Monday 25 August 2014

Charlotte in the City: The Montcalm at The Brewery London City

Sometimes cute cakes and petite pastries just don't quite reach the spot when you're looking for something to really hit the hunger. Hey, we said 'sometimes', okay? Lately, we have succumbed to the call of stodgy pork pies and savoury scones that feature in the increasingly fashionable, Gentleman's Afternoon Tea. Our London lady, Charlotte Vowden, also decided to ditch the daintiness and opted for a Gent's Afternoon Tea at The Montcalm at The Brewery. Here's how she got on ... 

Gents Afternoon Tea

I recently took tea with a handsome gentleman more used to heavy-handed behaviour in the boxing ring than handling finger sandwiches. Although a willing taste tester when I bake something sweet, he doesn’t enjoy being as sugared-up as I, and so I sought out an afternoon tea, man style.

The menu criteria included a healthy load of carbs, plenty of saturated fat and an emphasis on savoury. It was the combination of sandwiches, Welsh Rarebit and buttered toast slathered with Patum Peperium Relish on the Gentleman’s Afternoon Tea menu at The Brewery London City that won me over. 
Expecting chunks of bread bubbling with cheese too hot to eat straight away, I was disappointed to find the Welsh Rarebit thinly-sliced and cautiously topped with cheese rather than the greasy indulgence anticipated. My guest though, is a little more forgiving and deemed it delicious. 
On the same tier of the stand the buttered toast and pot of Patum Peperium Relish sat. This was a first-time taste for me and I applied an over-generous coating. The anchovy paste’s fishy, salty and spicy taste hit me all at once and made my cheeks flush rose red. 

Swapping sweet for savoury.

The sandwiches were a third filling with two thirds bread and included smoked salmon and beef, marvellous. Hidden between the top and bottom tiers were scones. Feather-light, crumbly and dusted with icing sugar, my fellow high tea taker and I concluded them a knockout. 
Our experience took a blow when it came to the service. The parlour was busy, a good sign, as afternoon turned into evening and the staff were friendly, but as the gent put it, things felt a little lacklustre. Our tea pots arrived ten minutes before the edibles and despite proclamations on its website that you could begin with a glass of champagne and extend the proceedings with a tumbler of whiskey, we were offered neither and left parched in search of a pub. 
Afernoon Tea at The Montcalm at The Brewery London City is £25pp. For more information, visit their website
Charlotte Vowden is a travel & lifestyle journalist who is as happy in the mountains as she is sipping champagne and indulging on cake. Writing for The Sunday Times and other national publications keeps her busy but she’s always looking for her next adventure or afternoon tea destination.


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