I hope you're having a tea-riffic day!
Yesterday Lorna and I indulged in an afternoon tea with a difference at St Martins Lane hotel, London. We were there to try the Cafecito afternoon tea at Asia de Cuba, a sweet and savoury feast with both Asian and Cuban influences.
In the modern surroundings of Asia de Cuba, with Cuban music playing in the background, our tea was served on wonderfully quirky bespoke china.
|Quirky china at Asia di Cuba's afternoon tea|
As you arrive each diner is presented with a cigar box full of the utensils required for your tea, and you are told that you will need to make just four choices during your whole experience....and all of these are drink related!
Inside the box is your knife and fork, a beautiful tea strainer and your menu.....
|Inside the cigar box......|
Afternoon tea is served in two parts, with the savoury items being served first and the sweet only served when you are finished with the savoury. Each "course" comes with a different tea.
Our first decision of the afternoon was whether or not we wanted a cocktail to begin our experience. There were three different cocktails on offer, and our waiter gave a recommendation of which one he liked best.
Of course we decided it would be rude not to try a beautifully crafted cocktail to compliment our afternoon tea! I opted for the fruity "Passionate About Tea" (a rum based cocktail) and Lorna went with the recommendation of the waiter and enjoyed an "Old Cuban Martini". Both were very tasty!
We also had to decide which of three teas to enjoy with our savoury course. There was an Iron Buddha, a Dragon Well and a smokey Lapsang. Lorna went with the Dragon Well and I tried the Lapsang. The teas were served in modern, glass teapots.
|A fruity cocktail and a pot of smokey tea!|
The first course was then served....a fruity smoothie to begin and then a wonderful selection of savoury items all served on a very quirky stand.......
|The first course at Asia de Cuba|
- the savoury selection!
As regular readers will know, both Lorna and I have quite sweet teeth and so you might be surprised to know how much we enjoyed this first course. Among the delicious items were a BBQ pulled pork and Swiss cheese pressed sandwich, a chicken and avocado spring roll and savoury scones served with Mojito butter.
|A closer look at some of those savoury afternoon tea items!|
The flavours were all rather delicious, and there was a great selection of items. It was also rather nice to enjoy the smokey tea with these savoury items.
The scones that we were served may have looked small, but they were light inside and full of flavour. One was flavoured with onion and the other with herbs. Both went very well with the Mojito butter.
Once we had finished the savoury items, the china was cleared and we were asked to pick the next tea to go with our sweet treats. This time the teas were lighter and included a caramel Oolong, a Lychee Red and a Vanilla Black tea.
The sweet selection was then brought out on a cute little platter......
|The sweet treats!|
The platter included the most amazing Mexican doughnuts which were filled with a butterscotch sauce. They were served warm, and melted in your mouth - completely scrummy! We also enjoyed a mini key lime pie topped with a light meringue, warm banana spring rolls and a delicious chili chocolate cream (the waiter recommended dipping the banana into the chocolate cream and I can confirm that this was a wonderful combination!).
Although there was only a small selection of sweet treats, everything was perfectly proportioned and you weren't left feeling hungry.
I had originally made this reservation for myself, Lorna and a friend as we were celebrating our friend's Birthday. The Birthday girl had to cancel, but rather embarrassingly I forgot to tell the restaurant and we were presented with two more scrummy doughnuts and a Birthday message!
|Wonderful service at Asia de Cuba|
We owned up straight away, and luckily the waiter found it quite funny! Secretly we were quite pleased to be able to indulge in another one of those doughnuts each!
You finally end your afternoon tea experience with one last decision as you are offered either a sweet espresso shot or one of two fruity palate cleaners.
This afternoon tea experience costs £25.00 per person, or if like us you fancy a cocktail too, it will cost you £35.00 each. I think this is great value for the selection of food and drink on offer.
The waiting staff were all very friendly, and knowledgeable - offering advice where appropriate. The surroundings were modern, but comfortable.
All in all this was a lovely way to spend the afternoon, and we really enjoyed this afternoon tea.
Have you tried an afternoon tea with a difference? If so we'd love to hear about!
Thanks for popping by today,