Today is the official start to Afternoon Tea Week, and if like me you are partial to finger sandwiches, a round of scones and a glass of Champagne alongside an array of cakes then this is the week more than ever to celebrate. I was invited to the Park Room at the Grosvenor House by Buyagift to enjoy their Afternoon Tea, named after Anna, the 7th Duchess of Bedford who is understood to be responsible for starting the ritual of Afternoon Tea in the early 1800s.
Upon arriving at the gorgeous Park Room, which has lovely views overlooking Royal Hyde Park, we were greeted by Katherine who told us a little about the background of the hotel. Did you know that the Great Room was originally built as an ice rink and is where the Queen learnt how to skate when she was just 7 years old. The Park Room was awarded a Highly Commended certificate at the Afternoon Tea Awards 2018 in recognition of its high quality Afternoon Tea service.
We were given a bit of time to look over the menu, which includes the story of Anna, the extensive list of teas on offer and the option they have for children as well. They cater really well for dietary requirements, with the waitress personally asking each of us at the tea for any allergies or intolerances, and they were able to cover my nut allergy, two vegetarians and a vegan in our group.
We started with five finger sandwiches; Cucumber with garden mint butter, Smoked Oakham Chicken with Tarragon and Creme Fraiche, Roast Aberdeen Angus Beef with Creamed Horseradish, Honey Roast Yorkshire Ham with Coleman’s English Mustard, and North Atlantic Cold Water Prawns with classic Marie Rose sauce. Personally I’m not a fan of cucumber so I didn’t try that sandwich, although it didn’t go to waste with another girl at the table helping me out, but I enjoyed the rest of the sandwiches so much that I had a second of each when they were brought back round.
There was also the option of two open sandwiches; Foreman’s Smoked Scottish Salmon with cream cheese, and Burford brown Clarence Court Egg with mayonnaise and chive, but I don’t eat salmon and the egg one just didn’t take my fancy but they went down very well with the rest of the group. Whilst everyone else was tucking into the open sandwiches I made my way on to the scones, which had the option of Plain or Raisin, with six different offerings of jam. That’s right an incredible six different flavours; Strawberry, Raspberry, Blackcurrant, Gooseberry, Rhubarb and Ginger, and Rose Petal. So exotic!
The final and most exciting part of Afternoon Tea has to be the desserts, and not just for the flavours but I love the excitement of seeing what each piece will look like as they are always the most creative part of the dining experience. There were five different pastries; Ginger Curd with Passionfruit Coulis, Green Apple and Coriander Mousse, Trio of Chocolate Ring, Lemon Myrtle and Raspberry Pavlova, and the final one for me had to be swapped out for a fruit skewer but would have been a Milk Chocolate, Almond and Banana Sponge. My favourite was the Green Apple and Coriander Mousse, which I was quite apprehensive about trying as coriander in a dessert didn’t sit well with me, but the flavour combination really worked and I thought it was delicious.
The whole meal was washed down with a glass of Perrier-Jouet Champagne, as despite being an Afternoon Tea fan I’m sorry to say I don’t actually drink tea but the Champagne was lovely. My favourites overall would have to be the Prawn sandwich which I absolutely devoured in a few seconds flat, the plain scone and the Apple and Coriander Mousse. The environment was lovely , the staff were ever so attentive and knowledgable on both the hotel and the Afternoon Tea, the company was great and I just had the best time and I’m so grateful to Buyagift and the Grosvenor for letting me have this experience. You can have as great a time as I did by visiting the Buyagift Afternoon Tea Week page where they are currently offering 20% off all Afternoon Teas.
All photos taken using the iPhone 8