Well according to Le Meridien in Piccadilly, a plush, suave 5 star establishment (that I had’nt noticed was there before to be honest), have honed in on the Afternoon Tea indulgents by putting their G & T Bar to good use.
Tea lovers can opt for something a bit different and original by taking up the luxury G & T Afternoon Tea at £32 a head, rather than the normal choice for straight up tea and cakes or those with some bubbly attached to it. Seated in the light room adjacent to the Terrace Bar & Restaurant, we were lucky enough to be seated in their large yellow chairs (even offered the addition of a pillow) where as the rest of the area looks more cosy for business meetings, those who don’t plan on slouching out for 3 hours ..
But let’s get to the menu, straight away scanning for the G & T options, choices were listed out of 6 or 7, various Gins infused with herbal, spices or fruity notes. We opted to firstly try the chilli & vanilla Sloane gin as recommended by our ever accommodating waitress and the Bulldog infused with lychee.
On coming to our table in small clear teapots, with strainers and the object of desired taste bobbing along inside the gin, we trickled with excitement on the attempt to try it minus the syrup provided. I nearly choked on the hard kick of alcohol and growing heat of the chilli, with delicate vanilla trailing off afterwards. A surprising favourite, with the second time round using the addition of the syrup, adding that extra sweetness for non hardcore alcoholics.
The lychee was floral, delicate in flavour compared to the first,chilled and reminded me of elderflower hints, more subtle.
The tray of Afternoon Tea treats included traditional finger sandwiches,all delicious apart from a personal bewilderment that I never seem to understand cucumber sandwiches?! Piled above, a cupcake with two mini macarons sticking out of the top like butterflies wishing to take off, but stuck in a swirl of buttercream, was herbal lavender.
The mini danish pastry, forest fruity cream panna cotta, more mini macaroons all were pleasant in that they accompanied the gin well, but purposefully leaving the mini chocolate rolled gooey patisserie hiding amongst the rest to last. It was a soft, indulgent, stick to your fingers , bitter chocolate treat to die for, well I had already gone to heaven and passed through the gates.
The level above was piled with four scones, I do love scones, not too sweet, perfect bake, clotted cream and fruit jam to perk up even single bite.
Plus washed down with more gin, this time we tried the sweet basil infused with rosemary which smelt like strong cardamom spiced chai in fragrance and definitely had a herbal note. However, you couldn’t taste the rosemary as much.
Finally finishing and craving a cup of tea ironically, we ordered some green and jasmine flowering tea to help soothe the sugar fix from the cakes and alcohol. After spending over 3 hours, relaxing, nattering away our tables were covered in teapots and cups.
I have been to a few afternoon teas in London and the UK and continue to do so, at the price you pay at Le Meridien, its competitive with other places, whilst the G & T experience is good the actual food, pastries, desserts included are on the ok side and nothing spectacular. Maybe a trip to their G & T bar to taste their infusions make for conversations and its something out of the ordinary..