Whilst 2016 was the year of brunches, 2017 is set to be the year of afternoon tea. Don’t worry though, there’s still plenty of brunching to be had and reported. But to whet your appetite…
Afternoon tea is an odd custom – originating amongst the English wealthy classes in the 1840s… i.e. people who had nothing better to do. Sweet little cakes, sandwiches with the crusts cut away, and absolutely no biscuits.
Nowadays afternoon tea is taken to mark a special occassion, usually at an upmarket hotel, rather than an every day observance. And there’s plenty on offer across London. To celebrate a friend’s birthday, we decided to try an afternoon tea with a ginny twist at Hush Mayfair.
Served in the bright and airy yet sumptuous upper dining room, upon arrival you’ll be served with a gin cocktail involving berries, and you’ll be brought the teas to choose from. There were 5 or 6 on offer, all sourced because they go well with gin. There are non-alcoholic options on offer, but you’re paying for the gin really.
Shortly after you’ve polished off the gin cocktail, the food and tea itself arrives – a tea stand packed with sandwiches (smoked salmon, egg mayonnaise, cucumber, and chicken open sandwich on ciabatta bread), plain and fruit scones, several different types of jam and macarons. It’s not too heavy but equally you probably won’t need dinner afterwards.
And finally, your gin cocktail of choice arrives – these look small but, believe me, they are potent. All named after characters from children’s literature – harking back to the tea parties a small girl might host with her teddy bears and Barbie dolls – I went for the Tinkerbell… I can’t resist absinthe. And we all left full of tea, full of cake, and decidedly ginny. An afternoon well spent.
(Girls: don’t miss the ladies’ bathroom – it’s an incredible powder puff pink experience…)