It’s the unexpected that makes an afternoon tea memorable, and the doughy BBQ pork buns at Le Chinois, served in place of scones, are what did it for me. Stodgy, sweet and much bigger than bitesize they were the perfect half way point treat.
The creation of 28-year-old head chef Anthony Kong, it's a fusion of classic cantonese dishes and english tradition. Of course, Chinese tea is recommended, but if that's not your thing, a pot of English breakfast can easily be brewed.
Savouries that graced the table included crispy battered chicken, shredded duck spring rolls, and sautéed prawns coated with wasabi - no finger sandwiches here - but if it’s cake that usually calls you to the tea stand, you’ll be left wanting. The freshly sliced mango and mochi cakes (a chewy rice cake with a glutinous filling) aren’t nearly as enticing as a slice of lovely lemon drizzle.
For those unfamiliar with cantonese cuisine, the waiting staff are well versed. They'll explain the best order to eat everything if you ask, which I recommend, as the ingredients and flavours will compliment each other nicely - and don't drown everything in chilli and plum sauce!
Although the environment is a little corporate, the Sloane Street restaurant has the kudos of a Knightsbridge postcode, but without the SW1X price tag – all of this, plus a glass of fizz, is £25.
For more information about Le Chinois and booking, please visit their website
Charlotte Vowden is a travel & lifestyle journalist who is as happy in the mountains as she is sipping champagne and eating cake. Writing for The Sunday Times keeps her busy but she’s always looking for her next adventure or afternoon tea destination.
Charlotte was provided with a complementary meal for review purposes, however all opinions are her own!
Prices correct at time of review.