In the centre of Parsons Green lies Jack and Beyond, an award-winning local bakery, famed for their bespoke cake service, delicious brownies and macarons. Apparently, their mince pies are so delicious, that my friend’s boss once drove there from deepest, darkest north London (Zone 6, actually) just to collect a box.
The shop and cafe are decorated with cutesy signs sporting phrases such as ‘Stressed is desserts spelt backwards’ and ‘Pilates? I thought you said Pie and Lattes!’, which embodies everything that Jack and Beyond are about: sweets and treats.
The Food & The Experience
The afternoon tea comes with a generous glass of complimentary Champagne, and as many hot drinks as you can handle. Aside from the normal selection of teas and exceptional artisan coffees, you can also get your hands on a selection of strange and wonderful lattes. I went for the Lavender, which also contained maca and butterfly blue pea, and my guest went for the Pink Flamingo, which had notes of beetroot and orange flower. You wouldn’t expect the flavours to go together, especially in a (non-coffee) latte, but they were so subtle and warming that we went back for another. I’d pay £3 just for the vibrant colours, which were a subtle not towards a ‘Mad Hatter’s Tea Party’ – bright pink and purple with golden teaspoons! We followed this with a rich hot chocolate from the Kokoa Collection, made in the Spanish style and available in two different percentages of cocoa.
The savoury portion of the food was made up of some perfectly weighted pastries; I was a big fan of the cheese gougères and the quiche. The scones were cooked to perfection, soft and still warm from the oven. The red velvet scones made for a decadent twist, not served with jam, but instead, complemented with a cream that had been blended with sugar. It’s a lot of sugar, so my advice would be to pace yourself. The rest of the sweets were the stars of the show, delicate and delicious – I’d particularly recommend the Red Velvet Brownies and Pistachio Blondies.
All in all, it was an absolute treat and if you have a sweet tooth there is little here to go amiss. I will definitely be going back in December to try out those mince pies for myself!
Afternoon tea is £29.95 per person