Few things in the life of a young woman are better than a Saturday afternoon spent with good company enjoying afternoon tea at The Wellington Lounge in one of London’s finest hotels – the Intercontinental Park Lane.
My view on tea is pretty much the same with champagne – keep it pure and natural. However, throwing caution to the wind, I opted for The Botanical Tea – champagne cocktail et al. The exotic aroma of cardamom and vanilla before the champagne flute reached my lips led to some rather excited taste buds. Never would I have paired cardamom with champagne but it was decidedly delicious.
Cleansing one’s palette came in the form of an unusual pear pearl drop on a bed of moss. I’m still intrigued by its texture. I was expecting some form of sorbet but, well, I won’t ruin the surprise but I’d like to know what other people thought. Commencing with prawn, Scottish lobster and Sevruga caviar, nettle marinated asparagus and beef, guinea fowl and celeriac, the savoury selection of canapés was refreshingly unlike any selection I’ve tried before and really pushed the boundaries on the standard afternoon tea expectations.
Citrus scones sounded a little troubling because I feared too much citrus would overwhelmed the cream and jam but the balance was spot on. The prawn and lobster was going to be a hard act but a couple of weeks later, I’m still thinking about the quince and cardamom preserve. I wonder if they sell it… Really good with the crumbly texture of the scones and creaminess of the clotted cream.
Matcha, mandarin and crème brûlée all get a mention on the dessert menu; a varied mix of sweet treats which were all presented beautifully and very nice but there was one dessert which stole the show… Getting me to eat white chocolate is no easy task. I don’t like the stuff. However, when it arrives like this, saying no would be wrong. Combining white chocolate with two very different strong flavours – coconut and fennel in this case – and pulling off this delicious torte is no mean feat. Creamy yet light with each ingredients working together – this was easily the best dessert I’ve had this year and yes, I will be returning for another piece.
Naturally the service was as good as the food and being able to sit and really enjoy the experience was such a treat. Three hours later, we bid farewell to our lovely waitress and walked through the hotel, admiring the exquisite floral arrangements as we left. Combining wonderful service, a unique menu, beautiful surroundings and an unhurried luxurious experience, the Wellington Lounge gets my vote. The Botanical Tea costs £38 per person and, in my opinion, is worth every penny!
Intercontinental London Park Lane
1 Hamilton Place
Not Just Another Milla was a guest of the Intercontinental Park Lane.