Since my first visit to England in 1985, I have had a love affair with London! I find it’s a city that, no matter how many times I visit, there is always something new to see and to explore.
There are the usual iconic attractions that remain largely unchanged over the years – the Tower of London, Tower Bridge, Westminster Abbey, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, Kensington Palace, Harrods, Fortnum and Mason, and the list goes on. One of the most British of traditions – afternoon tea – has also endured over the years and, if anything, has grown in popularity with different age demographics. On each visit to the city, I ‘take tea’ at a different venue. My latest visit just this past May took me to the Intercontinental Park Lane Hotel near Hyde Park for afternoon tea.
This hotel offers a high-end traditional afternoon tea on a regular daily basis and, in addition, designs several seasonal teas throughout the year. Their new “Scents of Summer” afternoon tea had only been available four days prior to our arrival and we found it was a treat for all the senses.
This is not your ordinary afternoon tea with the traditional egg and cucumber sandwiches. Expect attentive (but not intrusive) and knowledgeable service to go along with tasty and artfully prepared food that takes afternoon tea up a notch. Servers will offer tea pairing recommendations for each course of the afternoon tea that is served complete with a glass of bubbly. For my complete review of this tea experience, visit my sister blog “My Island Bistro Kitchen”.
In the meantime, here are some photos of the afternoon tea to whet your appetite.
We sampled three different teas during the afternoon, one to accompany each course.
We started with the rose pearl wheatgrass palette cleanser.
Then, these four tasty pinwheel/scroll sandwiches were presented in the shape of a butterfly.
Dainty buttermilk scones arrived at the table accompanied by dishes of Devon clotted cream, wild strawberry jam, lemon curd with pink peppercorn, and Bergamot-infused Earl Grey butter.
And, for the finale, take a look at the presentation of the dessert course. Everything you see in the photo below is edible, including the pebbles!
The dessert course was accompanied by a glass of Moët & Chandon berry floral Rosé.
If you are in London this summer and go to only one afternoon tea, I recommend the Scents of Summer at the Park Lane. Do plan to allow about three hours to relax and fully enjoy and savour this exceptional afternoon tea in the hotel’s Wellington Lounge.
The price per person of the Scents of Summer afternoon tea experience is ₤45 + gratuity (generally about 15%) which, at the time of writing would total approximately $100. (CDN) per person.
The Intercontinental Park Lane is located at One Hamilton Place, Park Lane, London, England, W1J 7QY (Tel: +44(0)20 7409 3131). Reservations are recommended for afternoon tea. For more information, visit the hotel’s website at http://parklane.intercontinental.com/wellington-lounge-afternoon-tea.html
My thanks to the Park Lane for the opportunity to experience Scents of Summer Afternoon Tea and for the fine hospitality. My afternoon tea at the Park Lane Hotel was complimentary for the purpose of conducting a review of the new Scents of Summer offering. However, this in no way influenced my opinions of the afternoon tea experience which are purely my own.
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