|Jasmine green tea|
|Finger sandwiches: cucumber and dill cream cheese, egg with homemade mayonnaise and watercress, chicken with chinese eggplant on sun-dried tomato foccacia, smoked salmon and wasabi cream|
|The beautiful Espelette tea room|
|Homemade warm scones|
|Chocolate and rasberry pound cakes to finish|
Living in London means observing the ever civilized afternoon tea tradition. Most of the five star hotels
do their own tea service, many of them adding their own spin as a point of difference. The Berkeley hotel, for example, does a Pret-a-Portea
inspired by the latest runway collections, where you can nibble on edible delicacies each in the shape of the season's latest "it" bag, designer dress, or high heeled shoe.
I have been making the rounds of the most famous tea spots, picking one each month to try. This month I went to The Connaught
hotel in Mayfair to their beautifully windowed Espelette tea room, which has been awarded membership to the British Tea Council
. The full tea service costs £35 and includes your choice of many flavored teas, fresh finger sandwiches, homemade scones with jams and clotted cream, a variety of pastries and then sliced cakes to finish. Add a glass of Laurent Perrier champagne for an additional £10 if you love bubbles.
The Espelette room is a beautiful space with floor to ceiling wrap-around windows that look out onto Mount Street (some great shopping here after tea: Lanvin, Goyard, etc!), exposed brick walls, comfortable couches, crisp table linens, and glorious flower arrangements. The staff are also extremely helpful and take time to explain to you the nuances of the distinct ingredients that make each tea so flavorful. I highly recommend the Connaught if high tea is on your agenda next time you are in London. Remember to book early!