English Af­ter­noon Tea with a touch of French Flair

The Luxury Collection - - Contents -

To be in­vited to tea with the Queen is to have scaled the pin­na­cle of so­cial achieve­ment in Eng­land. For the rest, here is an ex­pe­ri­ence that comes close.

Af­ter­noon Tea at Ho­tel Café Royal.

The tra­di­tional English af­ter­noon tea at­tained its zenith about a hun­dred years ago during the balmy Ed­war­dian era, when it also ac­quired its presently much revered eti­quette and form.since then, it has be­come an icon of sorts of the English way of life and a re­minder that there was once a time when life was leisure and ev­ery af­ter­noon an un­hur­ried cel­e­bra­tion.

The his­toric Café Royal in London has seen the af­ter­noon tea evolve through its glory days and it is only fit­ting that, in its rein­car­na­tion as the lux­ury Ho­tel Café Royal, it should now pay homage to this, per­haps, the most English of Bri­tish tra­di­tions. Yet, in an iron­i­cal twist, the Af­ter­noon Tea at the ho­tel is a col­lab­o­ra­tive ef­fort with the old en­emy, be­ing in­spired by a selec­tion of the most pop­u­lar scents of lead­ing French per­fumer and artist dip­tyque.

Café Royal’s much ac­claimed Ex­ec­u­tive Pas­try Chef, Sarah Bar­ber has thus trans­formed the clas­sic Af­ter­noon tea ex­pe­ri­ence into an in­dul­gence for the senses. She has cre­ated four new sweet del­i­ca­cies in con­junc­tion with dip­tyque, each one us­ing the flavours and in­gre­di­ents to be found in four of their scents. What this means is that, in ad­di­tion to the clas­sic Af­ter­noon Tea served, you can also en­joy con­fec­tions such as Rose Vic­to­ria – a Vic­to­ria sponge with rasp­berry and rose jam and a ly­chee and rose mousse, topped with sil­ver leaf and crys­tallised rose; Tahi­tian Vanilla Bar – a Tahi­tian vanilla sponge topped with hazel­nut pra­line feuil­la­tine and a Val­rhona ‘Opalys’ ganache; Vi­o­let and Cas­sis Tart – a sweet pas­try tart with a vi­o­let cream and black­cur­rant jam; and Lemon Ver­bena – a verveine in­fused lemon cream with an orange crémeux on a sablé Bre­ton base. All, as you would have guessed by now, cor­re­spond­ing to dip­tyque’s Roses, Vanilla, Vi­o­lette and Verveine scents. The “dip­tyque Af­ter­noon Tea” is avail­able ex­clu­sively in the gilded splen­dour of the Os­car Wilde Bar at the ho­tel, which was re­cently awarded the ti­tle of ‘Best Tra­di­tional Af­ter­noon Tea’ in the 2017 Af­ter­noon Tea Awards. So the next time you are headed to Blighty, or more specif­i­cally, London, and are free of an af­ter­noon and not on the Queen’s guest list, drop by Ho­tel Café Royal and leisure savour the inim­itable ex­pe­ri­ence of a stately English Af­ter­noon Tea laced with a lit­tle French flavour. There’s noth­ing quite like it, re­ally.

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