Alexandra Naylor reviews the InterContinental Park Lane London’s ‘Scents of Summer Afternoon Tea’
Yesterday, on a beautiful summer’s day a friend and I enjoyed a wonderful afternoon tea at the Wellington Lounge in the InterContinental Hotel on Hyde Park Corner. On arrival, I was introduced to an extremely charming waiter who informed me that their new afternoon tea offering would “evoke the beauty of British summertime”. It certainly delivered.
A collaboration between the hotel and the British perfumer Floris London, the hotel’s new ‘Scents of Summer Afternoon Tea’ seeks to combine perfumery and culinary talent in the form of various dishes that are both savoury and sweet. A lot of thought has plainly gone into the menu and the enthusiasm of the waiter clearly showed that also.
We started with a palate cleanser, a shot glass of gooseberries and strawberry pearls, presented on a platter of grass. Coming from Wimbledon, I thought this would go down well if it were to be served at the courts. It was excellent.
Next, we were served an assortment of sandwiches including smoked salmon and bergamot infused cream cheese scroll on lemon bread. Rose pickled cucumber and mascarpone cheese in Peruvian bread was by far our favourite but the pink peppercorn on thyme chicken served on tomato bread and honey roast pumpkin crumbled feta cheese on spinach bread were also most enjoyable.
The delicious little scones that followed were served with a choice of creams and wild strawberry jam. Though the lemon and pink peppercorn curd was absolutely sublime, we did find the Earl Grey butter a little disappointing and bland.
Just when we thought we couldn’t eat anymore, a tray appeared, which can only be described as a botanical explosion of culinary beauty. On it was a peach melba mouse, bergamot macaroons, violet cream and grapefruit tarts, Jasmine tea cake and “The Flower Pot” – a rose water and pink peppercorn jelly and wild strawberry mousse served in a chocolate terracotta pot. By the time I had consumed most of the above, I felt I had swallowed the entire perfumery department at Harrods.
We were served and offered a myriad of teas including English classics and infusions of every description. The jasmine white tea was absolutely divine and having paired this with rose champagne, we left feeling rather beyond satisfied.
‘Scents of Summer’ is being served until September 27th and is priced at £45 per person. If you are a lover of the great institution that is the British afternoon tea, you are in for a treat, a very floral one.
InterContinental London Park Lane, One Hamilton Place, Park Lane, London, W1J 7QY. Telephone: +44 (0) 20 7409 3131.
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