A Seasonal Afternoon Tea in Mayfair:
Tucked behind Piccadilly on Half Moon Street is my new favourite hidden gem – luxury boutique hotel Flemings Mayfair. The hotel is currently undergoing a £14million refurbishment – although the full refurbishment will be complete in May 2016, The Drawing Room – a gorgeous space for afternoon tea – is now complete. It is a fabulous place to hide away for a festive Sunday afternoon.
I was invited to The Drawing Room to try their new Yuletide afternoon tea, available until 28th December. The room itself is stunning with high ceilings and large sash windows, the perfect setting to escape from the hustle and bustle of central London. Attention to detail is key here and there are loads of fabulous talking points – exquisite de Gornay hand-painted wall panels depicting early views of India, cultural books from luxury publisher Assouline and artwork by intuitive painter Eileen Schaer.
As soon as we fell into the cushions we were greeted with a glass of Jacquart rose champagne and a menu of all the teas they had to offer from the East India Tea Company. There was a lot. Being no tea expert, but wanting something light, I asked for a recommendation and it was suggested that I may enjoy the Rosebud tea. Which I did.
Struggling to decide between the traditional afternoon tea or the chocoholic one, we opted for a mix of the two. We were presented with a tower of freshly made sandwiches, warm fluffy scones with jam and clotted cream and a selection of delicate handmade petite fours.
Having scoffed the sandwiches down at a super pace, we were promptly asked if we’d like more, an offer we were more than happy to accept.
The scones were just delightful with a light fluffy centre. In my personal opinion, the traditional scones were slightly better than the chocolate one – I feel they paired a little better with the clotted cream and jam.
We started with the chocolate mousse encased in a chocolate pot and topped off with pistachio nuts. The casing I felt was a little too rich and intense for my palette, however, the mousse was just right. It was rich, yet light and creamy, yet fluffy.We then went on to the chocolate cake, which we assumed was topped with whipped cream, dyed blue. It turned out that the whipped stuff was actually melted marshmallow.
The cake was rich and ever so slightly gooey – perfect for all chocoholics.Feeling a little overloaded on chocolate, we moved on to the snowman, a classic Victoria sponge, with a solid white chocolate ball representing the snowman’s head.
By this point, neither of us could eat another bite so the staff offered to box up the remainder to take home. Then, we were each given a sachet of rosebuds so we could continue the Rosebud tea experience from the comfort of our own home. I noted how the exceptional level of service at this place was apparent from the very start and maintained at every stage of the experience.
Flemings Mayfair’s version of the quintessentially English tradition, is the perfect treat for Christmas – with the cosy intimate Drawing Room scene, the wide variety of choices and for me above all that, the fantastic levels of service and attention to detail.
I’m already planning my visit here in the New Year for a January pick-me-up…
Half Moon St,
London W1J 7BH