Top 5: Chocolate Afternoon Teas for National Chocolate WeekBy Alicia Grimshaw
If you’re a fan of afternoon tea – you’re in for a treat. Restaurants and hotels across the city are celebrating National Chocolate Week by specially creating chocolate afternoon teas. We’ve eaten our way through endless scones (jam or cream first?) to find London’s best. Happy munching, London:
What: The Landmark London is a five star hotel found in Marylebone. They create some of the best afternoon teas around (they’ve won numerous awards for theirs) and the new chocolate afternoon tea is no exception. Set within the surrounds of their grand Winter Garden, an eight storey glass roofed atrium – their indulgent tea includes a cracking selection of chocolatey sweet treats.
Why: Although this afternoon tea has been specially curated for National Chocolate Week, The Landmark London is still sticking to tradition. Tuck into finger sandwiches filled with organic egg mayonnaise and mustard cress, free range corn fed chicken with tarragon crème fraiche, Lapsang Souchong smoked salmon and the crowd pleasing cucumber sarnie. The sweet selection is chocolate heaven – coconut and chocolate macaroons, banana pecan nut and milk chocolate cake, cranberry blood orange and dark chocolate mousse and pistachio and chocolate opera gateau. Not forgetting that they also serve warmed chocolate chip and fruit peel scones with Cornish clotted cream. Absolute perfection.
Where: 222 Marylebone Rd, London NW1 6JQ
What: Harvey Nichols explores the Art of Scent and celebrates National Chocolate Week with an afternoon tea with a rather, you guessed it – chocolatey twist. Harvey Nicholas have teamed up with expert and ground breaking chocolatier Paul A. Young, who has created an afternoon tea combining unusual and unlikely flavours to tantalise the taste buds.
Eat: Paul A. Young has devised a menu that no afternoon tea lover will be disappointed with. Up for grabs in the savoury section is a trio of sandwiches – roast beef and horseradish, cucumber, poppy seed and mascarpone and a daring but delicious savoury chocolate ganache and gorgonzola sandwich (so wrong, yet so right). Sticking with tradition, mini fruit scones with jam and clotted cream sit alongside mini brown sugar scones with salted caramel and clotted cream. If that’s not enough, dig into sweetly scented treats of Moroccan spiced chocolate pots, a fragrant rose crunch cake, chocolate pecan tart and carrot and chocolate chip cake with coconut infused frosting. After this lot, you’ll be rolling home.
Where: 109-125 Knightsbridge, Knightsbridge, London SW1X 7RJ
What: The chocolate afternoon tea at The Langham London brings together exceptional chocolate and freshly made pastries. Executive Pastry Chef, Cherish Finden, and her team has specially created a bespoke chocolate ‘No150’ which exclusively launched at the hotel to commemorate the 150th anniversary of Europe’s first ‘Grand Dame’ hotel in 2015.
Eat: Each individual pastry contains different elements of cocoa to entice the palette and blend together to celebrate the very best of chocolate, combining sugar and spice whilst ensuring that the content of ingredients is fully balanced. Don’t think the pastries here are rich or sickly, they’re an absolute taste sensation. Roasted pistachio white chocolate mousseline with raspberry is served alongside Masala bubble tea with Langham chocolate agar, the Langham N°150 opera slice is served with espresso reduction, a Langham chocolate Mikado arrives with yuzu dome and finally the Langham N°150 praline Chantilly is served with caramel crunchy pearl.
Where: 1C Regent St, Marylebone, London W1B 1JA
Eat: The chocoholic afternoon tea embraces the classic English tradition with a contemporary twist. Choose from a range of speciality loose leaf teas to kick things off (champers is also available if you fancy a boozy afternoon). To start is sandwiches, obviously – cucumber cream cheese and sun dried tomato, Wiltshire ham and wholegrain mustard cream and egg mayonnaise and watercress. To finish, nibble on homemade scones with clotted cream and jam and the Chef’s selection of chocolate petit fours.
What: The Bulgari Hotel & Residences, London, have created every chocolate-lovers dream afternoon tea. If you’re a chocolate fan, this afternoon tea is going to be right up your street. Pastry chef Alexandre Talpaert has created an all-chocolate experience, offering up an array of luxurious pastries perfect for anyone who loves a slice of good ol’ chocolate cake.