Oh So Scrumdiddlyumptious – Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Tea:
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory has long been one of my favourite childhood books, and I brought my children up on a firm diet of Roald Dahl stories with Charlie always coming out tops. Johnny Depp’s quirky interpretation of Willy Wonka in the 2005 movie has become a family favourite, although I still remember Gene Wilder’s portrayal in the 1975 version (I’m showing my age now!). And, afternoon tea, especially in an elegant setting like One Aldwych is always a treat!
With my daughter’s birthday on the cards, I was delighted to be able to take her along to an indulgent Charlie themed Champagne Afternoon Tea at the elegant One Aldwych, a beautifully designed modern boutique hotel in Central London.
One Aldwych is perfectly located in the heart of theatreland at the end of London’s Strand, opposite Waterloo Bridge and right on the doorstep of Covent Garden. With stylish and luxurious décor brimming with contemporary art and sculpture and stunning flower arrangements, it makes a rather special place to mark a birthday. Now my daughter Edie is old enough to enjoy a glass of champagne we were able to enjoy the champagne afternoon tea at One Aldwych together – and though the Charlie themed tea appealed to my inner child, it was certainly a grown-up and elegant affair.
We began the proceedings with a glass of perfectly chilled crisp Lallier Grande Réserve Champagne making a toast to the birthday girl. One Aldwych also offers a Charlie Cocktail, which looks rather good too.
This was followed by a selection of delicious savoury delights…
Some quintessentially English sandwiches with a twist…
Poppy seed bread delicately filled with Scottish salmon in a light lemon mayo.
Dinky brioches brimming with creamy egg mayo and watercress.
Wonderfully tasty onion bread filled with mildly spiced coronation chicken with sweet raisins.
A sweet and creamy miniature sized caramelised onion, sage and chestnut quiche.
A full flavoured perfectly fluffy, Montgomery cheese scone served with a tangy smoky bacon jam.
At this point I should say please do remember to come on an empty stomach, as there was plenty more on its way!
…And now for something sweet, witty, wondrous and very Willy Wonka…
A golden chocolate egg filled with vanilla cheesecake and mango – perfect for a cream egg lover like myself.
Edie is a chocolate worshipper through and through and has a real fondness for chocolate milk, so the cute miniature bottles of chocolate caramel milk went down a treat.
I’m very partial to Eton mess, so the blueberry version in honour of Violet Beauregarde was heavenly with a wonderful sweet crunchy topping.
The homemade candy floss, brought back childhood memories for both of us. There’s more though – Toffee Apple Cake Pops, moist Banana and Caramelised Walnut Cake. Then, yet more delicious scones, this time the sweet variety served with berry jam, scrumptious lemon curd and lashings of clotted cream. Finally Cocoa Bean Financiers – small brownies to continue the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory theme, in the shape of a cocoa bean.
Of course tea wouldn’t be tea without a pot of tea…there was a fabulous selection to chose from: Mango Noir (Chinese black tea), Chocolate Tea (Indian black tea blend), Green Dragon (Chinese green tea), Sugarcane Black (Chinese black tea) and English Summer Garden (Herbal fruity blend). I found the herbal fruity tea to be the perfect accompaniment. My daughter was given the option of a hot chocolate, which she snapped up.
One Aldwych is a fabulous setting for a celebratory tea; they even brought Edie a slice of birthday cake with a candle.
The service was exemplary and the surroundings were divine. And, the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Afternoon Tea is fun and delicious – so what’s not to love!
We continued our lovely day out with a trip to the theatre to see 42nd Street…afternoon tea at One Aldwych proved to be the consummate mother-daughter birthday celebration we needed before Edie headed off to university.
…. Just be warned you won’t need any dinner!
Thinking of going yourself? why not pin this post for later!
Afternoon Tea Is Served
Monday to Saturday
12.30pm – 3.30pm
12.30pm – 5.30pm
Tea seatings are for two hours
Afternoon Tea – £45
With a glass of Lallier Grande Réserve Champagne or a Cocktail Charlie – £56
With a glass of Lallier Grande Réserve Rosé Champagne – £59
Children under the age of 12 – £35
1 Aldwych, London WC2B 4BZ
Phone: 020 7300 1000
For more afternoon tea options do check our roundup of the top afternoon teas in London