It has been a good few years since my last visit to what was once known as the famed Dandelyan, that has now been reincarnated as Lyaness, the latest bar from the award-winning Ryan Chetiyawardana (aka Mr Lyan) and team, set within the iconic Sea Containers London. This elegant space overlooking the Thames has been designed by original Dandelyan designer Jacu Strauss and the Lore Design Team – whilst the original green marble bar retains it’s remarkable charm, the millennial pink sofas have now been replaced by a signature electric blue.
Lyaness boasts a daring offering that brings a cook’s approach to cocktails and flavour creation which is reflected in the Fancy Tea that takes a playful approach to the traditional afternoon tea whilst keeping classic Lyan fun at the forefront – a tongue-in-cheek take on a high-end 80’s dinner party with a bold Lyan twist and cocktails by the talented team.
We went all-out for the Cocktails & Tea, the boozy option that allowed us to enjoy our afternoon tea alongside expertly-crafted cocktails that utilise Lyaness’ innovative house-made ingredients. First up was a refreshing Glasshouse Spritz aperitif, a lovely coral pink concoction of Ultra Raspberry, cherry tomato and bubbles. We also ordered Earl Grey tea, served in a retro-style pot with matching teacups and saucers.
The first stand of savouries that was served consisted of a selection of sandwiches, which included a coronation sweet potato & squash with crispy shallots & baby gem on walnut bread, poached salmon with tarragon mayonnaise & watercress on dark rye bread, and roast beef sandwiched between a wonderfully light and fluffy focaccia. I have always loved a classic coronation chicken sandwich, and surprisingly quite enjoyed their vegetarian take on it. There were also a couple of typical English party foods, such as devilled eggs and really moreish mini sausage rolls that I could not get enough of – I had seconds and was tempted to order thirds, but decided to save space for the sweets.
Our second cocktail was a Carter Cobbler, a mix of Grey Goose, green tea bianco, and Infinite Banana, a cordial specially invented by Ryan Chetiyawardana, made by blending together batches of cured, fresh-cut, perfectly ripe and slow-roasted banana – one of the supercharged flavour composites that features throughout the Lyaness menu. The Ultra Raspberry in the first cocktail and Purple Pineapple mixed in the next cocktail are other examples featured. I was particularly a fan of the candied pineapple garnish on top of our Carter Cobblers.
The third cocktail that followed was a Jasmine Gimlet to cleanse our palates before the arrival of the scones and pastries – made with Purple Pineapple, Bombay Sapphire, jasmine and citrus cordial.
I’m sure that most of you are familiar with a pineapple upside down cake, but have you ever tried a pineapple upside down scone? A fun twist on the classic scone, it had a nice texture, served with clotted cream and cherry jam. As much as I love an experimental twist on things, I must admit that nothing quite beats a classic plain buttery scone with a huge dollop of cream and jam.
The trio of sweets included a sunflower salt tea cake, a fruit trifle, and my favourite of them all was the mini strawberry & mascarpone éclair.
We finished off with a Cold Brew Palmetto, a digestif made using Havana 3 Rum, cold brew tea, and peach.
A well-executed afternoon tea with a creative touch set within a spectacular location with a view, the Fancy Tea at Lyaness is definitely one to add to your weekend to-do list.
The Fancy Tea that we experienced is normally priced at £58 for the full tea selection, four paired cocktails, cakes and savouries, and is available in Lyaness from Thursday to Sunday, between 12:00pm and 5:00pm (last sittings are at 4pm). A Boozeless Tea (£38) and a Champagne Tea (£48) is also available.
- My afternoon tea experience at Lyaness was complimentary – views and photos are my own.