As many of my social media followers will have seen, I attended a beautiful afternoon tea hosted by the Sofitel St James in London on Wednesday afternoon. Around 20 bloggers were invited to experience their new afternoon tea that is in honour of The Chelsea Flower Show, as well as being able to view the hotels suites and facilities.
The tea was set in the most beautiful, kitsch room at the St James branch which is located at Waterloo Place. Upon entry, the hotel has a beautiful modern feel, in comparison to 'The Rose Lounge' (where the tea was set), which was a vibrant mix of pale and bright pinks with mix-match furnishings to give it a kitsch, homely feel. But both the hotel and the room were equally as beautiful and decorated by French interior designer Pierre-Yves Rochon! Because the room is set out with a few tables and couches, it means the afternoon tea is a lot more intimate than the big rooms that a lot of hotels have.
We were introduced to the teas served at the Sofitel, which is a wide range of Dammann Frères teas that have a vast history. Being established in France during the 1920s and being present in the UK for the past couple of years - the brand is best known for inventing the 'Cristal' teabag design that many of you will recognise today.
The tea commenced and we were provided with an exquisite spread of four different types of sandwiches - smoked salmon and cucumber, beef and horseradish, egg and cress and beetroot bread with ham and cheese (this being my favourite thanks to the beetroot bread). We were also given 3 types of scones, which in my opinion is the best part of an afternoon tea. All the scones were warm and served with cream, jam and something which I've never been served at afternoon tea - lemon curd which added quite a nice kick to the option of plain, apricot and sultana scones.
Finally, we were served the themed desserts. However, as I've attended Chelsea Flower Show themed afternoon teas before, I will say that whilst these desserts did include floral tones within their taste, aesthetically they didn't provide much. If I didn't know that this was in honour of The CFS then you wouldn't be able to guess. Regardless, the four cakes that were available were delicious and consisted of a:
- Rose Macaron (rose macaron, rose cream, raspberries)
- Mimosa (mimosa mousseline cream, vanilla sponge, grape compote, yellow sponge crumble)
- Hibiscus (raspberry jelly, mascarpone cream, rose jelly, hibiscus jelly, crystallised rose petals)
- Poppy (poppy mousseline cream, vanilla sponge, strawberry compote, pink chocolate spray)
Overall, the tea was incredible and the staff were really friendly and attentive. I think The Rose Lounge is the perfect setting for an intimate afternoon tea, especially for tourists or those hoping to get a real English feel and experience. Le Tea en Rose is served daily 12-6pm throughout the whole month of May and has the added accompaniment of a live harpist every day! Priced at £30 per person.