This weekend Lorna and I were lucky enough to be invited to sample the Blue Boar afternoon tea at the Intercontinental Westminster, we dined as their guests and I have to say we had a really wonderful time. Tucked away behind Parliament Square, we probably wouldn't have found this hotel by ourselves and so we were very pleased to be introduced to this hidden gem.
We spent the afternoon in The Lounge, which was a contemporary space full of pretty flower arrangements - a very elegant place to enjoy tea. We were looked after by Michael, who incidentally agreed with Lorna when it comes to the great scone debate! Not only did Michael have good taste when it came to scone dressing, he also knew his teas pretty well and made some very good recommendations from the tea menu. During the afternoon we were entertained by a harpist, playing an assortment of different songs.
We began the afternoon with chilled champagne - which is always a wonderful start to afternoon tea, and as we enjoyed we were presented with the three tiers that would make up our afternoon of treats. Michael explained each plate, telling us each filling or flavour. Then the feast began with the bottom tier - the freshly made sandwiches. Our choice included cream cheese and cucumber, salmon, beef and horseradish and ham and mustard - all on super soft bread. We were offered seconds, but for once we remembered not to over indulge in the savouries and agreed it was time for scones.
The sandwich plate was cleared and out came another plate containing our scones which I'm pleased to report were served warm, wrapped in white linen. The scones were perfectly proportioned, we had one plain and one fruit each. We were given clotted cream, traditional strawberry jam and wonderfully tart lemon curd to dress our scones in.
After the scones we started on the next tier up and enjoyed a small slice of fruit cake and an eccles cake. Like the scones, these were perfectly sized which allowed us to sample more delights than if they had been bigger. Flavour wise the fruit cake was delicious, but unfortunately it was a little dry.....however this was our only criticism of the whole experience. I really enjoyed the eccles cake, which had a butter rich pastry shell.
Finally we'd made our way to the top tier....in some people's opinion the best tier....yes folks it was the sweet plate - full of miniature sweet delights! This plate contained a wonderful jelly flavoured with pimms, a chocolate and cherry slice, a peach and thyme cake, a white chocolate teacake and Lorna's favourite bit - the tastiest raspberry macaroon!
Again we were offered seconds of the wonderful sweet treats, we opted for a couple of extras....well it would be rude not to! All of this was served on the prettiest china, plain white with a doily-like pattern. If the hotel ever wanted to sell this off I would be first in line to purchase some for my collection!
All in all this was a really good tea, everything was fresh and very tasty and all the staff were friendly and helpful. We'd like to thank both the Blue Boar and the Intercontinental Westminster for inviting us to sample their afternoon tea and for their hospitality.
Thanks for popping by today,
Rachel & Lorna