This is something I was super excited about before I even made the reservation. Those who know me well know I love classic British literature, especially from the early-mid nineteenth century – including Jane Austen. I am not for a moment implying that Bridgerton is anywhere near the same level as Austen, but I am giving a bit of context for all of this; tldr I love everything from this era, even highly romanticised versions of it.
It is no surprise then, that when I saw the Instagram adverts for a ‘Bridgerton Afternoon Tea’ at the Lanesborough I had to find out more. I quickly made a reservation – and more importantly bought a dress – excited to get there and experience it. I will be honest, I was prepared for it to be more of an ‘experience’ rather than a particularly interesting meal, but I was pleasantly surprised with how delicious the food we were presented with was.
Entering the hotel, and the afternoon tea room (cafe? restaurant? drawing room?) was quite intimidating – as much as I wish otherwise I do not often frequent these sorts of venues. That being said the staff were super friendly and welcoming, and immediately put us at our ease, chatting to us about Bridgerton and so on. Once we made our decision on the menu, the tea and accompanying food arrived fairly quickly, but despite there being a lot (and I mean a lot) of food, we made sure to savour all of it.
We started off with the sandwiches: smoked salmon, cucumber, egg and cress, coronation chicken, and a beef bun. I was surprised by how much I liked the cucumber sandwich, as I have a mental image of them being bland and dull, but this had a lovely addition of mint, which really shone through and made it nice and refreshing. The best one was undoubtedly the beef bun, which had all the elements necessary to make the ideal sandwich: an amazing brioche bun, incredibly tender meat, and a nice, subtle, creamy sauce (possibly mayonnaise). We both kept this until the end, and truly tried to savour it as long as possible – honestly my mouth is watering just writing this.
Moving onto the scones: we had two each (and they weren’t small) which was already quite a lot following the five sandwiches. I always check the quality of a scone based on whether they can break apart without a knife, and how cleanly they do so. Unsurprisingly, they both passed my test, and they ended up being the smoothest, fluffiest, lightest scones I’ve ever had (I’m not just saying that, they were out of this world). They were served with a small silver container of jam, and one of clotted cream, and even though this was meant to be split four ways there was a perfect amount -needless to say these were also both delicious.
After the scones came the part that we (I at least) had all been waiting for: the sweet pastries. There were four and a half of these each, and by this time we were both feeling quite full (this did not stop me at all – I actually ended up finishing my friend’s as she couldn’t manage it and I didn’t want it to go to waste, of course). The first one we turned to was a small triangular sponge, covered in a jellyish pink glaze. This was fine – the jam inside it was lovely but otherwise I felt that it was overall a bit dry and lacked flavour. The next one was nicer: a strong pistachio flavour, and obviously not artificial, and was overall soft and creamy, absolutely delicious.
Then we moved to what is probably my favourite one: based on my notes tasting this ‘I died and went to heaven’ so that gives you a good idea of what I thought. It was very soft, with creamy passion fruit flavours, ever so slightly tangy. It also had a biscuit base with an excellent crunch and slightly herbal flavour – potentially caraway. Then we had a little coloured jewel box, with a chocolate and honey gemstone inside surrounded by rock candy. This was the most innovative food item, and it had a really nice honey burst, but I feel was over all too soon – I think I was expecting more innovation in the other dishes as well.
Finally, we ended on the top pastry – I believe the Lady Whistledown (but I may be wrong). This was a gorgeous pastel greeny/blue colour, very clearly unnatural but very pretty. It was so soft and fluffy, I think it was meant to be a cheesecake but it was unlike most usual cheesecakes I’ve had, as it was a lot lighter, but the flavours were definitely there, vanilla and more of the delicious jam we’d been having.
Overall, we both had a great time. It was a beautiful experience and the food was genuinely impressive – all of this in gorgeous scenery. The Bridgerton afternoon tea is running until November 10th 2022, and the link to book can be found here. Its not cheap, but if you do get the chance to go I would absolutely recommend it.
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