FOOD & DRINK / UNUSUAL AFTERNOON TEA OPTIONS IN LONDON
Afternoon tea is quintessentially English; tea, cake and sandwiches - what’s not to love about that salivating combination? I’ve been lucky enough to have indulged in a variety of London’s afternoon tea options throughout the years but the capital has seen a surge of the more unusual kind over the past few years.
I know some may argue the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” mantra, which to some extent I agree with, you can’t beat a scone smothered in jam and clotted cream. However there are a few places that have won me over with their eccentricities and I thought I’d share them with you:
Ma'Plucker, which is located on the appropriately named Beak Street brings the "deep south to London" with their signature 3-way chicken. The afternoon tea features brioche buns filled with pulled chicken breast and crispy coated chicken with waffles paired with three mini deserts – including a generous slice of homemade cherry pie! They’ve scrapped the traditional teapots and serve up refreshing iced tea. For those wanting to add a little excitement into their afternoon, add some booze to your lemon or cranberry iced tea and enjoy.
To celebrate their partnership with the theatre production of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, One Aldwych hotel has put together an afternoon tea that ol’ Slugworth himself would be tripping over his own feet to taste. It’s an adventure from start to finish; starting with the cocktail which comes out with smoking dry ice and looks like it belongs in a lab, not on a cocktail menu. The experience is split into platters; the savoury platter features tarts, quiches and sandwiches. My favourite part, the sweet stuff, arrives swiftly after and is joyous with treats like rhubarb and custard flavoured candy floss and a mango filled golden egg. Everything is pure perfection.
I’ve been a massive fan of Ethos for years and so when I heard they were bringing out their own version of afternoon tea, I knew I had to try it. Traditional afternoon tea is absolutely delicious but I think we can all admit, it’s not the healthiest of choices… so I was curious to see how Ethos would adapt the classic to make it a touch less calorific. To start comes the array of sandwiches, garnished with beautiful edible flowers, which are filled with ingredients like hummus, guacamole and butterbean. After arrive the scones. I was a bit sceptical to see how they’d replicate the traditional clotted cream but the cashew cream is delicious and works well. The cakes are the real selling point though; a peanut butter bomb, a black bean brownie, a marble cake etc are the winning end to a great vegan / gluten free / all-round-healthier option.