The Four Seasons Hotel London at Park Lane needs little introduction on this blog. You already know it’s one of my favourite hotels and as such was the perfect location to celebrate the birthday of one my best blogging girls.
Laura and I took a seat in the cosy Amaranto Lounge and settled down with a glass of Veuve Clicquot to toast another year on earth.
And what better way to celebrate a birthday than eating lots of cake? The Journey through British Summertime Afternoon Tea was one of my favourites of last year so I was super excited to try this year’s which had been given a different spin by new Executive Pastry Chef, David Oliver.
At this luxury hotel you can expect perfection on every level. From the gorgeous, delicate crockery to the elegant champagne flutes but above all; the service. Having been before the team all remembered Laura and myself and we were treated like total princesses! Just like every other experience I’ve had at a Four Seasons branded hotel.
Beautifully presented on a chrome circular stand the afternoon tea was served to us in all it’s glory and we even had David himself pop out to explain what was included and the stories behind it.
These may look like finger sandwiches, but they’re not just any fingers sandwiches…In true Four Seasons style, they’ve been elevated with the most luxurious of ingredients. The perennial favourite smoked salmon is cured in Maldon salt and prepared with white bread and a caper, tarragon and asparagus butter. It doesn’t get much better that Highland Wagyu salt beef served with horseradish cream or Laura’s favourite Hafod Cheddar with Branston pickle on granary bread.
The humble cucumber sandwich is so much better when served with mint and lemon balm and the Devon Crab on fresh brioche with candied ginger, apple, avocado and Greek yogurt was fabulous too. I love the way that fresh and locally-sourced ingredients are even used in the sandwiches here! Plus the portion was super generous for the two of us!
We had a slight #verybritishproblems type panic when we saw our feast was scone-less, but fear not. The scones are actually brought out separately so that they’re kept warm – you can choose between plain or raisin and spread them thickly with Yorkshire rhubarb and vanilla or strawberry elderflower jam and clotted cream.
With the scones comes an extra lemon cake with rhubarb compote and pistachio daquoise. And a guest appearance from another fab blogger, between packing for her up coming trip and a busy day at work, Lauren popped by to say happy birthday and join us for a glass of bubbles!
The pastries really are the crowning glory of this very British tea and are both beautiful to look at and super delicious too. My eye is usually drawn to pink things and I knew which would be my favourite! The apricot and lavender tart with orange blossom and yogurt cream was a dream of a dessert – representing the Chelsea Flower Show with cute daisies and fresh strawberries it was a winner for me.
It was Laura that figured out the peach and ginger mousse with red current coulis and crunchy pistachio represented Glorious Goodwood and the golden age of motor racing. Chef David actually invented this pastry in honour of his dad and his passion for cars.
The cutest pastry was the chocolate cherry and liquorice choux which represented the great British tradition of going picnicking! I loved the gorgeous little ladybird on the side and though I’m not usually a huge fan of liquorice, it wasn’t too overpowering.
The gooseberry is a rather underrated fruit and I honestly can’t remember the last time that I had one, but this tea celebrates great British Summertime with a cheers!
Compressed gooseberries are suspended in champagne jelly and topped with elderflower cream was the refreshing dessert beautifully served in a glass.
I’ve ever been to Wimbledon myself but I guessed straight away the final pastry was the image of a tennis ball. Brittany sable with vanilla mousse and strawberry, it was some of my favourite flavour combinations. If champagne’s not your thing you can add a glass of So Jennie, Alcohol Free Rosé Sparkling Wine and a wide variety of luxurious Jing tea.
Laura and I are huge fans of the hotel’s Secret Garden so we headed out there for another glass, snuggling under blankets and enjoying the outdoor heaters.
In true Four Seasons style, the team surprised the birthday girl with a chocolate-covered strawberries and macarons. I mean, you know you’ve had a good birthday when you spend the evening eating finger sandwiches, scones, cake and chocolate.
Another fantastic tea from Four Seasons Hotel London at Park Lane, the perfect way to spend a birthday! Or any day!
Four Seasons Hotel at Park Lane
020 7499 0888
Our afternoon tea was complimentary.