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Charlotte Cory Inspired Easter Afternoon Tea at The Gilbert Scott:
The wonderful building that houses St Pancras Station, the St Pancras Renaissance London Hotel and fine dining restaurant The Gilbert Scott has been a personal landmark for me since I first moved to London. Facing out to Euston road, I would walk past the Victorian Mock Gothic edifice every day on my way to work. It symbolised London far more than, for example, the Houses of Parliament or St Pauls, simply because it was part of the every day working City, an integral part of the community. Revitalised and reborn with a grand Eurostar terminal, designer shops and of course the hotel and the Gilbert Scott, it is a great symbol of the regeneration of Britain, perhaps not to the Empire days of Victoriana, but with style and heritage very much to the fore.
So I was delighted to be invited to sample the new Easter Afternoon Tea. Charlotte Cory, the artist behind the event is fittingly artist in residence at The Gilbert Scott – her surreal collaged and montaged Victorian photography and paintings lining the restaurant. There are even rabbits having tea IN the restaurant. The pictures look convincing enough that sometimes you need to look twice to realise that the perfectly dressed lady and gentleman are actually animals in their Sunday best.
Just for Easter The Gilbert Scott is offering a charming, Victorian Easter afternoon tea menu.
The tea started with savouries – a roast lamb roll, smoked salmon and caper cheese and of course egg sandwiches a fitting way to begin a sumptuous spread of Easter goodies.
Of course there were scones too, with clotted cream and jam, but, for Easter there were home made Hot Cross buns, soft and sticky with fruit and spices. I could eat these all year round but sadly they are only on offer for easter.
The little oaty Easter bunny biscuit that was on the Tea Stand reminded me of the sort of treats we might have enjoyed when I was a child.
And Simnel cake – a ‘nicer than Christmas Cake’ treat that was traditionally eaten to mark the end of Lent – and was decorated with eleven marzipan balls to represent the eleven apostles.
I loved the gooey mess of the Chocolate and Carrot pot complete with a tiny, perfectly formed marzipan carrot and chocolate soil. The menu states that ‘the Easter bunny would love munching on our chocolate and carrot pot’. I’m with the bunny there!
The final dish on the stand was a chocolate egg. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, but it was filled with a light caramel mousse that meant the end result was not unduly heavy.
If you decide to try the Victorian Easter Afternoon Tea at The Gilbert Scott do make room for the Bunny Bonnet Cocktail. I was intrigued to be presented with a pretty cut glass filled with what looked like a chocolate milk shake (but turned out to be a much naughtier mixture of white chocolate liqueur, spiced rum, dark chocolate bitters and Amaretto). By its side, a golden egg. It took some investigation to unearth the make-up of the ‘yolk’ which contained more white chocolate liqueur and a touch of Birds Custard Powder. Ironic really since the custard powder was created as a substitute for egg custard because the inventor’s wife had an egg allergy.
Easter Afternoon Tea is available at The Gilbert Scott until 21st April. Priced at £25 per person or £35 including the cocktail, reservations are advisable
The Gilbert Scott
St Pancras Renaissance Hotel,
London NW1 2AR