After a good few years since I last dined at Corinthia London, it was a pleasure to return to review their afternoon tea, recently awarded a Highly Commended Certificate of Excellence at the Afternoon Tea Awards 2019. With a fabulous location in central London, just a minute’s walk from the River Thames, Corinthia London is undoubtedly one of the most luxurious five-star hotels in the capital.
Afternoon tea was served in the stunning Crystal Moon Lounge, a beautiful space in the heart of the hotel, illuminated by natural light that flooded through from the dome above, with an added touch of opulence from the warming glow of the crystal orb chandelier above which consisted of 1001 Baccarat crystals, designed by Parisian designer Chafik Gasmi.
We were fortunate enough to nab one of their prime tables beneath the glistening spectacle, by the floral centrepiece. Our table was set with some fine-looking bone china, a bespoke line created by Richard Brendon for the afternoon tea service at Corinthia London that combines contemporary design and traditional craftsmanship. Designed in collaboration with pattern innovators PATTERNITY, they have been adapted in grey and red to complement the interior of the hotel and reference the beautiful Baccarat chandelier. I particularly loved how the mirror-like surfaces of the teacups reflected the striped patterns on the saucers.
Embracing the festivities in anticipation of Christmas, we went for the Festive Rosé Champagne Afternoon Tea, served with a glass of Laurent-Perrier Rosé Champagne – there’s no denying my love for Rosé, served in elegant Baccarat Mille Nuits champagne flutes, in a nod to the breath-taking crystal chandelier overhead.
I tried a couple of teas from their Bespoke Afternoon Blends selection which have been specially blended for Corinthia London – the strength of each tea has been differentiated by adjusting the blends of three specially curated teas: Assam, for its intense flavours, Oolong for its delicate characteristics, and Earl Grey for its fruity and sweet notes. I started with the No. 1 Aromatic; a light strength blend with lovely aromatic and light flowery undertones, followed by the No. 2 Mellow; a medium strength blend with rich malty notes and honey-like sweetness, with a hint of spice.
The finger sandwiches were neatly cut and served on a silver platter. The delectable variety of fillings included cucumber, radish & cream cheese on white bread, truffle egg mayonnaise on malted granary bread, Severn and Wye smoked salmon & marmalade curd on brown bread, roast turkey & cranberry on white bread, and salt beef, horseradish cream & watercress on Mediterranean bread. My favourites were the salt beef and the truffle egg mayonnaise – I’ve always been partial towards all things truffle.
Once we had our fill of the lovely sandwiches, we tucked into their duo selection of plain and sultana scones, served warm with organic strawberry jam, rhubarb & litsea cubeba jam, and Cornish clotted cream. The scones weren’t quite as tall and risen as compared to others that I have sampled, but thankfully they still had a nice texture to them.
Having watched with hungry eyes as their heritage dessert trolley made its way around the lounge throughout the afternoon, we were both incredibly excited when it was finally our turn to make our selection from the abundant array of seasonal sweet delicacies that had been given a festive twist.
With still plenty of room in our stomachs (or so we thought at the time!), we requested to try each one of the pastries – as they say, there’s always room for dessert! We started with the pear & cranberry compote with maple syrup sponge & lemon chantilly, topped with a vibrant red chocolate disc with a cute cut-out shape of a Christmas stocking, followed by an equally festive chocolate, citrus & mascarpone mousse, made into the shape of a Christmas bauble. I have always been a huge fan of éclairs, and really enjoyed the mini spiced pineapple & vanilla éclair, as much I did the chestnut, vanilla & rum tartlet. On top of all that, there were also some ‘bonus’ sweet treats which included slices of fruity Christmas cake, orange & coffee truffles, and a trio of flavoured marshmallows: chocolate-fleur de sel, coconut, and apple & pine.
Accompanied by live music played on their grand Steinway piano, the festive afternoon tea at Corinthia London is a truly luxurious and magical experience that is not to be missed.
Afternoon tea at Corinthia London is served from 1:00pm – 6:00pm Monday – Friday, and 12:00pm – 6:00pm on weekends – the festive afternoon tea replaces their usual afternoon tea menu during the festive period, and runs from 15 November 2019 – 5 January 2020. Prices start from £60 per person for the traditional afternoon tea, with the option to upgrade to include champagne for a more decadent experience.
- My festive afternoon tea experience at Corinthia London was complimentary – views and photos are my own.