Claridge’s Afternoon Tea Master Class, London

As a certified Afternoon Tea addict, the idea of getting to grips with the real deal in a professional kitchen sounded like a dream. When said professional kitchen happens to be in London’s 5-star Claridge’s Hotel, well, passing up such a chance would be foolish. That said, at a whooping £170 per Master Class, I was a little hesitant but justified the spend as a welcome home treat for myself and as you can see from the images, I was not disappointed. Needless to say, this was pre-detox.

Afternoon tea master class at Claridge's, London Afternoon tea master class at Claridge's, London Afternoon tea master class at Claridge's, London Afternoon tea master class at Claridge's, London

The day started in the stunning Art-Deco Foyer getting to know my fellow scone-lovers over tea before moving down to the kitchen where Executive Chef Martyn Nail introduced us to the delightful Kim Lin-McCartney, sous pastry chef at the hotel. I was rather disappointed to see that we would be making the French classic mille feuille as I have never liked it much. Watching Kim mix the cream and vanilla had me salivating. What is it about vanilla that has such an effect on me? Back in Paris, I received some fresh vanilla pods straight from Madagascar and to this day, I still consider that bunch of soft, fragrant pods one of the best presents ever received but I digress… Did you know that the crunchy bits on the side are from crêpes? You can caramelise the pastry sheets before adding the cream for a nice crunch. Insider tips galore! As for the taste, let’s just say that mille feuille is on my dinner party list. Yes, Kim converted me!

Afternoon tea master class at Claridge's, London Afternoon tea master class at Claridge's, London Afternoon tea master class at Claridge's, London

It is no secret that I’m a bona fide macaron aficionado and get this, not only did we make macarons, we made my favourite flavour: rose. Did you know there are three types of meringue? I knew about French and Italian, but there is also a Swiss type. Who knew egg whites could be so complicated!? Kim made macarons filled with rose-scented vanilla cream and raspberries, and to add a touch of romance and drama, a vibrant red rose petal completed the stunning dessert. Almost too good to eat. Almost… I swear, I took around 40 images of this one dessert. The session came to a close with the ultimate tea lover’s treat: scones with Marco Polo jelly!  Mariage Frères lovers eat your heart out! They seem remarkably easy to make, but watch this space. I have a feeling trying to make them at home may have a different outcome…

Afternoon tea master class at Claridge's, London Afternoon tea master class at Claridge's, London

Kim was so lovely, down-to-earth and as she showed us around the pastry kitchen where her colleagues were perfecting some of the most amazing desserts I’ve ever seen, you can see a serious level of enthusiasm and dedication. This is one of the world’s top hotels; there is no room for error and watching those talented chefs hard at work was really inspirational.

Afternoon tea master class at Claridge's, London Afternoon tea master class at Claridge's, London

The day ended on a perfect note: a decadent champagne Afternoon Tea in The Foyer all to live music but that’s a different blog post for a different day. Whilst the Afternoon Tea Master Classes aren’t available year-round, Afternoon Tea is. I had such a memorable time and highly recommend it to those who enjoy beautiful surroundings, good food and great service. I’ll certainly be back! The perfect way to get back into my London life. 

Claridge’s Hotel
Brook Street
Mayfair
W1K 4HR
+44 (0)20 7629 8860

26 Comments

  1. 19 January 2012 / 17:44

    Finger licking good. Yummmo!

  2. 19 January 2012 / 18:00

    Oh my word!!! That looks amazing!!! I would love to learn how to make macaroons – mine are always dreadful! 🙂 x

  3. Sarah
    20 January 2012 / 07:48

    Wow!! That all look amazing! I love a mille feuille, I just have no idea how I should politely eat one….I am dying to try a rose macaron after all the ravings I’ve heard from, well everyone!!
    Can’t wait til our tea(s)!!

  4. 20 January 2012 / 16:08

    Are you kidding me?!!! You lucky little duckling! How fun does this look! And your fav Rose macarons! How happy are you to be back in London?!!!
    XO
    Sam

  5. 21 January 2012 / 02:25

    How lucky you are to have experienced this! It looks heavenly.

    • Milla
      Author
      22 January 2012 / 11:38

      I cannot explain how exciting it was Anne, to see the staff hard at work and to learn how to make some of my favourite things: such a treat!

  6. 21 January 2012 / 08:41

    Oh definitely worth it, I just about melted wanting to eat those wonderful macaroons.. I need to take on more experiences like this for sure.

    Thank you for your comment, I am hopefully going to get all the details on my show in London this upcoming week. When I find out the details I will for sure post all the information on my blog as well and tweet away.

    I am so happy that you want to come 🙂 I would love your advice as well on some cool hot spots, etc. this will be my first trip to London and beyond excited!!!

    Happy weekend darling!

    Leigh

    • Milla
      Author
      22 January 2012 / 11:41

      When you visit London, I recommend making a reservation for Afternoon Tea here. So good!

      Your first trip to London? Exciting. I’ll check your blog next week for the exhibition details and feel free to email me if you need any London tips.

      Happy Sunday!

      x

  7. 22 January 2012 / 22:38

    Remind me never to enter a baking competition with you…!!! xx

    • Milla
      Author
      30 January 2012 / 10:07

      Something tells me we’re far more interested in eating cake than baking it!

  8. 23 January 2012 / 01:10

    Wow what an incredible experience!!! The photos are gorgeous and thanks for the lesson on the macaron meringues. I had no idea 🙂 xoxo

    • Milla
      Author
      30 January 2012 / 10:06

      Glad you enjoyed it!

      x

  9. 23 January 2012 / 09:51

    £170 well spent, Milla! Everything look so delicious, and your photography has improved yet again! Lovely angles and compositions here.

    Btw how do you eat such huge macarons? I don’t think I’ll be able to bite into it lol.

    • Milla
      Author
      30 January 2012 / 10:00

      Merci beaucoup, I learnt from the best!

      You have to use a miniature fork, otherwise it is impossible 🙂

  10. 1 February 2012 / 11:57

    Wow! Amazing experience! Very lucky, girl 😉

    • Milla
      Author
      2 February 2012 / 10:03

      You should go there if you visit London.

  11. 2 February 2012 / 03:47

    Oh my goodness what an experience! I always wonder how much work goes into these little pastries at tea and well now I know! Certified afternoon tea addict for sure. I seriously think you need to write a guide!!

    • Milla
      Author
      2 February 2012 / 09:36

      Now there’s a thought… Claridge’s was divine SOTC, just pure bliss!

  12. CinZilicious
    4 February 2012 / 15:36

    Oh wow, that macaron looks delish! My favorite macaron flavor is Rose too, and i think i saw that rose petal layered macaron in Laduree before or it must have been somewhere else? And i’m not surprised that you took over 40 images because im the same, haha. I can take gazillion pics of one object if i find it really beautiful=D

    From what you described, the experience sounds fun and interesting. I would definitely go there to high tea if i get a chance.

    I’ve not heard of Claridge Hotel or Mariage Frères tea so thanks for sharing (yep,where have i been!?! lol). I always take away something when i read your blog=) Thx!

    Hope you have a superb weekend Milla!!!!

    Cinz

    • Milla
      Author
      7 February 2012 / 18:06

      Get Googling! I’m surprised at the number of people who haven’t heard of Claridge’s, but then again, it is very discreet. The setting is very unique and there is absolutely nothing I can fault about the places. Let’s go there and eat rose macarons together.

      x

  13. heather
    14 February 2012 / 10:21

    hi milla, i finally got around to making the scones from the recipe book they gave us – they were brilliant, so light and delicate! Really easy to make and they freeze well – just warm them up again in a 170 degree c oven for 8-10 mins after they have been out 20 mins to defrost while you preheat the oven. Mille fieulle and macaroons next! Hope all’s well with you x

    • Milla
      Author
      17 February 2012 / 16:10

      Hello Heather,

      Nice to hear from you. That’s great! I plan to use the do a twist on the recipe this weekend and will blog it later in the week. I haven’t quite built up the courage to try the macarons yet, but the mille feuille is going to be my next dinner party dessert. Let me know how you get on.

      M
      x

  14. 27 August 2012 / 18:59

    ah….now more things to add to my list of things to do next london visit! 🙂

    • Not Just Another Milla
      17 September 2012 / 10:37

      Have you been to Claridges Bar? I believe it is calling your name…

      • 17 September 2012 / 10:41

        i haven’t, but it’s on my list now! 🙂

        • Not Just Another Milla
          17 September 2012 / 12:12

          Have you been to the Light Bar at the St Martin’s Lane hotel? Lovely martinis. I need to compile a list for you 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *