It is my favourite time of year when the Christmas lights are being switched on all over London, everyone is joyous and pastry chefs are at their most festive, creating some pretty fantastic Afternoon Teas for us to all get in to the holiday spirit.
One of the hotels where I have visited every season to experience their Afternoon Tea offering is JW Marriott Grosvenor House, and this festive season they have a superb Nutcracker Themed Afternoon Tea, which I was grateful to have previewed.
As I entered the Park Room, the beautiful venue for Afternoon Tea at the hotel, I felt a bit like the Sugar Plum Fairy, and was greeted by this Nutcracker Figurine. The Christmas decor is spectacular with bauble arches and lots of Nutcracker Themed fare all around.
Starting with a glass of fizz, I perused the extensive Tea selection and decided on my standard choice – Lemon and Ginger.
As is with tradition at JW Marriott Grosvenor House, you get an Amuse Bouche, which is seasonal, and this one was Peach, lemongrass and orange with candy floss on top.
Then arrived the pièce de résistance – the three tiered stand full of Nutcracker themed joy!
I had opted for a Vegetarian selection of sandwiches of which I got a rather generous portion!
There is a full Vegan version of the Nutcracker Afternoon Tea available and having had a nose at it, I can confirm it looks superb!
The classic selection of finger sandwiches are a selection Cucumber and garden mint butter, Smoked Oakham chicken, tarragon and crème fraîche, Roast Aberdeen Angus beef and creamed horseradish, Honey roast Yorkshire ham with Coleman’s English mustard and a North Atlantic cold water prawn with a classic Marie Rose sauce.
You can have as many refills as you wish as well as pick from the Open Sandwiches on offer.
The scones were divine, with a choice of Plain and Raisin Buttermilk Scones served with a splendid array of Devonshire clotted cream accompanied with a choice of British preserves from Strawberry, rose petal, rhubarb and ginger, gooseberry, raspberry and blackcurrant. Much more than a standard offering!
Now the best bit – the bit I always leave for last – the top tier!
All themed from The Nutcracker, we have The Nutcracker as a Hazelnut chocolate and Devon cream tart, The Sugar Plum Fairy represented by a Plum cheesecake with raspberry gel, The Angels showcased by a William pear cream in white chocolate, The Spanish Dancers and the Arabian with a Honey chocolate mousse and finally The Danish Shepherdess depicted by a Mandarin and almond sponge with redcurrant.
Whilst you indulge in these incredible pastries, you are serenaded by the most amazing pianist belting out Disney classics and other favourites.
I truly think the JW Marriott Grosvenor House are feeders as they don’t let you leave without picking more cake from a beautiful display in the centre of the room. They even offer to pack it up for you to enjoy later! This is such a lovely touch and those cakes are scrumptious!
I love the Pastry Chef’s interpretation of The Nutcracker in his creative selection of pastries and it is definitely a top Afternoon Tea to get you into the holiday spirit.
It is also right on theme as the Birmingham Royal Ballet returns to London’s Royal Albert Hall with their spectacular family-friendly production of The Nutcracker and so if you are looking for festive activities why not combine the two!
Champagne Afternoon Tea with a glass of Perrier-Jouët Grand Brut is £65.50 and you can book here: https://www.parkroom.co.uk/make-a-reservation