Frequent followers will have noticed we’ve got a bit of a thing for Hotel La Tour. Over the past year we’ve had lunch, dinner, cocktails, drinks, a 30th, afternoon tea, and entertainment there (including the preview to Duelling Pianos, see my review). So on Friday when my parents were in town for a day of Christmas frivolity (including the German Market and Loki Wine – for which see my review) we decided it would be the perfect place for afternoon tea. Not any old afternoon tea either, the seasonal special Christmas afternoon tea.
If you’ve somehow managed to avoid the place since its opening in March I would describe the aesthetic as Alice in Wonderland meets Hotel Babylon with a touch of city slickness thrown in. From the entrance you’re greeted with huge standard lamps and plant plots, giant backed chairs, and a sweeping staircase festooned with silver and golden orbs. I’d wondered how they would manage to keep the slick chic look with festive decorations hanging but they’ve done the place proud with stylish winter wonderland trees and vases filled with sparkling branches.
We were seated on cool coloured sofas in the lounge and kicked off with winter-spiced
Eggnog dusted with freshly grated nutmeg, and some Earl Grey Bellinis for those who don’t like creamy drinks. The Eggnog was delicious but I think three of them may have been one too many – hic!
The Christmas afternoon tea is presented on tall silver stands tiered with lovelies including: finger sandwiches (smoked salmon, brie and cranberry, ham and mustard mayo), pigs in blankets with a light mustard dip, dainty scones, and a host of unusual and delicious pastries and sweets.
I particularly liked the sweet and savoury cranberry and brie sandwiches. The scones were warm from the oven and served with a very healthy dollop of clotted cream and strawberry jam, and were lovely. However the show was most definitely stolen by the gorgeous sweets and pastries which were as pretty as a picture. The mini Eaton mess was painted metallic pink like a Christmas tree bauble and had a cranberry tang, it really looked very pretty and was definitely my favourite. The Christmas yule, a ball of chocolate torte, was iced to look like a plum pudding and was super rich – best eaten with a cup of tea. The Mini Mandarin Tart was very unusual, the orange was strong and the white foamy-marshmallow cubes on top were delicate and a contrast to other heavy textures in the Christmas desert selection. I’m afraid after that lot I couldn’t eat the Christmas cake slice, but I’m told it was also a winner.
Tea without the booze is £15.95 and is a real treat – take your parents or grandparents for a special occasion, they’re sure to love it.