Unforgettable Afternoon Tea at The Dorchester

There are some occasions in life that are so special you will never forget them. Afternoon tea at the utterly beautiful Dorchester Hotel in London is one of those unforgettable experiences I’ll look back on for years to come. When my dear friend Lauren asked me to join her for the special Chocolate Indulgence Afternoon Tea, I was super excited for us to experience it.

DC Moments 28The Chocolate Indulgence Afternoon Tea is served on The Balcony, which is a beautiful and bright area that sits above the grand entrance of the hotel. We made our way upstairs and were met with the sweet fragrance of delectable chocolate sat upon a gorgeous trolley as we reached the top.

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DC Moments 25After taking a few moments to marvel at the chocolate morsels from all over the globe, we took our seats where we met the fantastic Arthur, afternoon tea expert and chocolate connoisseur. He very kindly poured us two glasses of crisp champagne and walked us through the very unique tea experience we were about to have.

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Dorchester Afternoon Tea-5We toasted to good friendship and carried on chattering whilst Arthur proceeded to bring out some lovely savoury treats to start off our tea with. The Dorchester is home to Alain Ducasse’s three Michelin starred restaurant and is also known for having some of the most renowned restaurants in the world. When our first course came out, we were stunned at the beautiful presentation of each delicacy.
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DC Moments 23Truth be told, I am a bigger savoury fan that sweet when it comes to Afternoon Tea and the sandwich selection we were presented with was filled with twists on British classics such as Coronation Chicken served on brioche with raisin and coriander cress,  Smoked Duck with pickled carrot and truffle emulsion and Smoked Salmon with peashoots on fresh pumpernickel bread.

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DC Moments 20As we enjoyed our delicious sandwiches, Arthur popped over and topped us both up with some more bubbles whilst we chatted about Lauren’s impending trip to Spain and some of my wedding plans. Whenever Lauren and I are together, we always find that we have good reason to celebrate and what better way to do so than with champagne and chocolate?

DC Moments 18Arthur presented us with a selection of decadent treats, including this Cacao Nib that was crisp on the outside, filled with chocolate ganache, one of my favourites of the day.

DC Moments 17I deemed the sharing desserts almost too pretty to eat, but within minutes we both got stuck in. These were the ultimate luxurious desserts, topped with gold leaves. Pure decadence. Luckily these were to share as we were about to embark on the the most interesting part of the tea, the hot coco experience. We had a bit of a palate cleanser in between, which was a nice way to break up our chocolate courses. 

DC Moments 4A gorgeous iced lemon posset was a refreshing treat to enjoy before the chocolate indulgence ensued.

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Arthur wheeled over the elegant chocolate trolley over to our table and explained the origins of each chocolate, all of which are ethically sourced from different parts of the world. The trolley featured every type of chocolate one could dream of from milk chocolate, dark chocolate, white chocolate, butterscotch, caramel, the list goes on and on. Needless to say, it’s a chocoholics idea of heaven.

DC Moments 7We began with the Dulcey, a light chocolate that tastes similar to caramel.

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DC Moments 12Arthur lit up the flame and began warming the chocolate in the vintage copper pots.

DC Moments 12The chocolate melted in a mere matter of minutes and a buttery, caramel scent flowed around the room. Arthur stirred the chocolate and added in milk to thicken it up. He explained to us how to make the ideal cup of cocoa and that the right balance of milk and water is key.

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DC Moments 8There is nothing better than fresh hot chocolate and I’ve yet to try any better than at The Dorchester.

DC Moments 14Our second cup of hot chocolate was made with the Alto El Sol from South America. This chocolate is more on the bitter side than its Dulcey counterpart but still absolutely delectable.

DC Moments 6We sipped on our incredible hot chocolate and savoured every drop until in a mere matter moments we had finished both cups off. I’ll definitely be remembering Arthur’s tips for cocoa in the winter! Now, we both thought that our afternoon tea had come to an end, but no British tea would be complete with scones, clotted cream and jam of course.

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Dorchester Moments 1There is nothing better than freshly baked scones. I prefer jam on mine, however, these came out with a special chocolate caramel sauce, which was equally as delicious. Utterly full of chocolate and having indulged rather heavily, we sat back and relaxed and raved about how exceptional the afternoon tea had been, until the lovely Arthur came out with a special surprise…

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An absolutely gorgeous Congratulations cake. He had overheard us chatting about  my engagement and setting the date and very thoughtfully brought out a cake. Arthur truly went above and beyond and I was so touched by the gesture.  It had made a day that I didn’t think could be topped, even better. Thank you so much for making our Afternoon Tea so special, Arthur!

The Chocolate Indulgence Afternoon Tea a the Dorchester is one of the most memorable experiences I have had in a long time. I love the tradition of British Afternoon Tea and if you do too, head to The Dorchester for a truly magical and unique afternoon.

The Dorchester | 53 Park Ln | London | W1K 1QA | Book Now

 

Royal Afternoon Tea at The Capital Hotel

The month of June marks the Her Majesty the Queen’s 90th birthday and to celebrate, the luxurious Capital Hotel in Knightsbridge has been hosting a Royal Afternoon Tea in collaboration with famed pastry chef Will Torrent. I love how quintessentially British the tradition of afternoon tea is and always find it such a treat to go, so when my friend Melanie asked if Ciaran and I wanted to come along to this very special tea, I was thrilled!

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_R014591The Capital Hotel is located right around the corner from Harrods in Knightsbridge and and is well-known for honouring the tradition of afternoon tea. Will Torrent, award-winning chocolatier and patissier, has created an exciting menu of British afternoon tea favourites with a Royal twist.

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_R014505Ciaran and I kicked off our Royal Afternoon tea with some bubbles and had a look over the menu, all of which, were incredible. Each menu had a brief history of where the tradition of afternoon tea originated. Anna, the seventh Duchess of Bedford introduced afternoon tea to England in 1840. The Duchess would become hungry around 4 o’clock in the afternoon and asked that a tray of tea, bread, butter and cake be brought to her room during the late afternoon. She later began inviting friends to her afternoon tea and before long, all of fashionable society was sipping on tea and nibbling on sandwiches in the late afternoon, and thus the tradition was born.

_R014508The tea menu is quite extensive, with all sorts of delicious sounding teas like Silver Needle White Tea and Jasmine Pearls, but we opted for the Queen’s favourite, Earl Grey Tea! (My personal favourite as well).

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_R014512It was really nice to be able to have a Sunday afternoon all to ourselves and do something fun together. The past few months have been super hectic so I really love when we have afternoons like today to just enjoy each other’s company.

_R014530Before we knew it, lovely plates of beautiful afternoon tea delights arrived in front of us. Our lovely server talked us through what each sweet and savoury indulgence was.

_R014525For the savouries, we had Cucumber sandwiches with verjus and chive butter, Smoked Salmon with whipped cream cheese on crumpets, Potted coronation chicken with pickled red onion, and Pulled Ham Hock and piccalilli sandwiches.

_R014517And for the sweets, Summer berry and champagne tartlets, Chocolate and marmalade teacakes, Strawberry and Vanilla Victoria sponges, St. Clement’s posset, and gorgeous Earl Grey Crowns that sparkled. The indulgence, however, didn’t stop there! Will kindly brought out a few very special treats that he had also created, all of which were exquisite.

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_R014533A decadent cherry chocolate brownie, mini carrot cake treats with vanilla bean icing and lemon French fancies.

_R014540The entire presentation of the afternoon tea felt really special and each delicacy was made with such care and thought behind it. All of the food looked too gorgeous to eat, but alas, we dug in and began with the savouries.

_R014545Highlights for us both, was hands down, the Coronation Chicken, which sat on top of a thin, crunchy poppyseed crostini. It was so good in fact, that we ordered more and noticed other people were too. I wish I knew how to make this at home, because it would make the ideal starter for a dinner party.

_R014549I also loved the Smoked Salmon with whipped cream cheese on top of a fluffy, buttery crumpet. I’ve never had Smoked Salmon on a crumpet before. The combination of the two worked great together and it was a refreshing change from the usual smoked salmon sandwiches that I’ve had a most afternoon teas I’ve been to. We also thought the cucumber sandwiches were fantastic as well. The chive butter tasted great and really set them apart from the norm.

_R014524Now, I must say, that every single dessert was divine. The Earl Grey cookies tasted fabulous with our tea and the Lemon Posset was a lovely palate cleanser. We even took a few home with us to enjoy later. The Summer Berry and champagne tartlets were also a highlight and the fresh fruit was very refreshing after indulging in the incredible cherry and chocolate brownies!

_R014572We had almost forgotten about our scones, and although we were bursting at the seams, we couldn’t resist the warm, just-out-of-the-oven scones with jam and clotted Cream.

_R014575Scones are one of my favourite parts of afternoon tea. I could have eaten the whole basket had I not just over-indulged in the incredible desserts beforehand. Just like the rest of our Royal Afternoon Tea experience, the scones were exceptional. Warm, fluffy, moist and melt-in-your-mouth good. I topped my raisin scone up with clotted cream and jam and savoured every bite. Delicious.

Utterly satiated, we sat back and relaxed and ordered another pot of tea. I really enjoyed the atmosphere of The Capital Hotel’s afternoon tea room. The service was outstanding and always on hand to ask if we needed anything more or a top up. There was no rush at all we were able to really enjoy each other’s company over a leisurely afternoon, which to me, is how every afternoon tea experience should be!

_R014588As we were saying our thank you’s and goodbyes, our lovey server brought us out a few more chocolate treats courtesy of Will himself. Golden coffee chocolates, passion fruit and chocolate ganache crowns – absolutely stunning. On our way out, I ran into Melanie, who very graciously gifted me a copy of Will’s recently published book, Afternoon Tea at Home, which is filled with all of his best recipes for sandwiches, savouries, scones, cakes and other fancies, and we had the opportunity to meet him too, which was great. He let us know that there is another residency in the works, so if you aren’t able to make it to this very special Royal Afternoon Tea over the next week, you’re in luck because he’ll be collaborating with The Capital Hotel again in the near future.

image1Overall, the Royal Afternoon Tea at the Capital was a very special experience and it was wonderful trying all of Will’s stunning desserts. The service was impeccable as was every single dish we had. The atmosphere was relaxed and it was a wonderful way to spend our Sunday afternoon together. For a unique twist on the traditional afternoon tea, head to the Capital Hotel for an all around lovely experience. I am definitely going to be bringing my Mom come August!

Where are some of your favourite afternoon teas in London? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

The Capital Hotel | 22-24 Basil Street | Knightsbridge | London | SW3 1AT

Our afternoon tea was complimentary, but all opinions are my own. 

La Pâtisserie Des Rêves – CLOSED

Last weekend, I met up with my good friend Julia in South Kensington to catch up over coffee. There are so many cute cafés and lunch spots to choose from, and we decided on the ever-so-chic French dessert shop, La Pâtisserie Des Rêves to indulge in some treats.

IMG_6599Founded by talented and iconic pastry chef Philippe, La Pâtiserrie Des Rêves is literally the cake shop of dreams. Filled with beautiful eclairs, gateau, delicious cakes and innovative pastries, the light and airy shop displays a selection of stunning delicacies that are too good not to tuck into!

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How cute are these coffee cups? Julia and I chatted all about her break back home in Lyon and upcoming plans for the summer. We decided to split a few different desserts and picked the three most famous ones to share.

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I loved the Le-Paris Brest, the gorgeous flower pastry on the right. To me, it’s reminiscent of strudel – light and airy with praline cream in the middle that melts in your mouth. I also absolutely loved all of the pink accents throughout the shop -from the pink exterior to the booths and chairs inside, the pink plates and accents on the coffee mugs – it is definitely my kind of place.

IMG_6596Julia’s favourite is the Saint-Honoré, crunchy, caramel, flaky, buttery pastry with creamy Saint-Honoré cream filling.

IMG_6598The Tarte Tatin is like an elevated homemade apple pie and tastes even better. Soft apples slow cooked with cinnamon and sugar, flaky pastry and hazelnut streusel crunch. No crumb was left behind.

Utterly full of sugar, we certainly satiated our sweet tooth(s) for the day! La Pâtisserie Des Des Rêves is the ideal shop to pick up beautiful and decadent desserts for any occasion, and to stay and try a few for yourself! 🙂

La Pâtisserie Des Des Rêves

13 Exhibition Road

London, SW7 2HE