Welcome to our blog....here we will share all our afternoon tea adventures with you...the good, the bad and the wonderful!

Monday, 24 March 2014

Time for Tea....Hilton London Park Lane

Hello there,

Welcome back to another afternoon tea post from Tea With Me and Friends! I recently indulged in a themed afternoon tea with a difference....as this one featured rather a lot of chocolate!

I ventured into London with my friend Kirsty to try the Chocoholics afternoon tea at Podium Restaurant located in the London Hilton Park Lane. As well as featuring rather a lot of chocolate, the tea is also themed around Pop Art. It's quite an impressive looking afternoon tea....but is there too much style and not enough substance??

Chocoholics Afternoon Tea
Podium Restaurant, London

Now this tea might look wonderful on its modern cake stand....but as you can see it is a rather large stand!

The tea is served on modern, white china and the cake stand is metal and glass. Unfortunately the stand was put in the middle of Kirsty and I on our small table, which meant that it hampered conversation a bit! We rearranged our table in the end, moving the stand to one side so we could see each other again!

Now this tea starts with the savouries....which you'll be pleased to know do not feature any chocolate at all! There is a selection of five open sandwiches served to each person......

Afternoon tea sandwiches
Podium Restaurant

These were quite big really...not your usual dainty finger sandwiches! The bread however was very fresh and the toppings generous. The selection included prawn cocktail, ham and tomato, cream cheese and cucumber, smoked salmon and egg mayonnaise. My favourite sandwich was probably the prawn cocktail, which was rather tasty....closely followed by the cream cheese and cucumber. Both Kirsty and I agreed that the cream cheese was amazing! While we're discussing the savouries I'd like to draw your eye to the egg mayonnaise sandwich on the far right - I have never seen so much egg mayo piled onto a thin piece of bread! It was tasty, but there was far too much of it. It oozed everywhere as you tried to eat it!

Once we finished with the open sandwiches we moved onto the scones, which were served warm on the bottom of the cake stand.....

Afternoon tea scones - with chocolate chips!

Now these were a good size, not too big and not too small...but we were a bit annoyed about the selection on offer...two were chocolate chip, one was plain and one was fruit! We ate one chocolate chip scone each and shared the plain one between us. The scones were a good texture, but to be honest the main attraction here was the toppings. We had traditional clotted cream and strawberry preserve (which was really lovely in texture and flavour) and then the best bit....there was a pot of the most amazing chocolate spread! Not the norm and Lorna will probably raise her eyebrow when she reads this...but I loved it!

After scones we moved up a tier....onto those attractive fruit and chocolate cupcakes.....

Chocolate and fruit cupcakes
Podium Restaurant

Now as you can see there are four very different cupcakes....and two of us.....and no extras provided.....so Kirsty and I had "that conversation" where we decided what each of us would eat. As tea was served we were told that there were boxes available if we wanted to take anything home with us, so we decided to share two of the cupcakes and take the other two home with us. However, cutting them in half in order to share was quite messy!

We tried the chocolate and blueberry cake (aka the purple one in the photo) and the white chocolate and pineapple cake (aka the one behind the purple one in the photo!). Now, if you have ever baked at home with fruit you'll know that you often end up with a bit of a weird texture to your cake. And I'm afraid that's the case here....there is rather a lot of icing on top of the cake (good if you like icing!) and then a rather soggy cake underneath. We could taste the different flavours, but it didn't make up for the odd texture.

We then moved to the top of the cake stand....which is extremely creative and appealing....this is where a lot more chocolate features.....

Chocoholics afternoon tea
Podium Restaurant

Isn't that appealing? But do you see the slight issue again? 

There is a lot of different items.....but only one of each (and no extras)...so again we needed to have "that conversation"! We decided we would continue in the way we started and cut the items in half - making this a very messy experience!

Among other things on this top tier we had a lemon cheesecake, a chocolate and marmalade cake, sable biscuits and a whoopee pie. Those little chocolate balls you can spy in the glass are edible and really rather scrummy....just a little difficult to liberate from the glass!

Some of the flavours in this tea really worked....we loved the chocolate cake with the marmalade which came in the squeezy tube....but other bits weren't so good....the lemon cheesecake had a odd taste to it and I couldn't tell you what flavour whoopee pie we had.

Chocoholics afternoon tea

This afternoon tea is served throughout the week and weekend and costs £32.50 per person or £40.50 per person if you fancy a glass of bubbles with your afternoon tea. Its a busy restaurant and so was quite noisy when we first arrived, but we soon got used to that. There was also live music provided in the form of a singer with a guitar.

If I am honest I think this afternoon tea looks amazing, but it doesn't all taste that good. It's also a little disappointing that there are so many exciting looking items and only one of each - if you don't like sharing your food you will miss out on items. I also found it a very messy experience, with lots of chocolate cream. I also wish there were less items, but duplicates of them.

On the plus side, the chocolate isn't over powering - more a nice theme running through the feast, and therefore it can probably be enjoyed by chocoholics and non-chocoholics alike!

For more information about the chocoholics afternoon tea, pop by the Podium Restaurant website.

Thank you for popping by today,
Square Meal

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