Even after years of considering myself a (self-proclaimed) Londoner, I find that there is so much that I have yet to discover, mostly places that are just at my doorstep. In this case, not so much ‘at my doorstep’, unless I was earning a 7-figure salary or was married to some rich tycoon – but rather a decent 50 minute journey from my humble East-London flat where every journey that takes less than an hour is considered normal for London standards. But nonetheless, you get the gist.
Having walked past Maison Assouline multiple times, on most occasions in a flurried rush working my way through the throngs of tourists and rush hour crowds, it was on my most recent afternoon tea adventure that I finally explored the magnificent interiors of this iconic building.
Opened in 2014, the international flagship in London’s Piccadilly area has served as an oasis of culture in the heart of bustling Piccadilly, housed in an old banking hall designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens in 1922.
A concept store for culture, Maison Assouline stores embody the spirit of the Assouline brand, featuring an exclusive line of Assouline Interiors furniture, limited-edition gift items, antique collectables, and of course their expertly curated bookshelves filled with the latest Assouline releases and rare first editions of classic titles.
In celebration of one of its stunningly curated books, Capri Dolce Vita, Maison Assouline have crafted a themed Afternoon Tea in tribute to the paradise island.
To kick off our experience, we were welcomed with beautifully presented ‘Capri’ cocktails, a fruity and refreshing concoction specially created for the occasion. From their selection of teas, supplied by French tea merchant Dammann Frères, I went for the classic Earl Grey Yin Zhen, a black tea combined with the flavours of silky Bergamot buds and a sprinkling of flower petals.
I was definitely partial towards the delicately refined teaspoon which I believe is designed in-house and also available to purchase at their store – one to add to the Christmas present list, maybe?
Drawing inspiration from Italian cuisine, their menu featured a beautiful summery offering of savoury and sweet treats, served on vibrant and colourful Italian ceramic plates. The savoury platter included a couple of sandwiches filled with Italian herb cheese with sundried tomatoes, and another with tapenade, rocket and cucumber. The other two were open top sandwiches: heirloom tomato bruschetta on olive bread, and one topped with pesto and smoked marinated tofu.
The quartet of sweet desserts featured Italian classics with a little twist such as a tangy limoncello meringue choux, a pistachio tart topped with fresh and Amerena cherries, with pistachio buttercream, a delightful brioche dipped in orange blossom syrup and filled with vanilla crème patissiere, and last but not least, the tiramisu entremet, an elevated version of the classic Italian dessert, which was my favourite of the lot.
Overall it was a pleasant experience and a lovely location to while away a couple of hours on a Saturday afternoon. The Capri afternoon tea is priced at £50 per person and is available throughout the week.
- My experience of The Capri afternoon tea was complimentary – views and photos are my own.