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

Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Time for Tea....Claridges

Hello there,

Welcome back to another afternoon tea post from Tea With Me and Friends....today we are really excited to share with you a recent afternoon tea adventure to Claridges in London. Claridges has been on our wish list for a long time now, and recently Lorna received a really wonderful gift of afternoon tea for two at Claridges (I am really pleased that she decided to take me along with her!).

We were so excited about this particular afternoon tea adventure that we have decided to talk about it in two different vlog posts! Firstly, Lorna talks about the anticipation of waiting for your next afternoon tea adventure and how the build up can be just as exciting as the tea itself (especially if it involves posh post!). We have also added a before, during and after vlog....so you can join us on this adventure! Take a peek at both vlogs and let us know what you think!

Afternoon tea has been enjoyed at Claridges for nearly 150 years, with that much experience they must be good at it.....

Afternoon tea bone china - Claridges

Everything about the afternoon tea is well thought out, from the iconic bone-china and beautiful menu (yes I just complimented their menu!), to the tea selection and amount of filling in their sandwiches. The adventure begins as you are whisked into the 1930s inspired foyer area and shown to your seats, a menu is thrust into your hands and you are asked to pick your tea. Our tea included a glass of rose champagne, which we sipped as we picked from the 22 teas on offer.

Once our teas were picked, the sandwich plate was brought out to us and each filling described. Claridges are very particular about the amount of filling in each sandwich (it should match the bread size) and also the cut of the bread - this makes for an aesthetically pleasing sandwich plate....

Afternoon tea sandwiches at Claridges

The fillings included:
Smoked salmon scone, Aquitaine caviar
Clarence court duck egg mayonnaise on white bread
English cucumber, cream cheese, rocket on white bread
Corn fed chicken, lemon thyme, walnut on malt bread
Poached Var salmon, garden herb mayonnaise on rye bread
Dorrington ham, smoked tomato chutney, watercress on onion bread

This was a very traditional sandwich plate, and the sandwiches were all very uniform in appearance. The flavours were delicate and the bread soft and fresh. I'm not the biggest ham fan - but I gobbled down this ham sandwich rather quickly! We were offered more of the sandwiches once we had finished the first plate.

Once we had polished off the sandwiches, we were brought out a plate of scones and the pastries.

Afternoon tea scones at Claridges

The scones were pleasingly warm when they arrived at the table, and we had one plain and one fruit scone each. They were served with clotted cream and Marco Polo gelee (aka the most amazing jam!). Lorna commented on how handmade the scones looked - not at all uniform. 

They were a good size - not too big, not too small, and had a good texture.

Scones dressed the Claridges way!

The gelee is strawberry with a touch of vanilla and Bergamot, making it sweet and light - perfect with the clotted cream. I thought that maybe the scones were a tiny bit claggy...but Lorna informed me that I simply didn't have enough cream on them!

Warning - the next sentence might upset some of our readers........
We were delighted to note in the menu that Claridges suggest that you enjoy their scones with cream first, topped with a teaspoon of the gelee! We obviously followed this great advice!

Finally we moved onto the pastries....now you might drool a little now if you haven't already.....

Afternoon tea pastries at Claridges

I did warn you!

These were slightly bigger than we expected, but each one looked beautiful. The choice changes weekly, according to the availability of the ingredients. Most importantly they are made fresh each day. 

Our selection included a chocolate and caramel financier, a passion fruit macaroon, a citrus cake and a raspberry and lemon tart. Again, the flavours were all very delicate and not at all artificial - each pastry was well balanced and not too sweet.

If you have seen the vlog post you'll know that the chocolate and caramel financier was Lorna's favourite.....

This was rich in flavour and texture, but also delicate - it melted in your mouth!

I really liked the citrus cake, which surprised me as it had grapefruit on the top, along with some micro-basil.....

The Madeira cake at the bottom was rich and dense, this complimented the Sharp grapefruit well.

Once we had finished we were pleasantly full, but not too full that we couldn't move. This was of course all consumed with rather a lot of tea - although it's worth remembering that your waiter will be in charge of your tea pouring, each cup is brewed individually for you.

The service throughout our experience was faultless, nothing was too much trouble and everyone we encountered at the hotel was friendly and helpful. This is most definitely service done the right way - we felt well looked after without the experience being overly fussy.

Our experience ended with a little treat courtesy of Hope and Greenwood to take home with us....

Sweet treats from Hope and Greenwood

Claridges offers a variety of different afternoon teas ranging from the classic which is £55 per person to the rose champagne afternoon tea which is £80 per person. For more information and to see the current seasonal afternoon tea please visit the Claridges website.

This afternoon tea is definitely a treat rather than an everyday experience, but in our opinion if you want a special afternoon tea adventure you can't go far wrong with Claridges. Please note that you need to book in advance.

Tea With Me and Friends at Claridges!

We'd like to thank the person who gave us this rather wonderful gift.

Don't forget to take a peek at the vlog post for more details about this afternoon tea adventure - we'd love to know what you think (please excuse the awful sound and picture quality!)

So, over to you.....you've heard about our new favourite afternoon tea adventure.....now it's your turn to tell us about yours! Leave us a comment below, or on the Facebook Page!

Thank you for popping by today,
Rachel & Lorna

Square Meal


Joanna said...

What a fab blog on Claridges, but it's left me feeling jealous and bitter that I wasn't there ;-) I have been though so can't complain too much! Didn't you think their silverware is just the best - the shiniest cake forks in the world! Just adding to the sense of occasion when eating the cake and Art Deco heaven. Glad you had fun!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Rachel and Lorna, I've always wanted to have tea there and WILL if I ever manage to get to London again! The sandwich I don't care for is smoked salmon. I always request in advance that they replace it with an extra of one of the other sandwiches.

Anonymous said...

Good write-up. I certainly love this website. Keep writing!

Anonymous said...

Great information. Lucky me I discovered your website by accident (stumbleupon).

I've saved it for later!

Anonymous said...

I was very happy to discover this page. I want to to thank you for ones time for this wonderful read!!
I definitely liked every bit of it and I have you saved to fav
to look at new things on your website.

Anonymous said...

Everything is very open with a very clear clarification of the challenges.
It was definitely informative. Your website is very helpful.
Thanks for sharing!