Monday 21 December 2015

Christmas Unwrapped at InterContinental London Park Lane

Seasonal fizz.

If there are two things that make us feel magical in this world, it’s afternoon tea and ‘The most wonderful time of the year’ … Christmas! Put them both together and you’ve got us set up for a pretty perfect December afternoon. We headed to London as an early festive gift (to us, love us) for the InterContinental London Park Lane’s Christmas Unwrapped afternoon tea. Here's what we thought ...

Taking place in the Wellington Lounge, the setting is both luxurious but relaxed enough to make you feel at home. To get us a feeling merry we began with a seasonal cocktail before proceeding to inhale around 10 cups of accompanying teas – more of that later.

Christmas Unwrapped menu.
Delicately modelled on the traditional Christmas fayre, the savoury tier has got all of your festive favourites lined up in miniature form. Starting with a stilton, chestnut and walnut vol-au-vent and honey roasted root vegetable, complete with gravy, this already felt like the real thing. Followed by a selection of open style sandwiches including turkey, sage and onion stuffing and smoked salmon, crayfish and prawns in Marie Rose sauce accompanied by everyone’s favourite Christmas trimming  - pigs in blankets. Each one was thoughtful and beautifully presented. We couldn’t help but ask for seconds!

A Christmas twist.
Each tier came out separately to keep everything nice and fresh which was particularly good news for the seasonal-scones, which arrived next. The warm Christmas spice and orange peel scones were festive but subtle and went well with the Devonshire Clotted Cream and orange-liquor curd.

Festive favourites.
Mini roasted root vegetable pie.
Of course we would be lying if we said the real selling point of this tea wasn’t the beautiful Christmas gift presentation of desserts that had our appetite’s whet from the first time we laid eyes on it back in October. The InterContinental Hotels are always at the top of their game for presentation – check out this Chelsea Flower Show themed tea we tried at the Intercontinental Westminster hotel – so we were pretty excited by this one. Arriving in a clear presentation box complete with red bow detail we each eagerly pulled at the ribbon to unwrap an enviable selection of themed desserts. Starting with a classic chocolate Yule log sprinkled with glitter we indulged in spiced apple pie (just delicious, by the way), miniature Christmas tree mousse with just adorable attention to detail and of course finally, no Christmas experience would be complete without it – mini Christmas cake.

Seasonal scones.
Now we’ve often pointed out in our various tea outings that despite it being in the name, the actual ‘tea’ is sometimes overlooked. However for this special menu, tea was truly at the heart with a carefully thought out selection of tea flavours that complimented each layer – special thank you to Luigi Vergura for his tea blending expertise!

Tea with thought.
To start we has the Smoky Ceylon made with Ceylon, Lapsang Souchong and Juniper berries which just had the most amazing cosy fireplace feel to it. Shortly followed by the signature Spicy No. 1 Park Lane fused with warming liquorice and cinnamon notes. A more subtle Ayurvedic Harmony blend with rose petal, fennel seeds, cinnamon and ginger, offered a more relaxing feel, perfect for winding down with dessert and then finally Xmas Red Berries with a twist of fresh orange peel. These teas flowed perfectly throughout the meal and made for a delectable experience that really brought all the senses to life and played with Christmas nostalgia.

Underneath the Christmas tree.
The perfect Christmas Gift? Yep.
Overall this was wonderful experience filled with great food, tea and atmosphere. The service at this hotel is fantastic and we were made to feel right at home with teacups topped up and offerings of seconds. If you’re looking to treat someone special this Christmas or New Year – even just yourself – this should be at the top of your Christmas list.

Where to start?

Christmas Unwrapped at InterContinental London Park Lane is available until 3rd January 2016 and priced at £42pp. For more information and to book visit:

Afternoon tea was provided to us for review purposes, but as usual, all thoughts and opinions are our own. Prices correct as of December 2015. 

Friday 16 October 2015

National Chocolate Week with Whittard

Tis the season to eat chocolate! Before you write us off for being prematurely excited about the arrival of, dare we say it, Christmas, we are of course referring to the one week of the year where we're actively encouraged to eat chocolate and indulge to our hearts' desire - Chocolate Week! 

To celebrate, the beautiful people at Whittard sent us the most glorious selection of chocolate treats to ensure we did Chocolate Week in style. But we're not just talking any old hot chocolate, Whittard have gotten very creative and delivered a selection of chocolate beverages that are to leave you with the most worthwhile guilty conscious you've ever had. 

From the collection we tried; 70% Cocoa, Rocky Road, Caramel, White Chocolate and we kid you not - white chocolate tea. Yes this exists. 

To start we went with the Classic Cocoa - so so chocolately, it tastes like pure luxury. Next was the Caramel - this one is very sweet so if you're used to a nice dollop of caramel syrup in your coffee, this is the one to try. Then Rocky Road - again so full of flavour and topped off with some mini marshmallows you definitely get that textured, rocky experience. 

Now we're giving White Chocolate its own little paragraph because it needs it. Oh. Dear. Lord. This was actually heaven in a cup. Yeah sure we've had white hot choc before but imagine a Milky Bar, melted and served to you as a drink. This is it. It's so smooth and not at all heavy. Just A-mazing. 

Now for those of you who would rather a cuppa over a hot chocolate, the White Chocolate tea offers an alternative that lets you have the best of both worlds. Let it brew for just a few minutes and serve as it is. It is quite sweet and a very unusual taste but very drinkable. You'll notice a sort of shiny lining appear at the top which, as we learned at Paul Young's Afternoon Tea event earlier this month, is actually the coco nib. You probably couldn't drink this every day but it's a very unique blend and definitely one we would recommend giving a try.

Overall this was a delectable mix of chocolate treats and we can't wait for the weather to get a little frostier so we can wrap up in wooly jumpers and try them all again. If you're a chocolate lover or maybe just want to partake in the Chocolate Week festivities with a bit of luxury, look no further. 

For more info visit and if you've got any chocolately recommendations this #ChocolateWeek tweet us at @TeacupReview. 


Wednesday 14 October 2015

Paul A Young Chocolate Afternoon Tea at Harvey Nichols

Two weeks ago we were invited to a preview of chocolatier, Paul A Young's new collaboration with Harvey Nichols. Released just in time for National Chocolate week and available throughout October, this new menu is a treat for the chocolate lover in us all.

Paul's quirky take, infuses cocoa into a selection of teatime treats, with highlights including chocolate and Gorgonzola sandwiches to start, a delightful cocoa nib tea, and chocolate tarts and mousse to finish.

Served alongside cucumber and beef sandwiches, the chocolate finger is a very different take on traditional afternoon tea fare, proving to be quite a talking point amongst our fellow diners, with Paul himself admitting that 'you'll either love it or hate it' - but love it we did. Think of a refined version of Dairy Milk Philadelphia and you can go some way to imagining the taste.

Next up we were treated to a quartet of scones, in fruit and brown sugar varieties. Now out of every scone we've ever tasted - and we've tasted a lot - the brown sugar has to be one of our favourites. Teamed with a salted caramel spread and cream, these were an absolute delight and top of our recommendation list. The cakes were similarly impressive, and though I would've liked to see a decadent piece of chocolate cake or selection of Paul's chocolates on the menu, carrot and chocolate cake was a good second - and exactly what the doctor ordered after our recent afternoon tea hiatus!

All in all I'd say the Paul Young afternoon tea is definitely one to try out if you're looking for something a bit special this month, so make sure you head to Harvey Nick's site to book your place.

Starting at £20 pp, Paul A Young's afternoon tea is available nationwide until the end of October. Book your place here.

Tuesday 15 September 2015

The Afternoon Tea Club Reviews: The Langham Hotel, London

Cherish Finden has long been an ATC inspiration, with her delicate yet  striking cake creations, heading up our afternoon tea wish list since around 2013. Her residency at the Langham has produced some absolutely beautiful teas, with her Wedgwood creation being the latest example of the hotel's flair for afternoon tea. 

Upon arriving at the Langham we were greeted and taken to our table, before being offered a choice of tea and a glass of champagne to start. The choice of tea at the Langham is quite extensive, offering everything from Earl Grey to Darjeeling First Flush, along with a selection of less conventional blends to appeal to even the most ambitious tea drinker.

To start, we were presented with a lemon posset as a pallet cleanser, before being brought a selection of traditional finger sandwiches and rolls. The selection on offer with this tea was very good, including an egg roll and mini ham and cheese bun, alongside traditional cucumber, salmon and chicken finger sandwiches. As with lots of London venues, the food here was unlimited, with offers of additional food coming at regular intervals.

Next up were the fresh scones, followed by the piece de la resistance - the patisserie. Out of all the teas we've been to, I have to say that I was most impressed by these cakes. Each one was individually crafted with colours and textures to deliver a completely unique experience. Just look at these magical names and try and not to drool: 

Wedgwood Tea Cup – White chocolate mousse, tropical jelly and dark chocolate sablé
White Cameo on Blue – Strawberry and white balsamic Victoria sponge
Daisy Teapot – Cinnamon shortbread cookie
Hathaway Rose Motif – English Rose and lychee log
Kouglof – Chocolate, raspberry and lightly roasted pistachio financier

Our favourites had to be the Hathaway Rose Motif and of course the adorable daisy teapot.

We really loved the way the Langham did things a little differently. From allowing you to choose your sandwiches from a fresh selection served on a tray to the ceremony of each individual layer arriving at the table at different intervals, it made for a very special experience. 

To top it off, the Langham, Palm Court is just a beautiful location for Afternoon Tea. It somehow pulls off being grand and delicate all at the same time whilst doing away with those stuffy stereotyped images you might imagine of a traditional London tea venue. 

If you're looking for somewhere extra special, this is where you need to be. 

The Wedgwood Afternoon Tea is priced at £47 per person
To find out more and to book visit:

Afternoon tea was provided to us for review purposes, but as usual, all thoughts and opinions are our own. Prices correct as of September 2015. 

Saturday 29 August 2015

The Afternoon Tea Club Reviews: Matilda Tea at The Radisson Blu Edwardian

Matilda Afternoon Tea
Last weekend we made what's become our yearly pilgrimage to London, the capital of Afternoon Tea, to try out a very special Matilda-themed tea at the Radisson Blu Edwardian, Mercer Street Hotel. Here's how we got on ...

To start, there's a pleasant busy atmosphere to the restaurant, a refreshing change to some more traditional Afternoon Tea venues. Plus the number of little hands tucking into stands of cakes and mini pastries showed that these Matilda-themed goodies make for the perfect attraction whilst Roald Dahl's Matilda musical brings a touch of magic to the stage at the Cambridge Theatre next door.

Kicking things off, a good selection of savouries filled the first tier including a generous amount of cucumber finger sandwiches, mini salmon bagels, egg and watercress, and ham and dried tomato baguettes. A really nice selection and the salmon bagels were deliciously moreish.

Next we indulged in two fruit scones each, both a good size as not to fill you up too much before the most important bit of afternoon tea, the cake! The scones were soft, fresh and served with just the right amount of jam and cream - it's always so sad when you run out!

Saving the best 'til last - the cake! Our sophisticated sweet selection included a fluffy Victoria sponge, strawberry tart, chocolate and orange cake and somewhat of a Radisson Afternoon Tea staple, a jelly shot made with elder flower and prosecco. The chocolate cake was definitely our favourite - though we couldn't help but feel a rich piece of chocolate fudge cake (a la Bruce Bogtrotter) might have lent itself more to the Matilda theme!

Overall we enjoyed our afternoon at the Mercer Street Hotel however we couldn't help but notice that this tea was very similar to the menu we're used to seeing at our local Radisson Blu Edwardian hotel which takes the magic away just a little. Perhaps if the Radisson were to include a few more unique pieces or some Matilda-themed accents to this classic selection, it might really stand out from the crowd.

Matilda The Musical Afternoon Tea at the Radisson Blu Edwardian, Mercer Street is priced at £32pp for adults and £16pp for children (including a special Matilda gift). For more info and to book visit:

Afternoon tea was provided to us for review purposes, but as usual, all thoughts and opinions are our own. Prices correct as of August 2015. 
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