There are two things that can get me somewhere fast. Chocolate and Afternoon tea. If you want me there twice as fast? Add cocktails. The Kimpton Fitzroy have created the most decadent afternoon tea in London.
With sumptuous chocolate courses paired with an ‘amuse bouche’ cocktail to act as a palette cleanser between each mouthful, this clever little afternoon tea is a feast for the senses.
Having never set foot in the Kimpton Fitzroy, (we have stayed at a Kimpton before though) I was immediately hit by its grandeur. A marble foyer leads off in different directions. The ceilings are unbelievably tall, but it doesn’t feel stuffy, thanks to the clever introduction of sectioned off areas and cosy spaces complete with fireplaces.
Immediately as you turn right from the main foyer, you’re drawn into the Fitz Bar. Squares of light flit around the room thanks to the giant glitter ball on the ceiling. They hit sumptuous velvet furniture, ostrich feathers, and abstract artwork as well as panelling decorated with faux exotic animal skin.
We took our seats (a decadent blue velvet corner sofa) and placed our order tea order. A white peony tea for me and a Chinese Pu’erh for Ben.
The ‘Do You Like Chocolate’ Afternoon Tea at The Kimpton Fitzroy is the result of a genius collaboration between Sean Fenelly (Director of Bars at The Kimpton) and Thibault Marchand (Executive Pastry Chef). They launched the new menu as a celebration of the season of indulgence and a way to mark the short winter days.
Finding inspiration from the days in Mayan and Aztec culture when Chocolate was used as a decadent spice or even currency, the tea celebrates the rich global heritage and complex flavours of the nations favourite treat.
All of the chocolate featured in the tea is from Valrhona, a worldwide producer of exceptional, artisan, quality chocolate.
Our opener arrived, shortly after we ordered. The first cocktail. A Cacao fruit Eau-De-Vie with Jasmine, Olive, Waina Chocolate (35%) and topped with Champagne.
The sandwiches (although seemingly not particularly special in appearance) were exquisite in flavour. I don’t think I’ve ever had a carrot sandwich and I can’t imagine I’ll have another that tastes as good as this one did. Carrot, Star anise and Wood Sorrel on White Bread. Tandoori Chicken and Raita on Carraway bread. Goats curd and Fig mustard on Onion Bread was lovely, but needed a little more goats curd. The special mention however, had to go to the Smoked Trout, Fennel and apple sandwich on Beetroot bread. It was so good, that I ordered another!
The next cocktail, I passed on to Ben. Tequila doesn’t behave well with me and although this had Mezcal in and not tequila, I was still unsure with how my body would react, so I tried one sip and handed it over. It was a beautiful smoky flavour that really packed a punch. Containing Aguardiente, Racilla, Lime, Achiote, Bay, Marigold and Alpaco Chocokate (66%).
If you’ve read a few of my afternoon tea posts over the years, you’ll know I love a good scone. It’s not often that establishments take risks with scones. Typically they’ll be plain or have fruit in, but rarely do you come across chocolate scones. These ones were out of this world. Served with a passion fruit curd, I could have polished off a whole tray of them. Ben and I were scraping the pot for every tiny bit of the curd, it was so delicious! The plain scones were also good, but weren’t a patch on the flavour of the chocolate scones.
Our next cocktail was lovely and light and really paired perfectly with the chocolate of the cakes but also acted as a perfect palette cleanser. Cherry Eau-De-Vie, Cherry Wine, Bahibé Chocolate (46%), Clarified Milk, Cherry Wood and Cherry Blossom.
The cakes were incredible. Perfectly identical little squares of happiness. I started with a Orelys Chocolate (35%) and coffee tart which was beautiful! Followed by a Passion Fruit, Mango, Bahibé (46%) and Tainori (64%) Chocolate Layered cake. This again was one of my favourites. The curtness of the passion fruit and mango counteracts the richness of the chocolate and is such an incredible explosion of flavours in the mouth.
I was completely defeated at this point and didn’t get to try the remaining Tonka, Kalingo Chocolate (65%) and Lime Choux and Macae Chocolate (62%) and Blackcurrant Petit Gateaux although I have it on good authority that they were delicious.
Having thought the meal finished with the cakes, the afternoon tea had one more surprise in store for us. A Tulukulum Chocolate (75%), Stout, Green Chartreuse and Vanilla Cream Hot Chocolate. Unbelievably decadent and I promise you now, if the cakes don’t finish you off, this will!
The ‘Do You Like Chocolate?’ afternoon tea is available at The Kimpton Fitzroy Thursday – Sunday, 12 to 5pm and priced at £65 per person. A non-alcoholic alternative is offered at £45 per person, and vegetarian and vegan options are also available. Book online here.