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

Saturday, 31 October 2015

Time for Tea...The Gin Palace

Hello there,

Welcome back to Tea With Me and Friends - we hope you've had a lovely week.

Last weekend we were lucky enough to sample the brand new afternoon tea on offer at The Strand Palace hotel in London. Within the hotel you will find The Gin Palace a rather lovely cocktail bar, and last week they started serving their new gin afternoon tea!

The Strand Palace Hotel was built and first opened by J. Lyons & Co. (known for their tearooms) in 1909. After extensive redevelopment in the early 1920s the Strand Palace Hotel reopened in 1926 and became an art-deco showcase boasting an impressive 980 bedrooms. Set in an architecturally listed, iconic Art Deco building, The Strand Palace Hotel is located right in the heart of the capital on the Strand.

The Gin Palace (formerly known as the Mask Bar) is the inspiration for this new afternoon tea offering at The Strand Palace, which starts with a gin tea cocktail.....

Gin Afternoon Tea - The Strand Palace

There are five different gin based cocktails to pick from including the Earl White, made with Hoxton Gin, infused with coconut and Earl Grey Tea, or the signature Gin Palace Tea made with Hendricks Gin, Fresh Mint Tea, cucumber ribbons and apple juice. 

We tried four of the five cocktails on offer and they were all really good, and the helpful bar staff can help with suggestions if you are spoilt for choice!

The cocktails are well made and generous in size....

Gin Tea Cocktails - Gin Palace

Once you are settled with your cocktail and have also picked a tea to enjoy with your feast, the food is served on a modern cake stand. Everything is served together, and its worth noting that the scones are warm....

Gin Afternoon Tea - The Strand Palace

As you can see....there is rather a lot of scrummy looking food in this afternoon tea feast! 

As tradition dictates we started at the top of our cake stand with the generous finger sandwiches. The fillings included Cucumber and Cream Cheese, Egg Mayonnaise with Cress, Shredded Chicken and preserved Lemon and Beetroot Gravlax with Juniper on Rye Bread - so something for everyone there!

Afternoon tea sandwiches - The Strand Palace

As you can see, each of the sandwiches was well filled - no stingy sandwiches here! I particularly enjoyed the egg mayonnaise which also had chives in the mix (a very nice addition). Neither Lorna nor I were that keen on the shredded chicken sandwich.....however this was more a texture thing than a dislike of the flavour. The chicken was more smooth paste than shredded which seemed a bit odd - the flavour of chicken and lemon however was very good.

The sandwiches were all really fresh, with soft bread....and not a crust in sight!

We were offered more sandwiches, but as they were quite large we opted not to enjoy anymore and move onto the scones instead.

Afternoon tea scones - The Strand Palace

As I mentioned earlier, although not covered, the scones are indeed served warm....and they were still warm by the time we got to them, despite taking our time over the savouries. They were served with clotted cream and strawberry jam.

One of the things we really liked about the scones is how homemade they looked! They were irregular in size, and slightly flatter than your average hotel scone.....but this gave them a certain charm! They also tasted really good!

Finally we made it to the sweets....again the choice was quite amazing, with something for everyone. 

This afternoon tea had quite a traditional feel to it and the cakes reflected this -  we enjoyed Bakewell Tart, a Raspberry and Juniper infused shot, Victoria Sponge with Strawberry Jam, a Blueberry and Lemon Tart, a chocolate macaroon and a Chocolate Cup with a Vanilla and Mocha Mousse.

Afternoon tea sweets - The Strand Palace
All the cakes were tasty and fresh, they were also good sizes.....not too big, not too small! 

If I am honest I think the name of the tart is slightly misleading as the only blueberries in it are the ones on top.....however, it is a really good lemon tart. We both loved the raspberry and juniper infused shot - such a bright, vibrant colour.....it had a sharp, refreshing taste.

The Victoria sponge could have had a little more jam, but again it was really tasty and the sponge was fresh. My favourite sweet was probably the chocolate cup.....number one it looked so cute....but also that vanilla and mocha mousse was divine!

The cutest chocolate cup - The Strand Palace

We really enjoyed the ambiance in the Gin Palace, and the place settings and china used were very pretty....with gin bottles being used as vases. In addition, all the staff we encountered at The Strand Palace were very friendly and helpful.

Served from 2pm until 5pm, every Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, this quirky afternoon tea is priced at £29.95 per person. The quality of the food is great, and any gin lover will appreciate the well made cocktails. A great option for a group of friends, looking for a well priced afternoon tea in a central London location.

We'd like to thank The Strand Palace for inviting us try this afternoon tea - but please remember although we sampled this tea for free it has not effected our tastes buds and all opinions expressed here are our own.

The Strand Palace also offers a traditional afternoon tea, a cream tea and also an Indian inspired afternoon tea - to read more about them pop by their website.

Thank you for popping by today,
Rachel & Lorna

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