I’M not going to deny it, I love to have my posh moments. I love the feeling of belonging to another world for a couple of hours, a world that will never be mine but of which I enjoy getting a taste of every now and then.
For a couple of hours, you can step into a bubble where people look after you, take care of the most insignificant detail and make sure you don’t lack of anything. Nothing matters anymore, the only thing you have to do is…relax. You’re the princess, enjoy!
The ridiculous percentage of representatives of the masculine gender – staff members excluded – amongst the pampered and gossiping ladies gives a good picture of what an afternoon Tea is made for: a moment for ladies looking for quality time with their friends.
And that’s exactly what The Lanesborough aims to do: offering a two-hour break of delicious pastries and sandwiches in a Crème de la crème atmosphere… And what a delightful crème!
The savoury treats were tasty, refreshing, a perfect “Mise en Bouche” for our special afternoon. We were served goats cheese and red onion quiches, cucumber sandwiches, sandwiches filled with chicken and sun dried tomato paste and egg filled brioche rolls.
The scones were crispy and yet fluffy, beautifully enhanced by an absolutely delicious strawberry jam, along with clotted cream and lemon curd.
Each pastry was an expression of creativity with such true deep flavours that you hardly dare touch them. We treated ourselves to a very dense and quite heavy Chocolate financier, a carrot and nut cake and a lemon financier followed by a meringue and gingernut confection and a slice of cake made of a cream cheese filling with a fruity topping.
The experience wouldn’t have been complete without the delicious and fruity Rose of the Orient tea described as “a blend of some of the Worlds finest green teas including Sencha, Gunpowder, China Wu Lu and Pai Mu Tan flavoured with Jasmine, cornflower blossoms and rose buds”.
Tea not usually being my cup of …tea, I have to admit that I truly enjoyed this one and I understand now why Karl Kessab, the tea sommelier, was awarded by the UK Tea Council, the ‘Award of Excellence’ in 2009 and ‘London’s best afternoon tea’ award the year before.
The Lanesborough has the power to take you away from the difficulties and responsibilities of life. That afternoon took me back to my childhood when I used to play with my mini kitchenware, making tea for my dolls. It reminded me of a book by La Comtesse de Segur, who’s stories were about the unlucky Sophie who desperately tries to organise an afternoon Tea for her dolls…(before everything went wrong)
Time has passed and I’ve now grown up. The dolls have been replaced by fabulous and real foods, the cups are filled with proper tea and the scones aren’t made of plastic. But for a few hours, what a pleasure it was to be back in my dreams…where everything is good and beautiful. Because, what would be life without dreams?
Heat the oven at 180°C/gas 6
Whisk the eggs, caster sugar and vanilla sugar until white.
Add the flour and the baking powder.
Add the melted butter and the orange blossom.
Drop a small tablespoon of the batter into the centre of each prepared mould and add a teaspoon of Nutella and cover with some more batter.
Bake the madeleine for 8/9 mn until the edges are golden brown and the centres spring back when lightly touched.
Do not overbake or they will be dry.
Hyde Park Corner
London SW1X 7TA
020 7259 5599