Laduree – Covent Garden, London

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Every year Renata and I take each other out for an afternoon tea to celebrate each other’s birthdays. (This is a very delayed blog post as it was from my birthday in 2014, but better late than never!)

Renata took me to Laduree for this birthday and it was lovely – very quaint.

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I love the tea selection at Laduree – they have a large variety on offer and I always go for one of the rose teas as they are fantastically perfumed.

Renata went for the Raspberry Millefeuille which, although it had cream in it, was very light and the raspberry gave a it a refreshing sweetness.

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I had the Ispahan which is basically a large macaroon with fresh raspberries and cream. It was gorgeous, also quite light and fruity.

We also shared a couple small macaroons on the side – I think the macaroons at Laduree are the best that I have tasted so far.

Lovely place for a tea break.

https://www.laduree.com/en_fr/

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The Dorchester Champagne Afternoon Tea, London

For my birthday this year, Renata took me to The Dorchester for afternoon tea.

From the minute we walked in the service was perfection. They took our coats and sat us at the table and they were very helpful and attentive when we were ordering. It was also a really nice setting, comfortable but very luxurious.
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We started with a bottle of champagne to share.

Then came the selection of finger sandwiches: Cucumber with cream cheese on caraway seed bread, egg mayonnaise with water cress on white bread, chicken with wholegrain mustard mayonnaise on basil bread (which tasted like pesto), smoked salmon on granary bread and a roast beef on white bread.

They came round with more sandwiches if we wanted anymore before they brought the cakes.

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Then came the warm raisin and plain scones served with homemade strawberry jam, a seasonal jam and Devonshire clotted cream.

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And finally came the french pastries: A macaroon, a rich chocolate cake, a coffee cake, a fruit sponge and some fruit slices.

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We ended the meal with some gorgeous aromatic teas to go along with the cakes – I had a rose infused tea and Renata had a Chinese tea.

It was still very much a beautifully traditional English afternoon tea – but with a bit of a twist on the sandwiches and the cakes to make them taste a little more special.

An absolutely stunning birthday date. Thank you Renata!

£59 per person for afternoon tea and 1 glass of champagne.

http://www.dorchestercollection.com/en/afternoon-tea/6-champagne-afternoon-tea/

Brew for Two

Brew for Two

After a girly day out of mooching around the discount Burberry store in Hackney, Renata and I found Brew for Two, a cute coffee shop across the street.

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The interior is shabby chic, full of eclectic and quirky little treasures. All the tables have a large empty red wine bottle used to hold up long red candle sticks, a mix match vintage type furniture, and a chandelier.

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We decided on a large pot of Darjeeling (£4) and a homemade carrot cake (there’s a daily selection of cakes and pastries to choose from) to munch on.

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The best bit of a carrot cake is the icing on the top and this was divine. Not too sweet. And with a little marzipan carrot on the top. The cake was moist with little bits of carrot to give some texture.

Served on gorgeous, antique looking china, which made it feel like a proper tea party. I definitely recommend Brew for Two for a good weekend brunch or afternoon tea.

Fine food and a warm welcome

Palm Court Brasserie

As a birthday treat for Renata, I took her to Palm Court Brasserie in Covent Garden for afternoon tea.

It was the perfect indoor afternoon tea kind of weather as it was snowing pretty heavily outside on this particular day. We walked into the restaurant, umbrellas dripping wet and coats spotted with soggy snow flakes, our coats and umbrellas were taken for us and we were shown to our table.

Dimmed lights and tables lit with candles, the atmosphere is very much like one of those small Parisian brasseries you would come across in a tiny little lane in Paris.

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The sandwiches were very English-tea-time. Cucumber and butter on white bread, smoked salmon and cream cheese on brown bread, egg and mayo on white bread, and ham and mustard on brown bread. All with the crusts off, of course dahling.

The Eton Mess was perfect. Perfect size in a mini glass ice cream cup. Perfect textures with enough crunch from the meringue, fluffiness from the cream and zing from the strawberry cooley and freshness of the strawberries.

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The cakes were very very rich. Thick cheesecake with a raspberry topping and an extremely chocolatey, moist brownie topped with a toffee sauce.

The scones were still warm from the oven and came with clotted cream and strawberry jam.

We also had a pot of tea each of our choice. We opted for djarling tea.

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All in all, it was a lovely (and sophisticated) way to spend a cold snowy afternoon. The only negative I can say is that they had another booking at our table after us so we could only have the table for 1.5 hours, but it turned out to be perfect timing for us anyway, so it all worked out.

http://www.palmcourtbrasserie.co.uk/
The afternoon tea menu is, unfortunately, not on the website. It is £14 per person for the set afternoon tea.

Fortnum and Mason’s Ice Cream Parlour

Lazy Sunday Afternoon

As a birthday treat, Renata took me to Fortnum and Mason’s Ice Cream Parlour. It takes you back to being a kid and how magical the world looked when you entered a sweet shop. The menu is filled with concoctions of mouthwatering ice cream desserts. We decided on a Lazy Sunday Afternoon (above) and a Knickerbocker Glory (below).

It feels like you’re at Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory when the ice cream comes to the table. Brought over on a silver plate in a large, grand ice cream glass overflowing with goodness.

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Fun fact: Fortnum and Mason was originally founded in 1707 by William Fortnum and Hugh Mason as a high end grocery store. They were the first store to stock H.J. Heinz’s tinned baked beans.

http://www.fortnumandmason.com/c-157-ice-cream-parlour-london-the-parlour-restaurant.aspx
It is £12 per ice cream sundae.