This weekend I was invited to the InterContinental Westminster hotel for a preview of a particularly special afternoon tea, with the delicious Laurent-Perrier. Now, the green fingered amongst you will know that we will soon be welcoming in another year of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show and Laurent-Perrier will be designing a garden for the 16th consecutive year. To celebrate this, IC Westminster’s pastry team have created an exquisite Edible Garden themed afternoon tea to reflect the elegance of Laurent-Perrier champagne and their layered Chelsea garden.
The tea begins with a glass of LP’s finest, to sip whilst familiarising yourself with the feast that awaits. Do not worry about savouring the champers though, it’s free-flowing for the duration of the sitting and the waiters keep you topped up at the slightest sight of you running empty.
The first course is a selection of savoury treats, created using the best of British seasonal ingredients and designed to be devoured in a particular order to ensure that no flavour is masked by the one that proceeded it.
Avocado & Baby Vegetable Shot
Garden Pea & Basil Tart
Miniature Eggs Benedict
Smoked Chicken & Tarragon Teardrop
Smoked Salmon Roulade On Rye Bread
Delicate Goat Cheese & Tomato With Cheddar shortbread
Roast Beef & Horseradish On Beetroot Bread
Each is beautifully presented, showing a level of care and detail that is backed up with flavour in abundance. The Smoked Chicken & Tarragon Teardrop and Roast Beef & Horseradish being my favourites in particular.
Now you can not have afternoon tea without a cuppa but with this being an edible garden themed afternoon tea, the only route to take was that of a floral tea. I indulged in the Blackcurrant & Hibiscus Herbal Tea, a favourite of mine. This was the perfect palette cleanser in-between courses, along with the champagne of course!
The next round was a delightful pairing of Lavender Infused Scones and Mini Chelsea Buns, accompanied by generous amounts of homemade Strawberry Rose Jam, Lemon Curd and of course, the all important Devonshire Clotted Cream. Again, the flavours were faultless and the waistband definitely began to feel the strain.
But this was no match for the finale and title piece, the Edible Garden. This was visually stunning and truly one of the coolest dishes I have had the pleasure of reviewing. Presented to the table inside a greenhouse display, the Edible Garden includes a selection of decadent desserts, each more indulgent than the last. What was really exciting was the details that the pastry team had included in the design. There was an incredible amount of skill involved in creating these miniature puds and it did not go unappreciated.
Much like the savouries, the desserts had a recommended order for consumption. The Lemon Hedge Box was first and easily one of my favourite. Light with a crisp hedgerow case, brimming with a refreshing and zesty centre and complete with a miniature ladybird!
The rest immediately followed in quick succession as they were simply too moreish to savour for too long.
Raspberry Meringue Pie
Laurent-Perrier Strawberry Champagne Bubble
Orange Blossom Flower Pot
Crushed Violet Macaroon
Manjari Chocolate Pond
An incredible list, I think you will agree? Even the soil and pebbles were edible!
The tea was truly a treat and worth every penny of the £44 ticket. The service was impeccable, food fantastic and who can complain with champagne on tap and even the opportunity to win two tickets to the flower show when you book. That’s right, with every booking, you are entered into a raffle to win tickets to the Chelsea Flower Show and experience Laurent-Perrier’s actual garden for yourself.
To book now, head here for all the details. This is one London experience you will not want to miss out on and perfect if you love a bit of luxury in your life. Be sure to tweet us pics of your experiences too!
We The Food Snobs x