As a coffee lover, when I was invited to experience the High Coffee in collaboration with L’Unico Caffé Musetti, at the InterContinental London Park Lane, in their gorgeous Wellington Lounge I was intrigued. The menu has been devised to complement a variety of different especially chosen coffees ranging from single origin smooth, honey coffees, a rare new Gold Cuvée blend, to blackcurrant, nutty, candied lemon blends, all from Gran Cru coffee plantations. It is such a great alternative to the traditional Afternoon Tea and I love the idea! I have experienced an Afternoon Tea at the hotel last year which was exemplary, so I knew I was in for a real treat.
My friend and I sat at a lovely table by the window on a gorgeous sunny day, which was the perfect spot for people watching, and we began the afternoon with a Salted Caramel Espresso Martini each, which was absolutely divine, and quite possibly the best way to kick of an afternoon of indulgence!
We had both opted for the vegetarian selection, and so first to arrive was a vibrant and colourful selection of open sandwiches, beautifully presented, and which were a variety of Roasted eggplant, celeriac and sweet pepper remoulade on buttermilk bread, Heirloom tomato caprese, watercress pesto on a mixed olive roll and a Slow cooked baby beetroot, pickled red onion and caper aioli on a beetroot brioche roll. There was no need to fight over who had what as we each got a plate to ourselves, which was lovely.
They were all so lovely but if I had to pick a favourite it would be the roasted eggplant, celeriac and sweet pepper remoulade on buttermilk bread. Scrumptious!
Next arrived a Caffé Freddo, which is like a Chilled Espresso, and was paired with a selection of the most amazing warm savouries. I loved that there were two parts to the savoury selection, and these were really special. We had an English asparagus & thyme open pie, which we were encouraged to eat first, Wild mushroom tumble weed and a Sun blushed tomato spiral on warm piccalilli. They were so so good and the pie was outstanding!
Then we were presented with a palate cleanser, which was a Blood orange and ginger sorbet served in a gorgeous glass on a bed of ice cubes. The ginger was candied ginger, and it was divine. The perfect way to prepare us for the next courses ahead – the sweet selection and the scones!
There was a freshly baked heavenly selection of warm traditional Sultana and buttermilk scones, served with Devon clotted cream and fruity strawberry jam. Scones are always such an exciting part of the experience for me and these were really fabulous, and I am a cream first then jam kind of girl 😉
The desserts were just superb – we were treated to a Hazelnut opera cake, the most sublime Bailey’s chocolate éclair, a Black forest gateaux, a perfect Macaroon with salted caramel and for the ultimate treat and something so unique, a Lemongrass and lime crème brûlée, which was what dreams are made of!
We could pick our own choice of coffee for this course from an Espresso, Latte, Mocha, Macchiato, Cortado, Cappuccino or Canarino. We both opted for the Cappuccino, which was really lovely. It was a lovely long, slow drink that I enjoyed leisurely with the desserts and scones.
The coffee courses didn’t end there. For the finale we had a Signature Caffé Coretto, which is a shot of espresso with a small amount of liquor, usually grappa. I had mine with Baileys, as I LOVE Baileys, whilst my friend had it the traditional way with grappa. It was the perfect way to end a truly fabulous afternoon.
I felt like I learned so much about coffee during this experience as our server was explaining everything ever so well and, guiding us with which item to start with so as to get the most out of each pairing. High Coffee is such a fantastic idea! It was wonderful and I learned that it’s actually been really popular in Australia, where it was first pioneered by the InterContinental hotel group. I am so glad that it is now available in London, as for coffee lovers like me, it is superb, and a great offering for something different to the traditional tea. In true InterContinental hotel group standards, it was exquisite!
The High Coffee costs £42 per person and served between 1pm and 5pm. If you would like to find out more, you can visit their website here.