As we sat down for an afternoon of culinary indulgence courtesy of the Intercontinental Park Lane, our waiter set the scene as he spritzed our surroundings with Floris scents, created by Perfumer Nicola Pozzani, to commence our afternoon tea of the senses. With plush surroundings, chic white floral arrangements, a Park Lane view and good company, what more could a lady desire?
Bright summer sandwiches of rose pickled cucumber with mascarpone, (my favourite) salmon and bergamot in lemon bread followed by peppercorn and thyme chicken and honey roast pumpkin with feta on spinach bread all helped along with a touch of rosé champagne, as suggested by our French waiter. As a purist, I tend to scare easily at non-traditional combinations but they worked. The bread was particularly light and the flavour delicate.
Another spritz of a different scent and it was scone time: warm, buttermilk scones served clotted cream but that was where the tradition ended. Instead, infusing a quintessential British flavour – Earl Grey – with butter was served in addition to heavenly pink peppercorn lemon curd (we asked for an extra serving) and wild strawberry jam. All devoured with a pot of Assam tea in elegant porcelain.
Dessert was rather peculiar; this is always my favourite part of a meal but in this case, it felt like sacrilege every time I took a bite! The colours, shapes and sheer array of sweet treats available wowed me. The selection included bergamot and blackcurrant flower macarons (sorry, French people, they really are flowers!), beautiful Jasmine tea cakes garnished with edible flowers and those pebble-like objects were solid milk chocolate with raspberries dotted around to refresh the taste buds. The only disappointing aspect was that the macarons were a tad too sweet.
With all senses perfectly fulfilled, it was time for a photo or two with the hotel’s seasonal flowers, which perfectly matched my pearls. Sadly, the Scents of Summer afternoon is only available until 27th September so book quickly! I wouldn’t mind if the Wellington Lounge kept the dessert platter for a little longer though. And the peppercorn and lemon curd. Maybe the salmon and bergamot sandwiches too. Okay, the entire afternoon tea package.
Wellington Lounge at InterContinental London Park Lane
One Hamilton Place