English Afternoon Tea with a touch of French Flair
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.