Delicious afternoon tea at Berners Tavern
Just yards from the bustle of Oxford Street, Berners Tavern is a perfect place to take time out from shopping and enjoy a delicious afternoon tea. The spacious dining room is stunning, with a high plasterwork ceiling and striking chandeliers, modelled on those to be found at Central Station in New York.
The atmosphere is lively without being overly noisy. Food is available all day, you can choose to stop for lunch, afternoon tea at the weekend, or dinner. Part of the stylish, luxury, London Edition Hotel, the Berners Tavern has the reputation of being a good place to eat and meet in the West End, just a few minutes away from Tottenham Court Road underground station. The restaurant is under the direction of Michelin starred chef Jason Atherton.
Afternoon tea is a great opportunity to meet a friend in London for a catch-up, something I was more than happy to do. We both arrived at the same time and were seated by a very welcoming waiter. We were offered some water to quench our thirst after our train journeys into town and, even better, a glass of Ruinart brut champagne to start the tea. I’ve been reliably informed by a French acquaintance that Ruinart is the best champagne, it’s certainly one of my favourites.
The tea menu comprises an extensive list of leaf teas, from The Real Tea Company, offering the finest loose leaf teas including black tea, green tea and herbal infusions. On this occasion, we both chose a pot of refreshing Earl Grey tea but there was plenty more to choose from.
The afternoon tea comes beautifully presented on a cake stand, layers of savoury and sweet items with warm scones on top, covered to keep them warm.
I tucked into the sunflower and poppy seed scone with goat’s curd and apple salad first, it was delicious with an underlying sweetness coming through from the apple. Next, the Loch Duart salmon tartare with pickled cucumber and crème fraîche, this was soft and full of flavour. Last, but certainly not least, the poached chicken and truffle baguette with pickled mushrooms, a very tasty savoury.
Our teapot was replenished before we started to sample the stunning sweet cakes. It was difficult to decide which to try first so I plumped for the rhubarb and ginger macaroon with violet which was soft and delicate with a subtle undertone. Next the raspberry mousse with meringue and pink peppercorns which was an absolutely heavenly flavour combination. Finally the chocolate and sesame tart with yuzu curd, deliciously chocolatey with an underlying tangy taste from the yuzu.
For me, there is always room for a scone, though we were both starting to feel rather full at this point. A warm scone with strawberry jam and a topping of clotted cream reminds me of my Cornish roots.
Afternoon tea is available only at the weekend, being served from 12.00 pm to 16.00 pm on Saturdays and Sundays. Tea starts at £39.50 per person which includes all the food and a choice of tea. There are a range of cocktails and champagne by the glass on offer with cocktails at £14 each and champagne starting at £17.50 a glass
Berners Tavern can be found at
10 Berners St,
London W1T 3NP.
Tel 020 7908 7979.
For more information visit their website.
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