An afternoon tea review right after my last three
million posts about giving up sugar? What can I say? I like to keep you on your toes. The fact is, I do consider myself to have given up regular sugar permanently, but I’m still open to special occasions. And such a one was a weekend break of fun with a good friend, which included cashing in a Time Out deal for a special Italian twist on afternoon tea at the Pelham.
My friend, K, had been here before for a post-Christmas detox tea, so it seems themed teas are a regular occurrence. The listed value for the afternoon tea in question was £60 for two, similar to the usual Champagne Afternoon Tea, but we paid about half that through the deals site. The setting is the very pretty, tastefully retro Bistro Fifteen, complete with striped wallpaper, mint green chairs, a library corner and dotty Laura Ashley teacups.
The deal included the near obligatory glass of prosecco, which we duly sipped at happily. The server was a bit out of sorts, I think, as she just asked ‘what would you like, English breakfast or Earl Grey?’ and it was only on asking if there were other options that it turned out there was a whole tea menu.
The teas are provided by Camellia’s Tea House – do visit the one in Kingly Court if you can – and included infuriating titles such as Skinny Bitch (ugh!) alongside much more appealing options such as White Peony and a classic white jasmine – no oolong though, more’s the pity.
I opted for the White Peony, and K had Beautiful Skin, a greener infusion of dandelion, chickweed and other vaguely mint-scented options. The server then brought the food and dashed off without telling us what was on it, but we quickly worked out most of it and then eavesdropped on our neighbours to work out the rest.
At base were two sizeable and filling prosciutto-stuffed ciabatta rolls, a strange but tasty fried, lemony raviolo of some sort each and four warm, flaky, raisin-studded scones topped with a drippy glaze of marmalade and a garnish of pistachio powder. Clotted cream and jam were provided too, tucked alongside what was described to the neighbouring table as a mango macaron (but tasted for all the world like orange – either way it was chewy and delicious), a tiny chocolate cup filled with custard and topped with a blueberry and a raspberry and a small, super sweet white and milk chocolate pot. Finally there was a spiced biscuit each and beautifully bitter chocolate biscotti.
Though most things looked small and delicate, the scones were extremely filling and the biscotti generously sized and rich, so by the end we were seriously stuffed. Topping up hot water for a second round of tea, we relaxed in the very pretty and relaxed surroundings, surprising November sunshine peering in through the basement windows from the South Kensington street outside. It was lovely to then stroll over to the V&A, my favourite place in London and somewhere K had never been.
K would still be glad to go back to the Pelham again after her second visit, and I was certainly impressed and would be interested to see what other twists on a classic theme they might offer. I’m not sure I’d be too keen to splash out the full amount for a regular afternoon tea, as it is rather a lot even without fizz (£24.50 per person), but the plain cream tea of scones and tea at £10.50 would be worth it for the setting.
Nothing to declare here as everything was paid for by us as stated – simply writing it up because it was fun and I enjoyed it.