With excitement building up across the nation in anticipation of The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee weekend celebrations, London for one certainly has plenty to offer to get you involved in the festivities, and as an afternoon tea aficionado, what better place to celebrate than at The Rubens at The Palace, the closest hotel to Buckingham Palace.
Seated at my favourite spot by the window in the Palace Lounge which overlooks the Royal Mews of Buckingham Palace, our glasses were filled with Champagne before we enjoyed a preview of their special six course Platinum Jubilee Afternoon Tea which is to be served exclusively on 4th June.
We also tried a couple of teas from their tea menu which features ethically sourced teas supplied by tea specialists P.M.David Silva & Sons; I had The Royal Jubilee Tea by Lovers Leap Tea Estate whilst my guest ordered The Rubens Tea by Lumbini Estate.
The pastry kitchen at The Rubens is led by talented pastry chef, Sarah Houghting, whose pastry creations have never failed to impress. The creative process behind this special afternoon tea offering takes inspiration from The Queen herself, featuring things that she loves, particularly chocolate, as well as fruits from The Queen’s orchard.
Putting a royal spin on a quintessential British snack, the humble sausage roll has been given a posh twist in the form of a delectable Coronation chicken sausage roll, topped with spicy mayonnaise and crispy shallots. Coronation chicken is indeed a befitting recipe to feature as it was first created for the Coronation luncheon of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953.
The savouries included a traditional cucumber with lemon crème fraîche, roast beef sirloin and horseradish cream on beetroot bread, a bagel filled with smoked salmon and chive cream cheese, and a decadent sweet brioche roll filled with prawns, topped with King’s caviar.
As once in a lifetime celebrations are all about extravagance, there were not only two, but four varieties of scones; plain, fruit, white chocolate & cheese. Buttery with a light and fluffy texture, they were accompanied by clotted cream, a homemade seasonal preserve, and a tangy lemon curd, a favourite of The Queen which surprisingly went well with the cheese scone.
Making our way upwards toward the selection of beautiful sweet patisserie creations, we started with the Pear & Chocolate Torte, made with layers of chocolate sponge, chocolate entremet, and pear jam, finished with a pear crisp to lighten the dish. The Lemon Tart has been given a playful twist, the middle consisted of layers of raspberry jelly, lemon curd, topped with a crisp mint meringue that balanced out the flavours. The Orchard Fruit, presented in the shape of a cherry, although small, certainly packed a punch; made from amarena cherry compote & vanilla cream, sat on top of a chocolate crumble. Saving the best for last, my favourite amongst them was The Crown, a white chocolate & coconut mousse on a chocolate and orange brownie biscuit, coated in a vibrant shade of blue and topped off with a chocolate flag of the United Kingdom.
To cleanse our palate in between courses, we were also treated to a Gin & Dubonnet frozen ice lolly which had refreshing orange and lemon undertones – perfect for a warm summer’s day. Let’s keep our fingers crossed that we’ll be blessed with good weather during the long bank holiday weekend.
Finishing off the experience on a high, we were served one of The Queen’s favourites, a Jam Penny; an Oca dark chocolate ganache and strawberry preserve sandwiched between two chocolate digestive biscuits encased in chocolate. For an added royal touch, it was embossed with The Queen’s face to signify her ‘stamp of approval’. Our pots of tea were also replaced by a fresh pot of flowering tea which had aromatic peach notes, The Queen’s favourite fruit.
Whilst the special six course Platinum Jubilee Afternoon Tea will only be available on 4th June (£120 per person in The Palace Lounge or £100 per person in The English Grill), you will still have the opportunity to enjoy their four course Platinum Jubilee Afternoon Tea, available from 1st June until 31st August (£60 per person). Reservations can be made via this link.
- My afternoon tea experience was complimentary – views and photos are my own.