Sunday afternoon tea two weekends in a row…my ‘February detox’ isn’t quite going as according to planned…
But wait, I don’t do detoxes…
So here I was indulging in yet another Sunday afternoon tea, this time in the iconic Oscar Wilde Bar at Hotel Café Royal – formerly the iconic Grill Room which has been exquisitely restored to its authentic Louis XVI detailing.
Originally established in 1865, it is now the place to enjoy Afternoon tea during the day and Champagne, sparkling wine and a light menu in the evening, complemented by a further programme of live entertainment.
Nestled between the elegance of Mayfair and the creativity of Soho, this is the space where great minds came together to change the world. It is in this very room that Oscar Wilde fell in love with Lord Alfred Douglas, Aubrey Beardsley debated with Whistler, David Bowie retired Ziggy Stardust and Mick Jagger, the Beatles and Elizabeth Taylor danced the night away.
There’s a bit of history to start you off on a beautiful Sunday.
Dropping off our coats at the entrance, we were then shown to our table at the back of the grand room, embellished in extravagant gold detailing, vast mirrors and renaissance painted ceilings.
We were first served a glass of Veuve Clicquot champagne whilst we perused the selection of teas.
I went for the Oscar, an authentic and historic Lapsang Souchong, whilst Lili chose the Celestine, a soft black China tea with sweet Madagascan vanilla pod and pretty cornflowers – both from the Exclusive Blends selection.
We were then told that we were going to be served everything from the High Society tea menu, which was music to my ears…
Oh, and did I mention that there was also a pianist playing lovely music on the stunning grand piano…
The amuse bouche was a ‘Low Sidecar Muffin’, filled with a luscious swirl of truffle cream cheese and a plastic pipette on the side which contained apple juice.
Soft and fluffy with a smooth, creamy centre – a great start to what was yet to come.
Then came our three-tiered stand of tea sandwiches. Starting from the top was the wild boar crackling, pickled apple and mustard bun, and a light and crunchy pastry filled with chorizo.
On the second tier was the Mary Rose prawn cocktail, which was Lili’s favourite, and the goat’s cheese puff and sweet wine jelly.
And the final tier were a couple of sandwiches – London Cure smoked salmon and quail’s egg, and “cucumber and cream cheese”.
A much more interesting selection as opposed to the usual white and brown bread sandwiches.
As a palate cleanser, we were served some refreshing iced fruit tea and a cute piece of fluffy marshmallow. I have never had a palate cleanser during afternoon tea, but I loved it.
There were two types of scones, traditional golden raisin and plain scones, with dishes containing clotted cream and lemon curd and strawberry and gold preserve.
Warm, fluffy, buttery scones…Sundays were made for this.
And last but not least was a beautiful and vibrant tray of sweet pastries: “Profile 66”, “Opera 1865”, Seasonal flower pot, Absinthe Green Fairy macaron, Pear Regent, and cream filled choux.
My favourite was probably the cute little seasonal flower pot and the petite choux buns. I truly love macarons, but although it had a nice crunch and sticky texture, the taste of Absinthe may not have quite been my cup of tea.
I have just realized that we weren’t offered the selection of cakes from the counter. Apparently there was a lemon drizzle cake, cazzette nut and traditional fruit cake…
I may have been stuffed, but I would never turn down a good cake.
Overall, it was indeed a truly decadent afternoon tea experience, and I would definitely recommend a visit, whether it be for a special celebration, or if like me, you just fancy an occasional treat every now and then…
The Oscar Wilde Bar is open daily for afternoon tea from 12pm – reservations are recommended.
The Cheekster, signing out x