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Blogging Firsts and The Guiltless Afternoon Tea at The Intercontinental, Park Lane

When I first started my blog, I had no idea how it would develop…it was a whole new world to me and one that was full of firsts: the first time I hit publish, the first time I tweeted and the first ever comment on my blog!

When I started my blog a year ago, Lucy from Foodie Force contacted telling me she’d read it and was now following me. OMG my first reader, someone had actually read it! At that point everything was still so new and I hadn’t told my family and friends about SilverSpoon, so the fact another person had actually found it and read it was amazing to me. Since then Lucy and I had been in plenty of contact on social media and are regular readers of each other’s blog. I finally got to meet Lucy a couple of weeks ago at The Little Yellow Door supper club and we made arrangements to meet again soon.

When I was invited to check out the Guiltless afternoon tea at the Intercontinental Park Lane, it was the perfect opportunity to meet Lucy again and to catch up with Suze and Zoe.

The tea takes place in the gorgeous Wellington Lounge, situated in the iconic hotel near Hyde Park and between Mayfair and Knightsbridge.

The hotel has a gorgeous modern interior but is actually packed with history.

 

It stands at 145 Piccadilly, which is the Queen’s former childhood residence. The original building was destroyed in the Blitz and in 1975, the Intercontinental was built on the site.

 

 

And here are the lovely ladies…

We settled down and our fab waiter bought us a cocktail, that was apparently also guiltless…

Containing rum, fennel, lime and agave syrup, the cocktail contained far less calories than your average sugary mojito. Admittedly, I’m not a big rum drinker and I asked if I could have glass of Prosecco instead. As I was enjoying my bubbly another one of my blogger ‘firsts’ walked in.

By total coincidence Katie had also booked in for the tea and she was sat at the table next to us. Back in February, only about a month into starting my blog, Katie contacted me to ask me to an event. I was so excited, I would be going to my first bloggers’ event and meeting another blogger for the first time. Obviously it was all a little bit nerve-wracking as I was going to a party with someone I’d never met before, but Katie and I instantly clicked and we’ve been friends ever since!

Apols for the blurry photo, but it’s the only one I have of us together. I want to give Katie a big thank you, as she was the first person to offer me support and she saw potential for my blog very early on. We’ve both witnessed each other going through lots of blog changes and life changes, in my case getting married and achieving a year of blogging. Katie reworked her blog, over hauled the design and changed the name to Kalanchoe and she’s now really happy with the direction it’s gone in.
Most excitingly, her long term boyfriend, Ben has also started a blog, check out Twenty First Century Gent, I’m an avid fan now.
Anyway, digress…back to the tea.
The sandwiches were all completely vegetarian and showcased seasonal vegetables, they were all also completely gluten free! As all the sandwiches were served open, there was only half the amount of stodgy bread that you would find in a standard sandwich. My favourite was the smoked aubergine with roasted piquillo pepper and celeriac, which reminded me of Baba Ganoush, one of my favourite dishes.

 

All the other ladies pronounced the thyme roasted butternut with balsamic caviar and fresh dill their favourite. We all also enjoyed the bread topped with basil marinated Manouri cheese and cucumber and apple relish. The only one I wasn’t quite so keen on was the nettle marinated asparagus rolled in courgette ribbons. As Ben pointed out, this was the only sandwich where the bread tasted gluten-free, it was a little dry and the asparagus was quite hard.
Did I miss smoked salmon sandwiches on soft fluffy bread? Ok, yes a little bit, but the sandwiches at the guiltless tea were delicious and made a lovely change, after all this is the 4th tea I’ve been to in a month so it’s great to try something different.

Our guiltless scones were wholemeal, both sultana and plain, and were quite small so definitely felt less calorific than some of the the larger scones served at regular teas. These were served with creme fraiche rather than cream and homemade berries compote as opposed to jam. Personally, I’m always more of a fan of wholemeal, so these went down well with me! Oh, and if you what decadent clotted cream instead, the waiter is happy to provide it!

Finally, the cakes! These were all completely free of refined sugar, but would they pass the bloggers’ rigorous taste test? The selection included blueberry and yoghurt chiffon cake made with fresh blueberries, which was gorgeous and featherlight. The flourless chocolate and mint cake was made with 70% dark chocolate and sweetened with agave; and the sponge was made with polenta and almonds.
The cake that intrigued us all the most was the red velvet cake ball, usually a treat that’s rich and indulgent, we wondered how a healthy version would still be tasty. The ingredients were odd too, it was made with super food favourite, quinoa and sweetened with Panela (raw cane sugar) and agave, in the centre was soft cream cheese rather than cream. We were surprised by how much we enjoyed the rather strange combination of ingredients and the texture was very much still that of a sponge cake made with flour. It was pronounced the all-round favourite of the day.
It was a really lovely afternoon tea and great to see two of my blogger ‘firsts’ in one place. I’d really recommend the Guiltless Tea for lovers of cake who are looking to count the calories, the taste is all still there but without the excess sugar. We had such a lovely afternoon and we sat chatting for about four hours, Mr S wondered where I’d got to! That’s the thing when you meet other bloggers, you always have so many wonderful things in common 🙂
Guiltless Afternoon tea can be tailored to all dietary requirements including gluten-free and dairy free. It is available until the end of March and priced ÂŁ40
The Wellington Lounge, Intercontinental Park Lane
One Hamilton Place
Park Lane
London
W1J 7QY
020 7409 3131
Our lovely tea was complimentary