The Intercontinental Park Lane is a stunning hotel with wonderful views of Hyde Park corner from the beautiful Wellington lounge, where you can totally people watch whilst relaxing with a glass of chilled Moët et Chandon in your hand.
On a Sunday afternoon, we were reviewing the Chocolate Afternoon Tea, which is in collaboration with Paul A Young, master chocolatier. I already knew just from the outset that the Afternoon Tea promised to be something unique and out there, having had a chocolate masterclass with Paul earlier in the year.
A dashing man poured us glasses of champagne, which was very welcome. Sundays are for relaxing and I can’t think of a better way than with a glass of bubbly in hand!
The waiter recommended, and then brought over our first tea, a second flush Darjeeling, which was just gorgeous. He explained that it was a match for the savoury treats, which were on their way shortly, and that the flavours of the tea would bring out the various flavours in the flat breads.
We were already loving the experience by this point as we had never had teas recommended to us during an Afternoon Tea before and having the right tea really does make a difference to the flavours of the food. It also removes that awkward decision of choosing a tea enabling you to fully relax.
While we people watched and chatted, the savoury treats arrived and what treats they were!
The plate was so colourful and he had a generous assortment which included Cucumber and crispy kale on a lemon bread, Mozzarella, Tomato and Pesto on a sourdough bread and keeping in tune with the change of season, a Honey-roasted pumpkin, goats cheese and a sage crisp topping, which was my absolute favourite. I cheekily tried all of these too as there was thoughtfully two of each.
My selection included a Cocoa dusted seared tuna, with orange and fennel salsa, coriander served on rye bread, Roast beef with a white chocolate horseradish cream and baby watercress on a sourdough bread, Smoked salmon with lemon cream cheese on lemon bread and my favourite, Honey roasted pumpkin, red pepper, goat’s cheese and crispy sage served on focaccia bread.
Scones are a sensational part of an Afternoon Tea and these scones were so dreamy! There were Classic scones, served with strawberry jam and clotted cream, and Brown sugar scones, served with salted caramel (YES) and clotted cream.
All I can say is I have never seen scones being devoured so quickly! The waiter explained the 2 different ways of experiencing scones, and I have to say I prefer the Cornish way after trying both. Also may have eaten the remaining salted caramel with a spoon!
With the scones we had a wonderful tea named No 1 Park Lane tea. This was a blend of vanilla and custard, completed with cacao nibs. This is the hotel’s signature tea and it smelt like a dessert and tasted amazing. It was light and delicate and the perfect marriage with the decadent scones.
Then arrived the show stopping finale. Named Chocolate delights, and in tune with Autumn, and invoking a vision of an indulgent forest walk, lots of amazing treats served in a glass tray complete with chocolate soil, leaves and acorns.
This was Paul Young’s genius idea and so as you can imagine it was just AMAZING. We couldn’t get over the presentation and other parties who were having afternoon tea had equal squeals of delight when theirs arrived too.
Hands down, without a doubt, this is one of the best afternoon teas I have experienced in London.
Our selection, served inside a (very on trend) terrarium included an Autumn chocolate sphere, which was sat on top of the glass case, made from 72% Venezuelan chocolate, textured chocolate soil, salted caramelised hazelnuts, blackcurrant, thyme leaves and toasted walnut oil. DREAMY combination. I did save this one to eat for last as it was so pretty and I couldn’t bring myself to spoil it.
With a little bit of a fiery kick was a Bonfire cone with chipotle chili, a sugar ganache, sandalwood, cedar wood and chocolate twigs cocoa nibs. This was so cute and I loved the heat. After my time in Mexico City, I can handle my chilli!
The favourite, and mostly because it resonated with the Indian in me, was the Chocolate water ganache which was a white chocolate and green cardamom ganache filling
served in a half single origin 65% Grenadian Kalingo dark chocolate cocoa pod. Not only did it look stunning, it tasted incredible. Cardamom just went amazingly with the chocolate!
We had this selection with a tea called After Eight, which was mint with chocolate, and just so refreshing and a perfect flavour to combat the heat of the chilli cone.
Literally, I can’t recommend this enough. Especially if you are a chocaholic! It is a refreshing change from the usual afternoon tea and it is an experience in itself which is so worth having!
The limited edition afternoon tea is served in the Wellington Lounge at the Intercontinental Hotel, Park Lane until 20 November 2016.
For more information go to: http://wellington-lounge.co.uk
My afternoon tea was complimentary but all views and photos are my own.