A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of attending the launch showcase of the brand new artisanal afternoon tea at the Hilton London Paddington, in partnership with British artisanal tea company Hope & Glory and luxury Belgian chocolatiers, Pierre Marcolini. There was live music and copious amounts of food and alcohol, and I probably ate wayyy too many Pierre Marcolini chocolates from the open display – I was on a sugar high, but it was worth it!
It was a good evening and gave a strong enough first impression to tempt me back for a full afternoon tea review in their elegant, floral-inspired tearoom. Inspired by a location steeped in locomotive history and set to become as iconic as the station in which it can be found, ‘Time Stops Here @ 146’ encourages guests to take a moment to ‘stop time’ and enjoy an indulgent moment away from their busy lifestyles.
The layout of their tearoom has a lovely vintage feel of a classic train carriage, and we sat in one of their plush velvet two-seater booths. Like many, I was certainly a fan of their vibrant flower wall.
Our pots of teas came served with a mini trio of hourglass timers to ensure ideal brewing times, their range of loose leaf teas all specially handpicked by premium British company Hope & Glory. I went for the Masala Chai, a full bodied blend of organic Ceylon black tea and spices. The mix of cardamom and cinnamon gave a warming, rich blend of flavours and a sweet aroma – a perfect choice for the colder months ahead. Later on, I also tried their 2nd Flush Darjeeling, my usual choice of tea – often referred to as the Champagne of teas, renowned the world over for their muscatel, fruity, floral character. And even though we were hardly halfway through the week, we of course couldn’t decline a glass of chilled Pommery Royal Blue champagne.
When our tier of afternoon tea treats arrived, we did the logical thing and started off on a sweet note with the ice cream and sorbet whilst they were still frozen – part of the sweet selection from Pierre Marcolini, world-famous master chocolatier that has been cultivating his expert craftsmanship and knowledge of the process from bean to bar for over two decades. We both really enjoyed the chocolate ice cream, topped with pecan nuts as well as the mango red berry frisson – both had no added sugar which meant they were refreshing without being overly sweet like most ice cream desserts. Dessert minus the guilt, yes please.
We then skipped back down to the platter of savouries, which included a crostini topped with avocado, pickled beetroot and red amaranth, a tasty harissa halloumi with honey mustard on beetroot bread, and a delicious smoked salmon with cream cheese, rolled into the shape of a Swiss roll using rye bread. My favourite savoury was undoubtedly the mini beef steak pie, the perfect comfort food snack on a blustery day.
Instead of just the two classic plain and fruit scones that you get served in most places, we also got to try their chocolate chip and blue cheese scones. Warm and fresh from the oven with a lovely buttery aroma, they were served with clotted cream, homemade jam, and a sweet chutney.
We finished off with a couple of perfectly baked raspberry and praline financiers, and the pistachio and Yuzu Melove cakes, which were chocolate marshmallow teacakes, a traditional recipe from the North reimagined by Pierre Marcolini.
Thank you once again to our lovely hosts at Hilton London Paddington for a lovely evening, and I look forward to returning soon for some cocktails at the bar.
The afternoon tea is available 7 days a week from 12pm to 6pm and is priced at £36 per person, or £46 per person that includes a glass of Pommery Royal Blue Champagne or cocktail.
- My afternoon tea experience at Hilton London Paddington was complimentary – views and photos are my own.