It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…
Actually, no it’s not…
It’s still pretty warm outside….
The shops are stocking Halloween treats…
The M & S Christmas advert isn’t on yet…
And I definitely haven’t bought any presents.
So why on this sunny September day was I walking down to the Conrad London St James
to celebrate Christmas with 27 other bloggers?
I was meeting the other bloggers for an early sampling of the brand new Christmas Afternoon Tea at The Conrad Hotel. Having visited the hotel before, under it’s previous name The Intercontinental Westminster, I knew I was in for a treat. Mr Silver and I had partaken in the Edible Garden Afternoon Tea
, which we both agreed was one of the most fabulous and inventive teas we’d ever had, I couldn’t wait to try the latest offering.
The event was the quarterly afternoon tea organised by Selena from Oh, The Places We will Go
. I’d been wanting to attend one of Selena’s famous bloggers teas for a while, but once again my silly wedding got in the way of blogging fun times. The last tea was actually the day before my wedding so it was pretty impossible to attend, as much as I wanted to.
The tea took place in Emmeline’s, a lounge within the plush confines of the hotel, and here’s just some of the bloggers who attended.
There was actually three tables full of us!
It was great to see some familiar faces:
And of one of my good blogging buddies, Melanie from Sunny in London
who helped with the organisation of the day. Selena will now be passing the torch to Melanie who will be organising future teas so get in touch with her if you’re interested in attending the next one!
A bubbly glass of Laurent Perrier was poured as I surveyed a room full of brilliant bloggers:
There were many in attendance who I’d had contact with via social media and read their blogs but never actually met, such as:
Elizabeth from Mayfair Office Girl
Plus, I was introduced to new bloggers and their blogs:
Ismenia and Paula from Shabby Chic London
With there being so many people in attendance I didn’t get to speak to everyone. so I’m looking forward to the next one and getting to know my fellow bloggers better.
And on to our festive tea! The Conrad’s tea commenced with a plate of savouries:
A brussel sprout salad, turkey ballotine and venison bite
The surrounding bloggers wrinkled their noses up at the idea of the brussel sprout shot.
‘Don’t worry, I’ll eat your brussels’ I offered…I actually love brussel sprouts. I am weird I know. But actually the sprout mixed with goats cheese and topped with bacon was a big hit. While the venison puff was the clear favourite (we requested more!) and the turkey ballotine was also gobbled up. I loved the clever way that the chef had taken elements of the traditional Christmas lunch and deconstructed them into inventive new concoctions.
Next was the sandwich layer, I’m much more of a savoury person so I love the fact that the Conrad had two layers of savoury options.
Smoked salmon and creme fraiche was my favourite as ever, cured gammon and mustard was simply wonderful, but beetroot and spinach was not really my thing.
As we munched on our delicious savouries a harpist entertained us with some festive Christmas music. It was kind of surreal to be enjoying Christmas tunes in September but we were all having a fab time.
For the scones there was a choice of freshly baked orange and cranberry or Christmas spiced scones
Served with Devonshire clotted cream, strawberry jam and blackberry curd.
And now for the piece de resistance!
The cakes and pastries…
A gorgeous Christmas snow scene served behind an icy window pane. Just the type you press your nose against as you wait for Santa.
Everyone knows bloggers love macarons and we all reached for one each which had a delicious taste of vanilla.
Rebecca and I shared a Christmas tree which was full of a light berry mousse with a brownie base.
Not only were the Christmas creations totally delicious but everything was beautiful and artistic. The clever work of talented pastry chef, Zoe Wager.
Also on the plate was a chocolate orange battenberg shaped like a present, Christmas postcard marshmallows and mini meringue snowmen all sitting on top of edible snow. My mum will attest to the fact that I can’t stand mince pies or Christmas pudding (it’s a dried fruit thing) so every Christmas we always had a yule log for dessert too. The ‘snow’ covered log was my favourite cake on offer, the sponge was beautifully light and delicate and really did remind me of childhood Christmases.
The tea is fantastic value for money at £37.00 and if you want to add free-flowing Laurent Perrier Champagne (yes, that’s all you can drink Champagne!!) it’s £45.
Ok, so a Christmas tea in September is totally random but when it’s tea this good and company this fabulous…I could have it all year round!
Conrad London St James
0207 301 8080