Afternoon tea – one of our favourite British indulgences, and a tradition that’s becoming bigger than ever before.
From London’s swankiest hotels and restaurants to corner cafes and department stores, everyone is joining in on the Afternoon tea craze.
Wimbledon, Charlie & the Chocolate Factory, and alternative burger afternoon teas are just some of the themes that have emerged in London this year.
The history of Cannizaro House is quite colourful, and one we won’t go into here. But the Italian Duke of Cannizaro was one of many residents of this former stately home may moons ago. And after being passed between many hands and undergoing a £3m refurbishment this year, it has become a modern boutique style hotel with an elegant mix of modern and traditional English interiors.
It’s these plush interiors that make the afternoon tea experience so special here. In the bar lounge of the hotel underneath beautiful ceiling art and chandeliers, guests are seated on velvet covered armchairs at white linen tables while waiters take their orders.
I went for the Vanilla and Mr OhSo went for ‘Radiant Rose’ – (not really his style, but when in Rome…) For an extra £16 you can add a bit of fizz with a glass of Alain Thienot champagne too.
When the afternoon tea arrived, it was a two-tiered cake stand with four warm buttermilk scones on top with jam and cream. On the bottom tier we had smoked salmon, cucumber, egg mayonnaise and ham and tomato finger sandwiches. There were also three-chocolate mousse slices, strawberry shortbreads and the biggest apple and blackberry macarons I’ve ever seen.
While the scones were amazingly buttery and fluffy inside, the jam was filled with nice chunks of juicy strawberries. As we spoooned it on to our scones with a generous dollop of clotted cream, it was heaven in the mouth. I honestly haven’t had such good tasting scones in a long time!
As for the strawberry shortcakes, they were mouthwateringly juicy and crisp at the same time and the chocolate mousse was rich and indulgent (but perhaps something we’d appreciate more if it had been eaten alone rather than after those epic scones).
The finger sandwiches were moist and tasty too. But the giant (almost fluorescent) green macarons were just FABULOUS. A fruity filling with gooey meringue and a juicy wine gum-like blackberry ‘sweet’ in the middle. I never really understood the macaron fixation and was always more of a cupcake girl. But now I get it!
It was a moment of macaron heaven.
We both noted how we gulped our way through the tea surprisingly quickly too. As I said, drinking fruity teas with one finger in the air isn’t really Mr OhSo’s style (I promised I wouldn’t tell his friends) but we both agreed, it was refreshing in the afternoon heat, infused with wonderful flavour and very drinkable… indeed.
We spent the afternoon enjoying a romantic stroll around the gardens of Cannizaro Park which surround the hotel. We found leafy paths, a beautiful rose garden and an enchanting derelict house. Where else in London do you get this?
There are so many variations of the traditional afternoon tea across London. But at Cannizaro House, there’s an afternoon tea certainly worth the airplay.
Here are some of the other interesting takes on afternoon tea you can get across London:
Until next time x
Afternoon tea at Cannizaro House starts is £25.00 per person – add Champagne and strawberries for £16.00 per person. Cannizaro House, West Side Common, Wimbledon, SW19 4UE, 0208 879 1464, www.CannizaroHouse.com