Friday, 24 October 2014

Afternoon tea | Flemings Hotel


Back in May, I went to Flemings Hotel in Mayfair with my friend Laura to sample their traditional afternoon tea (read more about that, here). This time round we were back in Mayfair to try out their unique and rather special chocoholics tea – and what better time to visit than during National Chocolate Week?
Obviously a lot of people had the same idea as us, as when we arrived it was a lot busier than last time. We were put on a table in the corner, next to a table of four – a little annoying given the free tables. In my last post, I’m sure I mentioned about the size of the tables and space – and getting to my seat was a struggle, particularly when I was carrying my jacket and handbag.
I used a TravelZoo voucher, which entitled us to the chocoholics afternoon tea for two for £39 – the usual price per person. At this price, you receive:
  • A glass of pink champagne
  • An option of three teas
  • A selection of finger sandwiches in four fillings
  • Two chocolate scones with a choice of accompaniments
  • An array of petit-fours – chocolate themed, of course
We started off with a flute of pink champagne, as we perused the tea menus – such an elegant way to begin our experience. The three varieties of tea on offer were caramel, chocolate and chocolate & cream. Laura opted for the chocolate & cream, while I chose the caramel – although we tried both varieties. I loved the caramel, which I drank with no milk and a tiny bit of brown sugar. Once the leaves had stewed in the pot, it made a really lovely tea with pungent caramel aromas, but it wasn’t overly sweet.
Then the three-tier cake stand arrived and we began with the savoury – four dainty sandwiches. There was smoked salmon & cream cheese on beetroot bread, cream cheese & cucumber on white, ham & mustard on granary and finally a light egg  mayonnaise on rye. The rye bread had a really chocolaty smell and there was even a bitter tinge; it was almost like a savoury swiss roll – unusual but very interesting. My favourite was the smoked salmon & cream cheese, which I raved about last time; while the ham & mustard disappointed me, there was too much butter and not enough mustard for my liking.
We continued and started on the scones, which resembled giant chocolate brownies. They were huge, but baked really well, managing to keep a warm fluffy interior. I had clotted cream on the first half before also adding some strawberry preserve... it was almost like having a mini black forest gateau. The clotted cream wasn’t heavy and with a really light consistency, it tasted really milky. We also had a pot of lemon curd, which I thought was divine last time round – unfortunately, it didn’t really go with chocolate well and I think an orange marmalade would have worked better with the theme.
I remember making the mistake of eating both my scones before starting on the petit-fours and then feeling too full to eat them all, so this time to prevent myself from hitting that wall, I moved straight onto to the top tier after one scone. Because I wasn’t so full, I managed to enjoy all of the little treats, even if they did look too good to consume. I even managed to finish the other scone afterwards.
First I sampled the mini chocolate éclair (you can’t really go wrong, it was incredible; the choux pastry simply melted in the mouth), before following up with the chocolate truffle (very rich) and the chocolate friand (my favourite... very moreish!). I then tried the spectacular centrepiece: a trio of mousse (dark, milk and white chocolate) on a chocolate sponge base (heaven!), before finishing with a mini chocolate brownie (again, you can’t go wrong – it’s a must for chocoholics!).
After finishing our teas and nursing a rather large food baby, we left. I love that everything is so relaxed, the staff aren’t keen to get rid of you and you can just sit and eat at your leisure. I have to say the staff are excellent in ensuring everything is to your satisfaction and are really efficient too. It definitely makes the afternoon more special and relaxed.
I have to admit I preferred the chocoholics experience to the traditional afternoon tea and it’s worth paying more for, particularly with the glass of champagne! Obviously if you don’t like or can’t eat chocolate, it’s not for you but it’s unique and a nice change from the standard tea and scones.
Have you been to Flemings for afternoon tea? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

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