With summer almost in full swing, the much anticipated time of the year made even more exciting with festivities surrounding The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, I was delighted to return to The Orchid Lounge at Pan Pacific London which has unveiled one of the most exciting afternoon tea collections this season; The Superbloom Afternoon Tea. Skilfully created by Executive Pastry Chef, Cherish Finden, this unique culinary experience has been given a royal makeover accompanied by some playful elements, inspired by the neighbouring Tower of London’s wildflower Superbloom installation and in celebration of Her Majesty the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.
In true celebratory style, we each raised a glass of Gusbourne English sparkling wine. The tea menu features a selection of teas exclusively sourced by The Rare Tea Company who supply the world’s best tea, directly from farmers and their tea gardens. Our waiter kindly recommended some tea pairings to complement our experience that were freshly brewed in their elegant teapots, adorned with orchid and bird prints; we began with the Emperor’s Breakfast to pair with our savouries, before we moved on to the Portuguese Cinnamon Basil, an herbal tea, to enjoy with the sweeter delights. To whet our appetites, we were served a little amuse bouche with a cookie on the side, filled with strawberry jam and chocolate ganache.
For the savoury course, they have on offer two different options; Traditional or Kopi Tiam, from which we both selected the latter. Instead of traditional sandwiches, the kopitiam afternoon tea offers a selection of familiar Asian savouries which you would often indulge in during a weekend dim sum feast. There was a trio of steamed dim sum filled with prawn, seafood, and chicken that were served to us on individual dishes, whilst presented on their signature birdcage stand was a fluffy button and chestnut mushroom bao and Gai Gok, a crispy rice dumpling with a chicken, pork and mushroom filling, often one of my favourite comfort foods.
Of course no afternoon tea would be complete without scones, which I’m glad was included in the menu this season, served with Cornish clotted cream, homemade strawberry preserve, and kaya jam, an irresistable sweet spread which is reminiscent of my childhood. Whilst the nation gears up for Jubilee-themed street parties and parades, we were also treated to some street party-inspired candy floss sprinkled with sherbet and a buttery shortbread in the shape of a Corgi, a dog breed which has become synonymous with Her Majesty.
The highlight of our experience was undoubtedly the final course which featured four delicately crafted creations, showcasing Cherish’s signature flare. We were recommended to start with the vibrant yellow Lemon Meringue, made from a light lemon mousse with a tangy lemon curd centre presented on top of a British lemon shortbread and topped with a crisp meringue kiss. Coloured in my favourite shade of pink was The Wild Rose, a fragrant mini English rose macaron balanced on top of a strawberry and lime jelly macaron, finished with dainty sugar flowers. Depicting the iconic London landmark and home of The Platinum Jubilee Superbloom installation, The Tower of London was a favourite of ours, made from a pistachio and mascarpone cream encased within a delicate white chocolate cylinder and finished off with intricate edible butterflies.
Finishing off with the most decadent of the selection, The Queen ‘Honey’ Bee is a chocolate lover’s dream, a delicious balance of flavours and textures of Heather flower honey, moist chocolate sponge, and crunchy pecan praline. I was particularly fond of the miniscule meringue ‘bees’.
We also had the opportunity to try their Signature Jubilee Drinks; an eye-catching turqoise-coloured Wildflower Gin Fizz, and the Hibiscus Spritz, a striking ruby red hibiscus flower and tea mixed with Le Blanc Organic non-alcoholic French bubbly.
The Superbloom Afternoon Tea is exclusively available until 31st August 2022, priced at £72 per person or £82 including a glass of Gusbourne sparkling wine/French Bloom non-alcoholic sparkling wine.
Further information on the full menu and reservations can be found on their website.
- My afternoon tea experience was complimentary – views and photos are my own.