Welcome back to another afternoon tea review blog post from Tea With Me and Friends. This weekend Lorna and I were invited to sample the new afternoon tea on offer at La Maison Paul in Covent Garden in the Le Restaurant de PAUL.
We know Paul for their amazing macaroons and artisan breads that leave us drooling in their bakeries, but we didn't know that they offered an afternoon tea and so we were keen to find out more. Le Restaurant de PAUL is situated behind the Paul Covent Garden shop, and its a bustling but cute space full of chatter and hungry shoppers and tourists.
Now, this isn't the kind of afternoon tea you might want for a special occasion, but it's a great alternative to a spot of lunch when out shopping with friends....read on to find out more....
|Afternoon tea Paul - Covent Garden|
Now as you can see from this photo, the afternoon tea is served on a rather imposing iron stand. It's such a grand size that Lorna looks tiny sitting behind it! This did make conversation a little difficult as the table is very small, but we managed to situate the stand so we could gossip around it! The afternoon tea is either served with a hot drink from the main menu or for a little more money you can opt for a glass of bubbles. Lorna opted for a pot of green tea and I was rather controversial picking a cup of coffee over the teas on offer (yes I know...naughty afternoon tea person!!).
On the bottom tier we were presented with three rather rustic looking sandwiches, made with Paul's artisan breads....
|Afternoon tea sandwiches - Paul|
The sandwiches were fresh and the bread had a wonderful texture as you would expect from Paul. As you can see there are crusts galore on that plate and not a finger sandwich in sight, but to be honest this really suited Paul and the food they are well known for. It was good to see that they had taken the concept of a traditional afternoon tea, but not compromised their style of food when creating their offering. The fillings included a salmon and cream cheese, a chicken salad and a rather lovely brie and salad. The sandwiches were all filled well and a good size.
Once we had demolished the sandwiches we moved up a tier.....
|Afternoon tea....without scones at Paul|
Now I imagine the traditionalists of you out there are looking on rather confused....these are not scones I hear you cry! And you'd be right...there isn't a scone in sight at Paul...however in their place we had the most delicious light and buttery brioche. They were huge and served with whipped cream and strawberry jam.
Again, this swerve from the traditional felt right in Paul, where artisan bread is their speciality. And most importantly.....they were good.....very good!
Finally we moved onto the top tier....now get ready to drool a little....
|Afternoon tea cakes - Paul Covent Garden|
I think Lorna's face says it all - these really were the jewel on the crown at this afternoon tea!
Let's get a closer look....
|Sweet treats - afternoon tea - Paul|
In the selection we each had a piece of carrot cake, a piece of strawberry and marzipan cake and a cute little macaroon. The menu states that the tea will consist of two pieces of cake, but doesn't specify which ones....surely that means we can keep going back until we have tried them all!
My favourite was the strawberry gateaux, which was light and filled with creme patisserie. The macaroons were also wonderful, with a crispy shell and soft chewy middle. I wasn't a fan of the carrot cake, which I found quite heavy and dense - however the flavours were wonderful.
Paul introduced this afternoon tea in their Le Restaurant de PAUL in September, and we think it gives visitors a wonderful alternative to the traditional lunch/snack experience. The cost of afternoon tea is £19.90 for tea people including a hot drink each - which is exceptional value for the amount of food served and the quality of it.
It might not be super posh here, but the service was friendly and efficient despite it being really busy. We think this makes a great everyday afternoon tea experience.
Please note that although we were guests at Le Restaurant de PAUL in Covent Garden, this did not affect our thoughts on the afternoon tea experience and all thoughts here are our own.
We'd like to thank Le Restaurant de PAUL for their hospitality. If you would like to find out more about this afternoon tea please visit their website.
Thanks for popping by today,
Rachel & Lorna