I love food experiences that evoke childhood memories and recently had the pleasure of taking a trip down memory lane with an exciting new Mary Poppins afternoon tea at aqua shard. Inspired by the much loved work of P.L. Travers, the new menu coincides with the re-release of the classic books from Harper Collins.
Upon arrival, we were immediately immersed in Travers’ imaginary world, as we were presented with a menu that takes form as a gilt gold framed mirror – a recurring symbol throughout the books depicting Mary’s vanity and her ‘practically perfect’ reflection. My ‘not so perfect’ reflection was on the other hand sporting a slightly frazzled look after work and having endured a journey on the underground, but I digress …
Alongside their full range of teas, they are currently serving two additional exclusive teas. I went for Mary’s Tea which was a blend of black teas from around the world and elegant rose petals that gave it a faintly sweet and floral finish. There was also Bert’s Tea which was a blend of lapsang souchong, keemun, Ceylon, vanilla and cornflower, that gave it a subtly sweet flavour and smokey finish.
When invited to ‘take some medicine’, we both graciously accepted, especially since there was Strawberry (Tanqueray gin, sugar, fresh strawberries, orange peel, golden edible glitter powder) and Lime Cordial (Ciroc vodka, sugar, lime peel, edible viola flowers, silver edible glitter powder) flavours! The three homemade liqueurs created by their bar team, including a Rum Punch flavour, were added to our glasses of Veuve Clicquot champagne to create a classic Kir Royale style cocktail. Little clip-on kites were attached to our glasses which tempted me to burst into song singing ‘Let’s Go Fly a Kite’ as George Banks did.
Our selection of savouries included sandwiches such as Cackleberry egg and black truffle sandwich which had a lovely aroma of truffle, Mrs Kirkam’s cheddar, Branston pickle and English mustard ploughman’s sandwich, and Dingley Dell honey roast ham with mustard mayonnaise and Norfolk rocket cress sandwich.
There was also dressed Devon crab with cucumber and coriander served on a brioche roll, and a cute mini crumpet served warm with Scottish smoked salmon and cream cheese. I love crab and smoked salmon, so these were definitely two of my favourites out of the selection.
After quintessentially British savouries, we delved into Mary’s carpet bag for Mrs Brill’s homemade vanilla and golden raisin scones, served with homemade cherry jam, plum jam and Cornish clotted cream. Those indulgently buttery and fluffy scones came in a vibrant red drawstring bag, warm to touch like they had just come out fresh from the oven.
We finished off with a quirky array of sweet treats that came served on a cute tiered stand that was topped with a mini umbrella. They included a ‘Strike Me Pink Sponge’ which imagines one of Travers’ famous quotes in edible form and Mrs Corry’s gingerbread star. Mrs Corry was the proprietor of a mysterious sweet shop who took paper-gilt stars from the wrappings of her gingerbread and fixed them in the sky, where they became real stars.
We nibbled on Mary Poppins’ very own hat that was a black ‘Cherry Tree Lane’ mousse covered in dark chocolate, whilst the golden tin opened up to reveal a sweet ‘back to front zoo’ golden syrup tart. On the cover of the tin was an illustration of a Bear who you might remember that they met at the zoo on the day that Mary Poppin’s birthday fell on the Full Moon. All the animals were out of their cages, which instead are filled with human beings – a rather peculiar scene to imagine I must say. Last but not least was the raspberry flavoured Fairground Candy Floss served by Bert himself from a stand in the restaurant. My face beamed with excitement and I felt like a kid all over again.
And did I mention about the amazing view? All that I needed then was a magical umbrella just like Mary Poppins to fly me across the London rooftops …
The aqua shard Mary Poppins afternoon tea is licensed and approved by the P.L. Travers estate and all original Mary Shepard illustrations are licensed by Harper Collins Publishers. It is served every day from 1.00-5.00pm and runs until 18th April 2019, so there’s plenty of time to immerse yourself and relive those childhood memories. You can find more information via the aqua shard and Afternoontea.co.uk websites.
I hope you have a Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious time just like I did!
- I was a guest at aqua shard but all views and photos are my own.