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a birthday trip to romney

February 8, 2014 1 comment

It was my birthday last weekend, and as a treat, my lovely HUSBAND (I still can’t get used to calling him that – either lovely OR husband to be quite honest), decided to book up a hotel that I had found while searching online a few years ago, but had never got around to going to.

The original reason for the search was “I want to go on the Romney Hythe & Dymchurch railway! I haven’t been on it for years! Where could we stay if we went down that way?” And one of the most aesthetically striking images was that of the Romney Bay House Hotel. How dramatic does it look?

Romney Bay House Hotel

So hubby decided to treat me. Having your birthday at this time of the year, you have to get used to the fact that the weather isn’t going to be great if you go away to celebrate it anywhere in the UK! We were actually quite lucky – it was bright when we arrived, although the potholed road leading to the hotel was peppered with pond-sized puddles. Soon after our arrival, the rain came crashing down again – and unfortunately there was scaffolding up as they had lost roof tiles in a mini-tornado the week before!

Owners Lisa & Clinton couldn’t have been more warm and friendly. You really felt that you were a welcome guest in their home – and what a home. A rambling maze of corridors and nooks and crannies – full of old fashioned character. I was surprised when we opened the door to our room and the sunshine streamed into a beautiful large space, including a wonderful large bathroom with a claw-footed free standing tub and separate shower cubicle.

Romney Bay House Hotel

Romney Bay House Hotel

Everything was clean and bright and well-thought out.  The bed was extremely comfortable (I’m quite the insomniac, but I actually slept really well), and our view out over the sea was fabulous. Ive never been one for hangign around in hotel lounges, but there was a gorgeous cosy first floor guest lounge overlooking the sea and I’d spied a ginger cat resting in there, so popped in for a tickle. Everything felt right and homey. Lisa didn’t even give us a key for our room (the front door is locked and you have to ring to get in), she showed us where they were kept, and it was up to us if we felt we needed it. There was also a fully-stocked honesty bar downstairs, where you just noted your room number and what you’d helped yourself to (although we’d packed a bottle of Prosecco!)

Pre-dinner drinks and nibbles

Pre-dinner drinks and nibbles

We had read great things about the restaurant, and had eagerly booked ourselves in for dinner.  There is no menu, and no choice of dining time. We were told what the menu was when we turned up, so I guess if we’d had any dietary requirements, we could have said then! Diners are expected to come down to the ground floor lounge (in front of the roaring open fire) for 7.30pm to be served drinks and nibbles, beofre being shown into the conservatory for dinner at 8pm. With the whole place feeling so homey, I did wonder whether Lisa would shout up the stairs for us to come down for dinner if we were late!

There are only 10 rooms at the hotel, and the restaurant reflects this – there were only 8 other diners on the night that we were there. The conservatory is a lovely space – and I can imagine it would be absolutely wonderful in the summer on a bright clear evening.

We were served by Lisa and two young waiters who couldn’t have been more professional, friendly and accommodating. Clinton in the kitchen served up a fantastic meal!  I couldn’t have ‘chosen’ better.

The first course was a kind of thin poatato rosti topped with smoked haddock and spinach, topped with a perfectly poached egg with a very light cheese sauce. I’ve only been ‘coming back’ to fish over the past couple of years, and as I can’t stand smoked salmon, I was a bit dubious of what smoked haddock would be like, and was fully expecting to just grin and bear it. I couldn’t have been more wrong – the haddock had been smoked on the premises I believe and was absolutely delicious – exactly the right amount of smoke! The whole dish was delicate but full of flavour.

Dinner at Romney Bay House Hotel

Dinner at Romney Bay House Hotel

Next was honey glazed duck breat with fondant potato and vegetables. The duck was pink, tender and juicy, the potato buttery and soft, the roast parsnip sweet and the vegetables beautifully turned, fresh and crunchy! Perfect!

Dessert was a spiced bramley apple souffle, cinnamon cream with red berries and sugar lattice. this had a thin, light sponge base, the souffle was a really light whipped mousse and the cream had just the right amount of cinnamon. The crisp satisfying crack of the sugar-work with it’s very slightly burnt caramel taste was a brilliant contrast. Absolutely wonderful!

I could have ended there – but there were cheese and biscuits (and port) to be had. I’m not a massive cheese and biscuit with dinner kind of a girl, so I left most of that to him.  However, I did eat most of the gorgeous little petit fours!

We wandered back up to our lovely room full (but not too stuffed) and happy and, looked out over the calm sea and even though it wasn’t my plan, fell asleep almost immediately!

The legendary orange marmalade

The legendary orange marmalade

Breakfast the next morning (you write down what time and style you want the night before on a pad next to the decent WiFi’s password) was the usual combination of buffet-style cereal, fruit etc, and we had both ordered the full english. We had our choice of eggs (me scrambled, him poached) – everything was tasty and well cooked – especially the sausages.  But the absolute star of breakfast (at which there were far more people) was the seemingly endless supply of toast to be smeared with their homemade orange marmalade. As each table tried it, you could hear the wave of the same question over and over “What’s in the marmalade?” The answer was that Clinton’s marmalade had cinnamon, vanilla, bay leaf and (the flavour that made it so special) anise.  They had some jars for sale at the honesty bar where you checked out, and we bought a couple – one for my parents and one for us. Lisa mentioned that this left just one jar from the batch and they’d have to make some more. I’d happily pay to buy some and have it posted to us!

So, that brought us to the last part of our trip – a quick return chug on the gorgeous Romney Hythe & Dymchurch railway – a not-too-mini version of a ‘real’ steam railway. My parents had taken me on it as a kid, and I’d been again when I lived in Kent – but I hadn’t been for about 20 years.

There’s something exciting about steam trains – the smell of the coke hanging in the air and the sound of the steam escaping from the funnel evoking all kinds of base emotions!

Romney Hythe & Dymchurch Railway

Romney Hythe & Dymchurch Railway

It may be small, but it’s perfectly formed, and proper grown-ups can still sit in the enclused carriages very comfortably. There is even a licenced buffet car. It was a perfect day – bright and brisk with hardly any clouds in the sky. We took the hour long round trip to Hythe and back to New Romney, puffing through the marshy countryside, baaing at sheep on the way – and checking out the few sights. It was exhilirating but relaxing and I loved every second of it. I plan to go on the Watercress Line soon as I’ve never been on it – or perhaps a return to the Bluebell Railway.

I even had the added pleasant surprise that the RHDR official guidebook that I bought contains a foreward by Ben Goldacre! Which seemed rather random.

What more could I have wanted for my birthday?

what happens when you try to arrange a wedding in five weeks

November 21, 2013 1 comment
Last year I suggested we actually do it some time. I was on a beach, he was in the pub

Last year I suggested we actually do it some time. I was on a beach, he was in the pub

I have been with The Man for nearly 10 years. He has been threatening to marry me for many of those years. However, having been married three times already between us, it’s never been a priority. The fact that he has out-lasted both my previous marraiges put together has also lessened the need.

But about six weeks ago, I realised that my driving license had expired (check yours guys – I had no idea!), and it was in my previous married name. So, I was going to have to change my name on it.

I made the comment that “I wasn’t going to chnage my name on it now, just to change it again in a coouple of years time”, and with that, we went to the registry office and booked “The first Saturday available”. Which was last Saturday.

The Girl has been obsessed with us getting married eventually, and has mentioned it at least three times a week – even more so after her dad remarried. So, we obviously wanted her there, but apart from that, I’m not particularly into weddings, and I don’t like dressing up, and everything just seemed like too much fuss and bother. However, I LOVE a party!  I was in a quandry as to what to do.

So, I asked a wonderfully skilled friend if he would make our rings, to make it more personal and unique.  Him and his partner were the first outside our family to know.  Then, we finally relented and said family and closest friends could come along.  However, in ordeer to keep the amount of wedding chat to a minimum, I only told the girl 6 days beforehand when I had to take her out to get a dress!

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I booked the ‘wedding breakfast’ in the back room at the Village Kitchen – Hanna and the team couldn’t have been more accommodating, and we gave the kitchen a resounding round of applause on the day.  Do check it out some time guys if you haven’t already – we had nothing but great comments from people.

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The party had to be over the Rose & Crown, and I decided to get a karaoke and a photo booth. The wonderful people of Open Booths were amazing, and it really was a highlight of the evening – I highly recommend getting a photo booth for some brilliant memorable pics of your loved ones, and the Open Booth gives you so much more scope for merriment.

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But then the other highlight was our cake.

After seeing a Wizard of Oz cake that he’d made for his neice, I asked my lovely friend Darren if he would be interested in making me an anti-wedding cake that was Walthamstow themed. He jumped at the chance and the conspiring began.  Originally, I had asked for me & The Man sitting on top of a pile of abandoned mattri (Walthamstow is famous for its abandoned mattresses, don’t ya know?) but it became so much more than that. It features our favourite places, our cats, The Girl, Warren Sreet station where we met (even though it’s obviously not Walthamstow where we were both living at the time), panda bowl man, pigeons. It was an absolute work of art. A showstopper – made clear by the amount of time people took taking photos of it when we brought it out. I can’t thank Darren enough!

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All in all, given the amount of time I had to do it in, I think it was a bloody good day, and I am so grateful to every single person who came and shared our day. I wouldn’t have had it any other way – certainly not with months of stress and planning!

village kitchen, e17 (new menu launch)

April 15, 2013 2 comments

When we went to the Village Kitchen last month for our anniversary, they were advertising their new menu launch night – and we were lucky enough to get one of the last tables available!

I like the Village Kitchen.  It’s tastier than Eat17, better value for money than Trattoria Ruga, far more special than Mondragone, friendlier than The Nag’s Head and less garlicky than Orford Saloon.  I’m not saying that I don’t like all of those other places (apart from the Nag’s) but why it’s my favourite eatery in Walthamstow village.

That wasn’t always the way – a few years ago, it didn’t seem to have got into its stride, but it definitely has now!  And the service there is fantastic.

It doesn’t look like they’ve changed the menu on their website yet, but I’m sure that will happen in the next few days!  So, here is what we had!

Smoked chicken, mango and avocado salad

Smoked chicken, mango and avocado salad

Doesn’t that look beautiful.  this was a fresh zingy salad, with goorgeous, moist chicken with just the right amount of smokiness to balance with the creamy avocado and juicy mango.

Smoked salmon, beetroot and horseradish cream

Smoked salmon, beetroot and horseradish cream

The Man had this as it’s all his favourite things – a good serving of smoked salmon, tender beetroot and what I believe was a red pepper dressing.  His only cirticism (which he discussed with our waitress after) was that the horseradish cream wasn’t quite horseradishy enough!  But he IS a bit of a horseradish fiend.  It was launch night, and she said she would happily pass the comment on to the chef.

Lamp rump with spicy aubergine, mushroom & chick pea compote

Lamp rump with spicy aubergine, mushroom & chick pea compote

Lamb is my favourite meat in the world – if I could only eat one meat for the rest of my life, it would even outrank bacon!  However, I don’t like aubergine.  BUT I have been eating a lot of things lately that I don’t usually like – and I had a gorgeous lamb/aubergine dish in Caffe Theatro recently…so I went for it.

I’m so glad I chose this as it was DELISH!  The lamb was tender and lightly pink as I’d asked for it and the compote was fabulous.  This was like the richest, most flavourful Moroccan style veggie stew you can imagine.  And the jus/gravy with it was allso packed full of flavour.

Confit duck leg, crushed jersey royals with crispy pancetta and spinach

Confit duck leg, crushed jersey royals with crispy pancetta and spinach

I didn’t get a chance to eat much of this as he happily cleared it away!  The duck looked moist though – and the crispy skin was wonderfully tasty.

Oops!

Oops!

We were so excited when our desserts arrived that I forgot to take any photos!  He had a banoffee pie that him and the bloke on the next table both seemed to really enjoy (I didn’t try that as I bananas make me gag!), and after all that rich spicy stew and lamb, I had the most zingy lovely lemon and lime tart with chantilly cream and raspberry coulis!  It was zesty and the pastry was extremely short and light – wonderul!

If I hadn’t had the lamb though, I would’ve been tempted to have their chocolate bread & butter pudding, which I would recognise to anyone – it’s to die for!

We also had a small wine tasting at our table, to pair up with our main dishes, and they were great recommendations.

We also got talkign to a guy and his dad on the next table – his dad had the kangaroo steak, and I happened to mention that Timmy was probably going to be stuck down the well a lot longer this time 😉  It’s so great that Walthamstow is so friendly!

Love my town – and I love food…so Village Kitchen gets my vote!

afternoon tea, podium restaurant, london hilton park lane

March 24, 2013 2 comments

Back in November, I bought a Time Out 2 for the price of 1 voucher for a Confessions of a Chocoholic‘ afternoon tea at the Podium Restaurant.

Luckily it had a long time til the expiry date, and me and my friend finally got round to using it on Wednesday.

I have had a chocolate afternoon tea before, at Claridges – and I was definitley looking forward to having a similar experience!  Of course, it was totally different, but not any less fabulous!

Open sandwiches

Open sandwiches

So, first of all, (after being served with our champagne – and very nice it was too!) we were given our sandwiches – unlike any that I’ve had in the past, we were presented with a beautiful plate each of open sandwiches – egg mayonnaise & cress, smoked salmon & horseradish, cream cheese & cucumber, ham, mustard & tomato and prawn marie-rose.  We could have had any combination we asked for 🙂  they were lovely and fresh and, being open, they weren’t too filling.

A Tower of Delights

A Tower of Delights

I almost always go for the Assam tea, but felt daring – so for the first time ever I tried Lapsang Souchong (delicious and unbelievably smokey) – which they brought with the main attraction – look at that!  Doesn’t it all look amazing?

In the words of The Orb - these were little fluffy clouds!

In the words of The Orb – these were little fluffy clouds!

The scones were warm, fluffy and light.  We got one chocolate chip one each (which also had a couple of crisped rice bits in them) and one plain and one fruit.  As well as clotted cream and extremely strawberry jam that had obviously been made on the premises, there was a gorgeous kind of praline chocolate mousse.  Scones with chocolate (and clotted cream) – I can NOT stress how good this tastes.  I mean really, chocolate and scones, who knew?!  It sounds so wrong but it was oh so right!

The middle tier was lovely but the least exciting – a Battenberg (and neither of us like marzipan), two small cupcakes (and again, neither of us are that keen on American-style cupcakes – I mean, what is it with all that icing? why do they need it?) but these were quite nice as they had little surprises in the centre.  The sachertorte was VERY scrummy though. Chocolatey and rich.

How pretty do they all look?

How pretty do they all look?

The top tier was the star of the show – a choux bun filled with a chocolate orange mousse and topped with an iced shortbread butterfly; a white chocolate pot filled with chocolate  mousse and raspberries; a macaron that reminded us of those chocolate limes that you used to get in sweetshops; a rhubarb and custard meringue on a stich and a marshmallow ‘ice cream’ in a cone on a stick, both in a glass of sherbert topped with little edible balls and finally a white chocolate ganache/mousse slice filled with cherries that had been soaked in kirsch (I think) and coated in something crunchy.

It was all absolutely amazing – tasty, gorgeous and surprisingly not too sweet.  Fantastic 🙂

So, we were getting ready to leave, happily full but not uncomfortably stuffed when the waiter came over and asked us if we had finished.  I said yes thank you and continued, so he asked again, did we not want any more?  I was shocked – was there another course or something that we weren’t expecting?  And then he pointed back to the tower and asked if we wanted it wrapped.  It was only then that I realised that the glittery ‘wooden’ board that the top tier of goodies had been on was in fact chocolate!  A block of dark chocolate.

I did indeed want to take it home, so he disappeared for a few seconds and then came back with it all packaged in a lovely little box for me to bring home.

Posh Doggie Bag

Posh Doggie Bag

All in all, it was a wonderful experience.  I would thoroughly recommend it.  The ‘Confessions of a Chocoholic’ Afternoon Tea at Podium Restaurant is £29.50 usually, or £37.50 with a glass of champagne.

“afternoon” tea, caffe concerto, tott crt rd

December 6, 2012 3 comments
Caffe Concerto Tott Crt Rd

Caffe Concerto Tott Crt Rd

After my disasterous afternoon tea at the Doubletree by Hilton, I was rather wary of the fact that I had another Groupon voucher that was about to expire.

However, I had paid almost half the price for this one – £17 for two of us, and Caffe Concerto are one of the few places that serve afternoon tea pretty late (up til 7pm), so it appealed to a catch-up with my late-working friend, and our love of the naughtiness of ‘afternoon tea for dinner’!

With trepidation, I wandered into Caffe Concerto in Tottenham Court Road, one of a chain of about 13 restaurants around London I believe, even though I had never noticed them before!

These were not the sumptious surroundings like the hotels where I’ve had afternoon tea before, being more of a café / restaurant / coffee bar, but it was all sparkly, clean, bright and nicely decorated.  I was immediately put at ease by the staff who were extremely warm and friendly.

When my friend turned up, we were asked for our choice of teas /coffees / hot chocolate (note that Doubletree – choice!) and pretty quickly our three tiers of loveliness were brought out.

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Three Tiers Of Loveliness

I was so relieved when I saw it – the sandwiches looked fresh and inviting, and there was half each of three rounds, there were TWO scones each and although there were only three cakes, they looked amazing.

The sandwiches were smoked salmon, cucumber and cream cheese and egg mayonnaise – crusts cut off, bread nice and fresh and plenty of filling – nothing out of this world, but very pleasant.

The scones were seductively warm, light, extremely well risen, and we had one fruit and one plain each.  Also, they were obviously aware of the size of their pots and people’s love of cream and jam as the waitress had specifically said “If you want any more cream or jam, just ask me”, and we did ask for another little pot of jam, which was brought quickly and with no fuss.

Caffe Concerto specialise in their cakes I believe, and we were given three random ones – I noticed that the people around us all got a different selection, which I actually thought was a nice touch.  we had a lovely chocolate gateau, a kind of lime cheesecake mousse  that was very scrummy and my favourite, a little apple & blackberry tart topped with crumble and sliced almonds.

On to of that, we had a teapot each, which we got two cups out of, and then we had another teapot each – and being the sad beast that I am, I got very excited because their little teapots were the best pourers I have come across in ages!  There is something rather sublime about a well-designed teapot!

I have to say though, one of the best things about Caffe Concerto was the atmosphere, it was relaxed and perfect for the girlie catch-up we were having and the staff were absolutely fantastic.  They couldn’t be more helpful, they were smiley, friendly and totally approachable.

Also, the food that was coming out for dinner looked really good for the price and the kitchen smelled amazing!

At a normal price of £42.95 for two, it isn’t the cheapest I’ve seen BUT it is good, fresh, the staff are fantastic and it’s a far more relaxed atmosphere than some.  seeing as they have branches in shop-heavy areas (including Westfield!) it’s the perfect place for a shopping-day treat.  And if you manage to get a deal like I did, you just can’t go wrong!

Afternoon Tea Menu

Afternoon Tea Menu

afternoon tea, doubletree by hilton west end

November 25, 2012 4 comments

I have been putting off writing this review as I really haven’t wanted to revisit my experience.  If I hadn’t had such great company I would have been absolutely livid that I had wasted half a day’s holiday from work for this.

Yes, I booked with a Groupon voucher, but many of the afternoon teas I have experienced over the past couple of years have been through Groupon, and I haven’t had a bad experience until this one!

First of all, let’s have a look at what I was expecting from Doubletree by Hilton West End.

Groupon offer details from Doubletree by Hilton West End

So, we arrived, and I have to say, the setting is lovely.  The reception is very elegant, and the lounge bar where afternoon tea is served had a contemporary open fire, and was very tastefully decorated in aqua, charcoal, black and silver.  All very nice so far.

It was buzzing and almost every table was occupied.

I wasn’t even asked for my name to confirm my booking, I handed over my voucher and our waitress informed us that she was very sorry as they were extremely busy.  That didn’t sound great, but there seemed to be quite a few staff, so I wasn’t too concerned at this stage.

We were brought our ‘Brut Cuvée’ which was my first surprise.  I honestly thought that Brut Cuvée would be more dry, but this was extremely sweet, almost like a sparkling dessert wine.  I assumed that I must have been wrong (which does happen occasionally) , although it really wasn’t too pleasant.

We then waited at least half an hour for everything else to arrive.  When they brought our tiered stand of goodies, the waitress said “I’ll just bring your tea – English breakfast is OK isn’t it?”…and then rushed off.  being English, we weren’t going to make a fuss, but I thought that this was far from the ‘selection of teas, coffees or herbal infusions’ that we were offered.  And this was the first time I hadn’t been offered a menu or choice!

And this is what we were brought.

The ‘pomp and circumstance’ promised by Hilton

Sandwiches

Expected: Freshly cut finger sandwiches, such as smoked salmon or cucumber and cream cheese, make for mouth-watering savoury morsels

Received: Three small fingers of extremely thinly cut cucumber (no cream cheese) and what I assume was flavourless turkey and cranberry.

Sweet treats

Expected: sweet pastries, toasted tea cakes, and fruit cake will sweeten up the selection.

Received: something a bit like a fondant fancy, but nowhere near even as good as Mr Kipling, sickly sweet. A strawberry tart that seemed like it had been frozen – the pastry was soggy, the strawberry was more like sweet jam and there was barely any creme patissiere.  There were also two mini eclairs that were nice enough, but the moisture on the plate had soaked into them and one of them had been on its side so the chcolate had melted off in the damp and onto the tart.

Scones

Expected:  a sugary finale of clotted cream and fruit preserves adorning warmed, pillowy scones.

Received: one scone each, which is the stingiest I have ever experienced.  I have to say, the scones were actually very nice. However, there was no jam at alll given to us and we had to ask for it.  this wasn’t a mistake, as the people on the tables each side of us had exactly the same problem.

On top of that, the teapot didn’t even hold enough to completely fill our two teacups, so we had to keep asking for another pot, which was always slow in coming – in fact we asked three times for one.

I have never been so disappointed by an afternoon tea.  It didn’t feel special at all, although the surroundings and atmosphere were lovely.  And this was Hilton – I name I expect to be associated with luxury and a bit of glamour!

I really don’t know what to think about it.  Part of me wants to write to Hilton to complain, but I don’t know what I would expect to get out of it.

All I could do was apologise to my ‘date’ – he expected far better than what he got!

afternoon tea, 140 park lane

(Have just realised that this saved into drafts for some reason, so I have only actually published this on 11th November!)

With the purchase of another Groupon voucher, I took my lovely friend for afternoon tea at 140 Park Lane.  I have to admit that I had never heard of the place before, but expected it to be a real treat as, well – it’s in Park Lane, and that’s the second most expensive square on the Monopoly board, isn’t it!

The lounge where afternoon tea was being served is on the ground floor, and was very bright and extremely modern.  The only slight disappointment in the surroundings was that it is on the ground floor, and so unfortunately there isn’t a particularly good view out over Hyde Park, as Park Lane is in fact a very busy road.

The full menu

Our deal included a teapot of cocktails (£34 for two), and we went for the Bruised Apple.  This was really fresh and zingy and light. I really enjoyed it!

Next was a new experience for me with afternoon tea…hot buttered crumpets!  Now I love crumpets, but I certainly wasn’t expecting to see one on an afternoon tea menu!

What’s that doing there?!

I hate to admit it, much as I have a deep-set love of crumpets, I don’t believe that afternoon tea was the right place for it.  You have sandwiches, scones and cakes, as well as any other little pastries, and I think a crumpet was just one stodge too far.  Also, crumpets need to be eaten really hot, with the butter dripping through and oozing onto your plate as far as I’m concerned.  You can’t really do that in a restaurant setting.  So, nice idea, but I don’t really think that it works.  Of course, that’s just a personal opinion!

A tower of yummies

The sandwiches were light and fresh, and featured a different bread for each filling, which is always a favourite quality of mine.

The scones were light and we got one each plain and fruit – there are some places that are a little stingy on their scones, and for some reason only give you 2 or 3 between two people…although I have had my suspicions that this may only be for people on offers.  I can’t prove that though.  If there are two people, there should be two scones!  There wasn’t quite enough cream however, which again is a common issue.  I know that you can ask for more, but we’re English, we don’t like to be any bother, do we?

Cakey goodness!

Finally, it was on to the top tier.  It felt pretty substantial actually.  The fruit cake was fruit cake, but it was a light one, not your standard dark fruit cake with loads of raisins.  It felt more like a light madeira with a bit of glacé fruit in it.  I am not a fruit cake lover, so I ate this first to ‘get it out the way’!

The eclairs were lovely – light choux pastry, filled to bursting with creme patisserie and shrouded in a generous chocolate coating.  The pistachio operas were gorgeous, subtley flavoured with beautiful layers of sponge, cream and with a shiny chocolate top.  The little fruit tartlets were lovely as they actually used chocolate pastry rather than the standard sweet pastry, which gave them a bit of a twist.

My favourite part however, was the unexpected little bowl of lemon posset.  They were a pretty generous portion each, with freeze dried raspberries on the top and had a deep lemon flavour – not too sweet and not too sharp.  Perfect!

All in all, I really enjoyed it, but the surroundings weren’t quite as ‘special’ as I had hoped – the view was a little bit of a let-down and I didn’t really buy-in to the crumpets.  The cakes were great, the cocktail really hit the spot and the scones and sandwiches were fresh and flavoursome.

The Afternoon Tea at 140 Park Lane is usually £23 per person (that doesn’t include cocktails).  I don’t think that’s too bad a price for the quality that you receive!

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