With a beautiful location in Knightsbridge and with a simply stunning interior, The Mandarin Oriental is one of London’s most beautiful and luxurious hotels. It’s a really special place for Mr S and I as one of my close friends got married there, Mr S and I celebrated our first anniversary at Heston Blumenthal’s two-Michelin starred restaurant Dinner and we’ve enjoyed lunch at the hotel’s more casual restaurant, Bar Boulud.
Today I was visiting The Rosebery Lounge, for the first time to check out the hotel’s traditional Afternoon Tea.
The lounge has been refurbished fairly recently with elegant lime green furnishings and Asian accents harking back to the hotel’s heritage. The first ever Mandarin Oriental in Hong Kong was established in 1963, at the time the island’s tallest building, and ever since it has been a historical landmark. The Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park has loomed magnificently in it’s current location since 1996 and has always been reputed for it’s stylish interior and excellent service.
There is actually a dedicated tea master at The Rosebery lounge who has created a menu of different bespoke blends including rare teas, green tea and herbal infusions. I chose one of the latter, a sweet and refreshing berry infusion but the best thing about it was the gorgeous china. I love the beautiful swirling floral patterns and the touches of gold on the delicate tea pot and elegant cup.
Though we decided to forgo the option of a glass of Ruinart champagne with our tea, I still admired the beautiful glassware too – everything in the room matched to perfection and the overall look is just exquisite.
There’s a pretty iron branch next to each table which is also functional.
The tea comes served in Chinese-style bird cage which is hung next to your table allowing you to pluck the tasty morsels easily from inside. From the beginning I could see that this tea wasn’t going to be quite the traditional British hotel tea that I’ve tried before.
My companion and I both agreed that sandwiches are the best part of afternoon tea (particularly the smoked salmon ones). So we ordered one full tea between us and an plate of sandwiches to share.
The sandwiches were classic flavours but slightly jazzed up and I love the slow roasted chicken with buttered corn, Portland crab with pickled carrot and tarragon and lemon and Wiltshire cured ham with semi dried heritage tomatoes. Cotswold egg with mustard cress and a cucumber with mint and cream cheese were more classic and also very tasty. But of course, our favourite was smoked salmon tartar with crème fraiche and dill. We ordered another plate of these! I also liked that the sandwiches were presented as little rounds rather than finger bites, it was unique and they looked even more delicate – though slightly dangerous as they’re so easy to pop in your mouth and lose track of how many you’ve had!
The scones were both plain and raisin and had that gorgeous glossy shine on the outside and the perfect, buttery fluffy centre.
The classic accompaniments were Devonshire clotted cream and strawberry jam and it was also great to receive something a bit different as we were also given rose petal jelly and home made lemon curd to spread on our scones.
Two little cakes sat at the top of the bird cage; a pistachio frangipane cake and a chocolate and hazelnut financier but the real star of the show was the selection of hand made pastries.
Such a talented pastry chef to create these beautiful little confections! My favourite, as ever, was the macaron and the little French delicacy was actually flavoured with yuzu, sesame and praline, giving it a delicious Asian twist. The other pastries tasted as good as they looked and included a pink grapefruit tart and a choux bun that was like a deconstructed apple crumble full of sweet stewed fruit.
I also loved the light and refreshing pomegranate and yogurt mousse cake and the gorgeous rhubarb gelée with orange blossom and almond. Once again like a traditional British tea but with an Asian twist, not too sugary and the perfect combination of fruity and chocolatey. And that’s important of course 😉
Overall I have to say that my afternoon tea at The Rosebery Lounge was one of the best I’ve had in a long time. The room was absolutely gorgeous and service was perfect but most of all one of the best food selections I’ve tried. This is going to be a tea that’s hard to beat!
PIN FOR LATER:
The Rosebery Lounge
Mandarin Oriental Hype Park
0207 235 2000
My afternoon tea was complimentary