On Saturday Tea With Me and Friends headed back to the Ampersand Hotel in South Kensington to try out their science themed afternoon tea. Pastry Chef Ji sun had mentioned this tea when we visited her earlier this year and we were both keen to try out this imaginative afternoon tea!
If you read about our last visit to The Ampersand in October 2013 you will know that the hotel offers a traditional afternoon tea, a Vegetarian afternoon tea and also a Chef's Special afternoon tea - which always has a wonderful theme. This particular tea is inspired by all things science and features a planet, lots of dinosaurs and a volcano!
On this occasion Lorna and I were joined by our friends Becca and Sheree and most of us decided to indulge in a spot of bubbles to begin our tea! The tea is presented on a three tier cake stand, complete with dry ice (this was Head Chef Chris Goldings fab idea!)
|Science afternoon tea|
I tried to get a good photo of the dry ice as it looks brilliant with the science theme, but it was quite tricky....
|Dry ice really doesn't photo very well!!|
This has to be the most appealing tea that I have set my eyes on this year - its colourful and creative and we all couldn't wait to try out the various sweet items on the top tier! But as we are good afternoon tea goers we started where we are supposed to...at the bottom....
|Savoury gourgeres start the afternoon tea experience at|
the Ampersand Hotel
The bottom tier contained a selection of filled savoury gougeres (savoury choux pastry puffs to you and me) which included Gloucester old spot ham; Cheese with fruit chutney; smoked salmon, dill and cream cheese and my favourite filling Coronation chicken. The savoury selection are made to order and so when served are really fresh - so soggy bottoms here! It also means that if you don't like any of these fillings, you can also pick from the vegetarian selection of fillings.
Once we had demolished these and been asked if we wanted any more, we moved up a tier and onto the scones.....
|afternoon tea scones|
The scones are baked fresh each day, and are served with clotted cream and strawberry preserve. There is one plain scone and one white chocolate scone per person, and both are rather scrummy! They are light and fluffy inside with a slight crunch to the outside - perfect!
Finally we made it...we were onto the main attraction.....
|Sweet treats at the Science afternoon tea|
at the Ampersand Hotel
This plate is amazing - there is something to drink, something to squeeze and of course lots to eat! The colours are bright and eye catching - definitely not your normal afternoon tea! As well as various chocolate dinosaurs there is also a sponge planet with white chocolate and jam filling, a macaroon complete with a pippet filled with jam to squeeze into the middle and my favourite bit......
|One word - AMAZING!|
This is a beautiful chocolate square of goodness, complete with a volcano (hidden behind the chocolate dinosaur) and also black sesame meringues. It was truly amazing and a delight to eat!
As Lorna commented, the brilliance of this tea is that it really captures your imagination - from the moment you see it with the dry ice swirling around you can't wait to try all the different elements! In fact as we progress through the sweet treats some of the other diners might have wondered what we were doing if they heard the "roars" coming from our table......
|Chocolate dinosaurs at The Ampersand Hotel|
Yes...we might have even played with our food a little! This afternoon tea is a fine example of the balance between style and substance - everything looked amazing and had us grinning like children in a sweet shop...but also tasted brilliant too.
I think this is probably the best afternoon tea that Pastry Chef Ji Sun has created so far and I can't wait to see what she comes up with next. This tea is currently a limited edition tea (as with all the Chef Specials at the hotel) and is only due to run until the 21st March. Fingers crossed we will see it on the menu of the Ampersand again soon though!
Our tea with a glass of bubbles was £44.50 each and I'm pleased to report that we were offered more of everything and our tea was refreshed regularly. If you'd prefer to just enjoy tea from the wonderful selection on offer, the tea will cost £32.50 each.
The next Chef's Special afternoon tea at the hotel is their Mother's Day tea, but there is also a pretty, spring inspired Easter afternoon tea coming soon! For more information about all the teas on offer at The Ampersand hotel pop by their website.
Thanks for popping by today,
Rachel & Lorna