My little nephew clearly takes after his auntie. For a while now Charlie has been asking to come along and try an afternoon tea in a luxury London hotel…a mini-blogger in training. The Candy Shop afternoon tea at one of our favourite hotels, the Conrad London St James seemed the ideal choice for a five-year old’s first afternoon tea plus it included unlimited champagne for mummy and auntie.
The Conrad has been a family favourite for a while now, we even celebrated Christmas in a private room at their Blue Boar restaurant and I’ve been to tea twice before so I knew we’d all be in for a treat.
Tea takes place in the gorgeous Emmeline’s lounge, named after 19th Century activist, it’s a reminder of the hotel’s historical location in Westminster. It’s also a really pretty place to relax, with sumptuous sofas with lemongrass accents, fresh flowers and elegant accents.
Soon my sister Jen and little Charlie arrived and our waiter wasted no time getting us started on the unlimited Mumm champagne.
I visited the Mumm cellars in Champagne earlier this year and discovered it was a drink of choice for victory and celebration…the perfect way to toast Charlie’s first tea.
And he also celebrated with refreshing glass of apple juice bought very promptly to the table.
All of our eyes widened as the first course came.
Not withstanding free-flowing champagne, for me there are several reasons why the Conrad offers one of the best afternoon teas in London and hence why this is my third visit. The first reason for me is that the tea always offers extra innovative savouries in addition to the sandwiches, I’m more of a savoury girl so this is ideal for me. A pretty little cone of pesto chicken and tomato was the perfect bite and as big lovers of goats cheese, Jen and I both really enjoyed the candied beetroot tart with its creamy filling. Less to our tastes was the chicken parfait brioche which was a little overly sweet.
Another reason why I love the afternoon tea here is that you get far more interesting sandwiches than the usual cucumber or egg mayonnaise. Rare roast beef and whole grain mustard mayo was delicious and we also loved the avocado, roasted red peppers, herb butter and cress sandwich. But, of course, we asked for top ups of the smoked salmon, lemon, dill and creme fraiche option.
Meanwhile our champagne glasses were never allowed to go below the half way mark as our waiter diligently offered frequent refills. We also both chose to try the vanilla black tea, and despite the fact I’m not really a tea drinker, I loved this infusion that was a little sweet but not overly so.
Next, the scone course and once again a twist. We were given the option of candied pineapple or brown sugar and spice served with clotted cream, strawberry jam and lemon curd.
Shunning the usual afternoon tea etiquette (cream or jam first?) little Charlie dived in to try a sugary scone and I think the look on his face says it all! Yet another thing that I love about this tea, is that not all the food is bought at once, meaning the afternoon is drawn out and relaxed, giving plenty of time to
drink unlimited champagne catch up with each other.
Savouries, sandwiches and scones devoured…it was time for the best bit.
I think it’s clear to see that it wasn’t just Charlie that felt like a kid in a candy store when faced by the delectable delights made by the Conrad’s talented pastry chef Zoe Wager.
And the perspex tray filled with hundreds and thousands just made it even more colourful and enticing.
First he tried the chocolate and peppermint cheesecake, excited by the spotty chocolate button on top. This was my personal favourite bringing back childhood memories of mint areos and mint choc chip ice cream. There’s something about that combination that I just love! Jen’s personal favourite was a zesty lemon sherbet meringue pie.
Charlie went in again, excited to try his first macaron, and he loved the strawberry and cream panna cotta and the sugary sweet bubblegum macaron. The little pink candy sticks reminded Jen and I of pic ‘n mix favourites. We all enjoyed the final creation, a blue raspberry mousse cake with crystallised orange.
But even after four courses and unlimited champagne, our afternoon tea wasn’t over as our waiter bought some tasty chocolate to finish off.
I think you can see why I think the tea at Conrad London St James is one of the best in London, with beautiful surroundings, innovative and delicious choice, plenty of food and unlimited champagne, it is excellent value for money at £54 or £47 if you choose to have just one glass of champagne rather than free-flowing…but why would you do that? Most importantly at the end of the tea I asked Charlie what he thought, and his response was ‘Fun, really fun.’
A tea that is tough to beat for so many reasons.
PIN FOR LATER:
Conrad London St James
22 – 28 Broadway
020 3301 1400
Our afternoon tea was complimentary.