On Saturday Lorna and I spent a wonderful morning at One Aldwych hotel in London with five other ladies, participating in an afternoon tea masterclass led by Head Chef Dominic Teague.
|One Aldwych Afternoon Tea Masterclass|
Photo from website
The morning started with breakfast in the Lobby Bar where we indulged in tea and coffee, fresh pastries and fruit while we got to know the group and also Dominic. The session was going to be a relaxed affair with as much or as little participation as we each wanted. After we had finished breakfast we were led down into the main hotel kitchen just behind the Axis Restaurant.
In the kitchen we were each presented with a One Aldwych apron, and asked whether we wanted any drinks...we could have tea, coffee, orange juice, a glass of bucks fizz or a glass of champagne. Now this was something that I wasn't expecting, and I have to say it was a lovely touch. We then all gathered around and watched as Dominic and his Pastry Chef led us through three afternoon tea recipes.
Dominic described each step as he went through the recipes, answering questions and letting us see into the various bowls and pans as he went. As he got to the end of each item, we all had the chance to participate.
To begin with we made vanilla and blackberry macaroons. Once the filling and the macaroon batter was made, we got to pipe macaroons onto large sheets under the watchful eye of Dominic and his Pastry Chef. It was great to get professional piping tips as we went along. Once these were baked we got to match up the halves, and add the blackberry and chocolate filling.
|Some macaroons got a bit squashed...|
the bubbles may or may not have helped!
|My finished vanilla and blackberry macaroons!|
I was so pleased with how mine turned out...the most professional looking macaroons I have ever made!
Next we made eclairs that were filled with a chocolate creme pat, and dipped in a chocolate glaze. Again, Dominic showed us how to make all the elements required, and once the batter was ready we piped our own eclairs.
|An action shot! Eclairs in the making!|
Once backed we filled them and dipped them ourselves........
|Eclairs being filled!|
Finally we made fig tarts with a sweet pastry....something I have never attempted before.
|An action shot of|
During the whole time we were in the kitchen Dominic was very friendly and attentive, even though the kitchen was preparing for the lunchtime and afternoon tea service. We were also offered drinks throughout our entire experience.
Once everything was made, filled and dipped we moved into the Axis Restaurant with Dominic, to enjoy afternoon tea. We enjoyed a selection of sandwiches and warm scones, with our tea and glass of bubbles.
|One Aldwych afternoon tea sandwiches|
|Fresh scones - dressed the Tea With Me and Friends way!|
Then we got to sample some of the items we had made......
|The sweet treats that I finished!|
It was wonderful to see our own creations served!
All in all I had a wonderful time, I met some lovely people and got some great tips to take home to my own kitchen. Spending time with a professional chef and watching them in action is a brilliant experience and I would highly recommend this experience for anyone who is interested in baking for afternoon teas. We all left with a box of our sweet treats, the apron and also recipe cards so we could recreate the treats at home.
The masterclass costs £150 each, but I feel this was good value as we did eat and drink a lot, and we spent a lot of time with Dominic. Anyone expecting a full on baking class should look elsewhere however, given the amount of time we had we covered a lot, but Dominic did most of the work! This experience is also great as people with any skill level will enjoy it.
If you haven't see the One Aldwych afternoon tea yet....it's based on Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and is creative, fun and very scrummy! Read the Tea With Me and Friends review here.
|One Aldwych Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Afternoon Tea|
(photo from website)
To find out more about the afternoon tea masterclass pop by the One Aldwych website.
Also, pop back to our blog later this week to find out more about Head Chef Dominic Teague in our "Meet the Chef" series.
I'd like to thank Chef Dominic for his time on Saturday, Lorna and I had a fab time and we will be putting our skills to the test creating an Easter afternoon tea for our friends!
Thank you for popping by today,
Rachel and Lorna