As you know I love afternoon teas but it is a calorific indulgence that I cannot do too often, that was until the Intercontinental Hotel, created a foodies perfect afternoon tea. Why I hear you ask? Well they have created a guiltless afternoon tea £40, free of refined sugar and carefully crafted with natural nutrients. For the gluten intolerant amongst us it is also totally gluten free.
Afternoon tea is served in the Wellington lounge, at the Intercontinental Hotel, housed on the prestigious Park Lane. The interior of the hotel is beautiful.
The hotel is perfectly suited for visiting Hyde Park, Wellington Arch and Buckingham Palace. I have had the pleasure of previously visiting the hotel and sampling their Wellington Afternoon tea £30, my profile picture is in fact from that very afternoon tea.
One of the things that I love about blogging is that it has allowed me to meet lots of lovely new people and make friends.
Afternoon tea is always a good excuse to catch up with some familiar faces, Angie from SilverSpoon, Suze from Luxury Columnist and Zoe from Love and Limoncello.
Any good catch up begins with a lovely refreshing cocktail, cane rum, fennel, lime juice and agave syrup. As I have been poorly I gave this a miss but am reliably informed that it was nice but packs a punch with the rum.
The restaurant has an extensive tea list so I opted for the hotels exclusive tea blend - Number one Park Lane. The tea has Madagascan Vanilla Pods and marigold flowers which gives it a wonderfully sweet yet full bodied flavour. It was lovely and refreshing and perfectly balanced.
Whilst we were busily chatting away our friendly waiter presented us with an eye catching array of sandwiches and patisserie.
I am a great believer in that you eat a meal with your eyes and the Market Garden sandwiches certainly were a feast for the eyes. They celebrate the very best of English produce, using seasonal vegetables.
All four sandwiches come on Columbian gluten free bread. The thyme roasted butternut squash with balsamic caviar and fresh dill was my personal favourite. As was the basil marinated Manouri cheese with cucumber and apple relish.
The nettle marinated asparagus rolled in courgette ribbon for me had too much bread as opposed to topping. The topping was not inspiring enough for me it could have benefited from a glaze or vinaigrette.
After two pots of tea and lots of nattering we are presented with freshly baked sultana and wholemeal scones. The scones came with home made berry compote which had a wonderful tartness and crème fraîche.
If you had asked me before about crème fraîche being a good accompaniment with scones I would have turned my nose up and said scones are for eating with clotted cream. I am pleased to say that I was wrong, crème fraîche is a surprising treat that combines well with the tartness of the berry compote.
All good afternoon teas come with wonderful cakes and the Wellington does not disappoint, how beautiful do these look.The eagled eyed amongst you might have spotted that there is only one red velvet cake ball. Don't worry there wasn't any foodie fisticuffs. The ball was wonderfully moist and had cream cheese as filling. The highlight had to be the flourless chocolate and mint cake. Yummy.
I had a wonderful afternoon catching up with Angie, Suze and Zoe. The Intercontinental is a beautiful hotel with a wonderful selection of afternoon teas to cater for everyone's tastes. My favourite is always going to be the guilty version though.
The Wellington has been honoured with the Award of Excellence from the UK Tea Guild and I can see why, it manages to create a contemporary afternoon tea with a new and refreshing twist.
What is your favourite afternoon tea?
Thank you very much to Intercontinental Hotel for a wonderful afternoon tea. Our tea was complimentary for the purposes of a review, but this is an honest and fair reflection of the Wellington lounge and our tea.