'I have the simplest tastes. I am always satisfied with the best.' - Oscar Wilde
I think that Oscar Wilde would have been satisfied with Hotel Cafe Royal's homage to him - the Oscar Wilde bar is by the far the most beautiful place I have ever had the pleasure to eat in.
The gold plated walls bounce off each other's reflections in the mirrors, and the pianist is exceptional. It really is a lovely environment to walk into, led by the lovely staff to our table.
Stopped off to say hi to quite a few beautiful models in there already enjoying some champagne...
I found my table with Daren & Laura we got started on the incredible menu.
We sat down with our champagne & selected our tea - there was a massive range, from their own special brews to coconut tea. Being a chocaholic, I went for the chocolate tea, which was one of the best teas I've ever had.
Then the food came out in a beautifully ordered manner. First up the Low Sidecar Muffins - basil & truffle cream on a freshly baked mini muffin. As a truffle fanatic, this was the perfect start to what was a brilliant afternoon tea.
Next step was the huge array of a 'selection of tea sandwiches'. I say sandwiches, but really what came out was everything from mini salami-burgers, to mini savoury scones topped with gold leaf, to a crab roll, to the well loved cucumber/salmon sandwiches (with caviar and quails egg, naturally).
Every single thing was mouth-wateringly good. My favourite was the 'wellington', which I actually think is just a really excellent sasuage roll. By the end of this course we were beginning to get very full, so out popped a palette cleanser to give us a moments rest from all this eating.
Looks like a shot, tastes like a delicious raspberry flavoured juice. Just when you think it's slowing down, out comes all of the cake (which is the most important part of any afternoon tea).
A very inventive twist on the traditional twee pastries, Cafe Royal has come up with an array of imaginative desserts which are not only very instagram-worthy, but also all taste incredible. I had to check them all, for research purposes. I believe that (according to my champagne-addled memory), above we have the mini flower pots of meringue, 'grass' and rhubarb compote, orange & chocolate tarts, a berry tangtastic little pastry, a CHOCOLATE GANACHE (very excited about that), cheesecake and a couple of absinthe macaroons.
The latter macaroons are really different than anything I've had previously, and are probably to pay homage to the hotel's Green Bar, which is a room completely dedicated to absinthe complete with an absinthe fountain. As all good hotels should have.
(Do you see that little smiley face in the meringue? That is what I looked like whilst munching away on this, it is one of the most imaginative desserts I have seen)
My chocolatey favourite... the ganache was incredible.
Having tirelessly fought our way through those desserts, we got started on the other most important part of a truly British afternoon tea. The scones.
A basket of freshly baked, warm scones were brought out with accompanying home-made jam and cream. And naturally, a little golden tube of lemon-y icing. These went down very well at the table, and were definitely some of the best I have tried.
A lovely afternoon whittled away listening to beautiful live piano playing, eating and drinking our way through an utterly amazing afternoon tea and chatting away in the lavish surroundings. Everything was perfect, a traditional British afternoon tea with some very imaginatively delicious twists, 100% recommended.
'Our ambition should be to rule ourselves, the true kingdom for each one of us; and true progress is to know more, and be more, and to do more' - Oscar Wilde