In Review: Afternoon Tea at Hotel Cafe Royal

hotel cafe royal afternoon tea 3
I have frequented Hotel Cafe Royal a number of times over the past two years and each visit – inclusive of afternoon teas, dinners, champagne and caviar excursions, et all – has been a pleasure.

Nothing, however, prepared me for this afternoon tea. Swapping the Ten Room for the gold-dipped Oscar Wilde Bar, Chef Andrew Turner’s newly-launched London High Society afternoon tea menu ticked every opulent box you could imagine.

I would endeavour to put the Oscar Wilde into words, but you simply have to experience it for yourself. ‘Royal’ is an understatement.

Settled in among a hidden congregation of fellow afternoon gluttons, The Manfriend and I cheersed our glasses of Veuve Clicquot and perused the tea menu before the amuse bouche was served. The ‘Low Sidecar Muffin’ was a fluffy and savoury delight accented by truffled cream cheese and a miniature pipette of jus.

Shortly thereafter, my pot of Queensbury (a refreshing, herbal infusion of lemongrass, fennel seed
and liquorice root) arrived alongside three tiers of savouries. For each person, there was a wild boar, crackling, pickled apple and mustard bun, a goat’s cheese puff with wine jelly, a Mary Rose prawn cocktail canape, a London Cure smoked salmon and quail’s egg pastry, and an artfully presented “Cucumber and cream cheese” sandwich…

…all preceeding a palate cleanser of chocolate marshmallows and a shot of fruit tea, of course.

Pausing to take a mid-tea teabreak (oh yes, there’s more) while the pianist tinkled the ivories to a few familiar melodies, we finished our pots and welcomed the sweets and scones with open plates.

Though neither of us has a particular sweet tooth, we are veritable SconeHeads so chatted, jammed, and clotted-creamed our way through the small basket of fresh scones between bites of the other fruit-filled treats.

High points: Absinthe green fairy macarons, edible flower pots, and individual tubes of lemon curd.

High society may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but Cafe Royal’s edible version is instinctively praise-worthy.

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hotel cafe royal afternoon tea 8
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In Review: St Moritz Hotel, Cornwall

st moritz hotel cornwall 6
I am an overthinker of the highest degree. While it is probably one of the so-called ‘qualities’ that makes me a successful entrepreneur, overthinking has a real knack for taking away from the magic of travel.

Case in point: one is invited to the St Moritz Hotel in Cornwall, one overthinks as follows…
Cornwall is at least four hours from London isn’t it?
It is a beach spot…won’t it be dead in Autumn/Winter?
Oh God, the website is incredibly cheery…there are going to be children here.

Thankfully, Crazy Woman Brain was interrupted by the discovery of the food menu (JUST YOU WAIT) and the unexpected flood of hazy, saccharine memories – mostly searching for Merlin around the Cornish coast – as a child.

Cornwall was officially on the cards…

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st moritz hotel cornwall 13
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In Review: Fashion Week Cocktails at One Aldwych, London

one aldwych fashion week cocktails
As my Instagram followers will already know, I spent the majority of Fashion Week drinking my meals.

(Smoothies, too. I swear.)

Thankfully, The Lobby Bar at One Aldwych was ready and waiting when I decided to take an altogether naughtier refuel break.

In celebration of New York, London, Paris, and Milan’s Fashion Weeks, the beloved hotel teamed up with Tanqueray Gin to create four bespoke (and fashion-designer-inspired) cocktails.

For New York? Think Calvin Klein. Served in a chilled coupette glass, a bitter blend of Tanqueray No. 10, rhubarb liqueur, Martini Bianco, fresh pomegranate seeds and lemon bitters make up the ‘New York, New York‘.

For London? Think Alice Temperley. A mix of Tanqueray London Dry, rose liqueur, homemade jasmine syrup and lemon juice, topped with bergamot foam. The ‘English Rose‘is floral, delicate, and served in a chilled Martini glass.

For Milan? Think Moschino. For the cat glass alone, it became an instant favourite. ‘La Dolce Vita‘ featured Tanqueray London Dry, Martini Rosato, homemade wild berry syrup, cranberry juice, Sauvignon Blanc and mango mousse, topped with Champagne. As glamorous as cocktails get.

For Paris? Think Karl Lagerfeld. The ‘Blanc et Noir‘ swims in a Chanel-esque black glass; the contents a lemongrass foam-topped blend of Tanqueray London Dry, lemon juice, Chartreuse, elderflower cordial and citrus bitters.

You have until October 2nd and until your £13s run out.

one aldwych fashion week cocktails
one aldwych fashion week cocktails
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Travel Blog: Postcards from Paris – a 48 Hour Vlog!

paris video vlog
I knew that the 48 hours Tiffani and I planned to spend in Paris were going to be all sorts of manic. Though I am by no means an expert, it was my chosen responsibility to deliver her an amazing weekend (after all, it was her first-ever visit to a language-diverse country).

After an eventful overnight coach trip from London, we arrived in Bercy and logged in to the Hotel Tonight app just in time to secure a fantastic deal for Hotel O (a gorgeous, central, and Pantone-hued design hotel).

The following two days were an unforgettable blizzard of adventure, carbohydrates, discovery, accidental seduction, Frenglish, and more.

But enough chat, there’s a vlog to watch…

In Review: Takeaway Afternoon Tea, The Park Tower Knightsbridge

take away afternoon tea
My last trip to The Park Tower Knightsbridge was almost five years ago. 2009 – and The Park Tower – mark my first-ever business meeting with a designer brand.

Having had so much change, bewilder and humble me since that meeting, The Park Tower holds a very special place in my heart. When welcoming one of my close friends and recent London transfers to the city, it seemed more than appropriate to take a pit stop at the hotel and take away their afternoon tea for a picnic in Hyde Park.

Their ‘Take Away Strawberry Afternoon Tea‘ – as you can see – is beautifully ingenious.

In their three tier cardboard tea platter, The Park Tower include:
– London smoked salmon and green asparagus (sushi style) with keta caviar on nori bread (IT. IS. UNREAL.)
– Norwich farm chicken caesar with baby gem chiffonade on carrot bread
– Surrey peppered beef pastrami with horseradish cream on malted grain bread
– Silver Hill duck egg mayonnaise and mustard cress on viennoise briochette
– Scones with strawberry and rhubarb marmalade
– Strawberry Valrhona white chocolate truffle
– Strawberry marshmallow
– Whole strawberry dipped in Valrhona milk chocolate and nibbed sugar (
– Strawberry pâté de fruits
– Strawberry and crème chantilly pavlova
– Strawberry Victoria sponge cake tennis court and lemon tennis ball
…and…the most amazing pastry I have ever laid eyes on…
– Strawberry petit choux pastry swans with pistachio cream mousseline.

Truth be told, stretching out in the sunshine, listening to an insane Beatles cover band, and devouring the petite platter between us was the most gratifying way we could have spent an afternoon. Quintessential London luxury.

The takeaway afternoon tea is priced at £19.50 per person or £69 for two with a half bottle of Moët & Chandon Rosé (GO FOR IT) and available through August 31st. I advise booking 24 hours in advance (by online form or phone) to ensure availability.

take away afternoon tea
take away afternoon tea
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