Eric Lanlard afternoon tea

Afternoon Tea by Eric Lanlard

In a distinctive move away from traditional finger sandwiches and cream cakes of the quintessentially English afternoon tea, Eric was adamant that he, in partnership with the 51-year-old hotel, should create a tea which invokes a ‘dream of the Orient’. How curious my seven-year-old rightly thought as, once the tea was laid out in front of us, our waitress sprayed us and the lavish spread with a mist of Oriental scent. The hotel’s marketing manager explained that the French master patissier was keen to reflect the numerous Oriental and Middle Eastern guests choosing to stay in this hotel, located just off Sloane Street.

Turning our attention back to the tea, we momentarily admired the chic yet simple tea stand before diving in. Mini-Me’s favourite sandwich was the Loch Fyne smoked salmon with cream cheese on malt bread. I thought the rather rare and tender roast beef with horseradish cream and watercress on brioche was more satisfying.

The dark chocolate tier drop filled with chocolate mousse was the hands down favourite in the cake category and only the eyes-bigger-than-her-stomach of us could squeeze in a scone with cream and jam before declaring herself ‘ready to pop’. She drank hot chocolate while I enjoyed a constantly refilled pot of delicate green tea.

All in all, the school holidays had allowed me to appreciate afternoon tea through excited, curious and impressionable eyes. Taking the tube home, my little reviewer and I agreed tea was beautifully exotic with a sense of old-fashioned fun.

Tea costs £40 per person. Prices do not include discretionary service charge. (Our advice would be to order tea just for one as we had trouble finishing even half of it.)

Chinoiserie, Jumeirah Carlton Tower Hotel, Cadogan Plce, London, SW1X;; 020 7235 1234

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