Always on the look-out for an afternoon tea with a twist, we visited W London, located just off Leicester Square a stone’s throw away from theatreland, to try out their remix on the traditional afternoon tea experience that is meant to appeal to the senses.
Past the main lobby area on the first floor, an a cluster of sparkly glitter balls, we entered the lounge area where our afternoon tea was served. The high ceiling gave a cooling effect to the space, enhanced by the natural light that flooded through the windows, with the other side of the room dominated by an immense bookcase designed to resemble the Union Jack. The vibe is much more modern and contemporary compared to your usual afternoon tea setting, with spherical light sculptures suspended from the ceiling and English timber flooring that extends along the wall and ceiling.
I went for the bubbly option which included a glass of prosecco, alongside my pot of Earl Grey from their T2 selection of teas. The afternoon tea was served in a box with drawers and compartments (like a miniature cabinet) that each revealed a different component of our taste adventure.
We started with the savouries which included twists on the traditional tea-time sandwiches. There was roast beef with Dijon mayonnaise on onion bread, a delicious smoked salmon with cream cheese on cranberry bread and the classic egg mayo with watercress, all tucked neatly in the bottom drawer.
We then moved on to the scones whilst they were still nice and warm. They were buttery, moist and had a light and soft texture just how I like it, served with clotted cream and jam.
I like finishing off my afternoon tea experience with the sweet selection, and this comprised of a selection of vibrant and dainty-looking cakes inspired by the English garden, each paired with a crystallised version of one of their signature cocktails to amplify the senses.
There was the Spring Planter that was a mint-flavoured chocolate mousse pot filled with popping candy dirt and micro cress herbs. This was accompanied by the Banana Republic cocktail, made with Belvedere Vodka, apricot liqueur, banana, cinnamon, apricot jam, sage, and lime – like a fruit smoothie with an alcoholic kick.
The Queen Bee was a white chocolate covered sponge cake, that combined fresh flavours of lemon thyme, avocado, pistachio and locally sourced honey from Walthamstow, coated with a bright green pandan icing and topped with bee pollen. This was cleverly enlivened with refreshing Hayfever cocktail based on Belvedere Vodka, manzana verde liqueur, cucumber, coriander, cumin, simple syrup, and lemon. Depending on whether you’re a coriander lover, you might love it or hate it – thankfully I’m partial towards all things coriander.
I was excited to try the Dew Drop when I first saw it, presented as a delicate sphere of tomato, rose water and Tonka that rested on a bed of Oreo and coffee soil. Gone in a mouthful, it had a soft, jelly-like texture contrasted by the crunchy soil. We washed this down with a pretty Purple Rain cocktail made with Bombay Sapphire gin, lychee liqueur, violette liqueur, violette pearls, elderflower, cranberry, and lemon.
Last but not least, was Every Cloud – shaped like a cloud as its name suggested, made from crispy meringue pieces that sandwiched a moist and heavenly layer of carrot and cardamom cake. This was paired with a sweet and light Pull The Pin cocktail containing Patron Silver tequila, Aperol, Maraschino, strawberry, agave, and lime.
Afternoon Tea is served from 1pm to 5pm everyday, and you can book via the Afternoon Tea UK website – a great central location to stop by to wind down and indulge, overlooking the hustle and bustle of the streets of Soho.
- The afternoon tea experience was complimentary