Blogging has brought me some incredible friendships and there are a small group of girls that have been there with me from very early on. I don’t get to see those girls nearly as much as I would like to, so whenever there’s a chance to catch up, I’m there.
Angie was invited to the new Queen of Afternoon Teas at The Oscar Wilde Lounge in Hotel Cafe Royale and very kindly extended the invitation to Laura and I! The Oscar Wilde Lounge is something I’ve always wanted to see – so called after the rooms’ most famous patron. I’ve seen pictures of the stunning mirrored gold gilded room so many times before. It is truly so much more spectacular in person. Reminding me a little of the French Dining Room at Cliveden House.
With 2019 marking the 200th anniversary of the birth of Queen Victoria, Hotel Cafe Royale wanted to pay homage to the beloved British monarch. She reigned over Great Britain for 63 years. A record, until our very own Queen Elizabeth surpassed her reign in 2015. Queen Elizabeth is now the longest reigning female monarch in world history!
Queen Victoria inspired the menu, with classics that became popular during her reign. As well as some inspired by her life.
We settled down into our seats to the glorious sound of a live pianist playing from the middle of the room. Then started with a glass of rosé bubbles each, poured from the sky. I didn’t ask why, but it was pretty spectacular!
The menu was presented on a single piece of paper with a red seal. Glass of bubbles in hand, we made our tea choices. I went for a Rose and Lychee Black Tea that was deliciously light and not at all bitter.
The sandwiches looked delicious, but unfortunately were a little disappointing. The bread on the cucumber sandwich was wet while the smoked salmon sandwich tasted a little too fishy. I know that’s a strange thing to say about a fish sandwich. But it was too heavy, whereas smoked salmon should normally be light. Coronation Chicken is one of my absolute favourites and this one didn’t disappoint, it was delicious! There was also an amuse bouche of pork ballotine truffle and pistachio, Asparagus cheshire cheese tart and a roast beef and Albert sauce sandwich to top off the savoury course.
Time for a palette cleanser between courses with an orange jelly served in a beautiful coupette. Now jelly is a tricky thing to get flavour into. But this jelly tasted remarkably like orange juice and even melted into liquid when I couldn’t finish the whole portion.
The scones were perfect. Light and not dry with a perfect split down the middle without having to cut them with a knife. I went for the traditional clotted cream and jam rather than the lemon curd.
The cakes were actually some of the best I’ve had so the tea definitely made up for the sandwiches. Although I couldn’t actually manage any of the cakes at the restaurant (we all opted to take home a doggy bag). I did try them all at home. In fact, I tried the Victoria Sponge while I was at the tea and it was actually the best Victoria Sponge I’ve ever tasted!
Ben and I ate the remaining sweets the next day with a cup of tea each. Leaving them overnight in the fridge did nothing to impact their taste and we thoroughly enjoyed half of each of them. The chocolate choux bun with salted caramel cream was our winner. The vanilla and apricot blancmange and rose, raspberry and lychee tart were also delicious.
I had such a lovely catch up with the girls. The waiters of the Oscar Wilde Lounge seamlessly delivered each course, along with stories of each of the dishes and why they were chosen for The Queen of Afternoon Teas. I won’t spoilt the surprise though, as the stories offer such an interesting insight into the Queen and her life.
Besides the disappointment of a few of the sandwiches, the rest of the tea was beautiful from start to finish. With extremely polished service that I would highly recommend.
You can book HERE for the experience and don’t forget to toast The Queen (past and present) when you do go!