised what I had actually been missing out on and my faith in afternoon tea was restored!
Upon entering, I was greeted by an upside-down Christmas tree in a dimly lit waiting area and a smiley hostess who quickly told me to make myself comfortable in the waiting area while she put away my coat and I waited for my friend to join me.
Once we were seated, our waitress for the afternoon talked us through the different types of tea that we could order, with samples of each one in a little glass pot for us to smell. Not an expert on tea – I simply copied what my friend ordered (who I also believe knows nothing about tea). We, or should I say, she, opted for the Silver Needle under “White Tea”.
She chose well. It was light and delicate, which was perfect to accompany what we had to come – a diabetic feast.
First we were served a platter of sandwiches, with various fillings of smoked salmon and cream cheese, honey glazed ham & melted cheese, cucumber and mint and quail egg mayonnaise & cress.
My favourites were the salmon and cream cheese and the quail egg and mayonnaise, which worked out well, as my friend – not so much a salmon or egg lover. Woo hoo!
Once we’d devoured the savoury stuff, we were presented with all the sweetness.
Two massive scones each, with Devon clotted cream and strawberry homemade jam. Served to perfection, we both had to stop ourselves from eating the second one, reminding each other there was still so much more to eat.
The pastries were by far the best part of the afternoon tea and warranted the “Festive” in the name.
The snowmen were almost too cute to eat. Almost.
It was a passion fruit and white chocolate macaroon with a white chocolate ball for a head and a meringue hat.
The Christmas trees were both brownies, incredibly rich, one covered in almonds and the other in white chocolate and pistachios. And then there was a present which had a pineapple and tangerine log hidden inside. Not a fan of icing, I scooped out the gooey creamy goodness from inside the packaging.
Like I said – diabetic feast. Which is fine because it’s not everyday I indulge in a sugar overload.
To bring the afternoon to a close and mark the beginning of the evening, we topped it all off with a glass of champagne.
I think the experience could have benefited from some gentle Christmas music to aid the overall tone, but maybe start of November is too early for that!
At £45 a head for the Champagne Festive Afternoon Tea, this is definitely the perfect Christmas treat!
London Marriott Hotel,
140 Park Lane,
London W1K 7AA