Now a couple of months ago, my sister announced she was off to the Royal Albert Hall for afternoon tea. I don’t think I’ve ever been so jealous, first of all, the Hall which I’ve been meaning to visit for years, plus my ultimate favourite – afternoon tea. So, when I got a little invite in my inbox a couple of weeks ago to pop along and try the new afternoon tea* they were launching with Rhubarb and the East India Company, I couldn’t say yes fast enough!!
So on Monday I tottered off into London and despite the very grim weather, got to see the awesome building. Like how impressive is that, and only 40 minutes from home. Remind me to get out and explore London some more again, please? I also managed to crash some kind of wedding shoot but you know, needed the blog snaps. I wandered round to the back and headed down to the Berry Bros. & Rudd No. 3 Bar to meet the lovely Erica who was joining me.
Now, the bar itself is just my kind of thing – it has that totally dark, speakeasy kind of vibe and it’s a gin bar, so that automatically means I must come back for a drink one day soon. Plus, it’s the best kind of Monday when you’re greeted with a cocktail on the door, right? The afternoon tea, alongside regular tea, has some tea based cocktails which you can get your hands on. Why did no one tell me tea was such a good cocktail ingredient?! The Staunton Earl Grey Martini was a real delight – just the right amount of gin and sweetness.
We then got to lay our hands on the afternoon tea, looking rather impressive on its 3 tier stand. Let’s start with the savoury, always my favourite part of the event and the Royal Albert Hall do it very well! Now, it does have cucumber sandwiches, which we know are not my favourite things, but I was reassured that they were damn good, if cucumber is indeed your thing. Alongside we had salmon with creme fraiche and balsamic caviar, which, I most likely devoured about 6 of. Delicious little scrolls full of the rich salmon and creamy creme fraiche, they couldn’t be topped up fast enough.
One which was a little odd, but totally satisfying was the egg and cress crepe wrap. I love me an egg sandwich, and hey, wrapping an egg sandwich in a roti type wrap, surprisingly works pretty well! To top it off, a ham, mustard and rocket scroll, which definitely had a mustardy kick which I was very happy with.
Right, time for me to admit my horrendous blogger mistake. I was so enthralled with the salmon and egg sandwiches, I didn’t even try the scones. I know, I don’t know what I was thinking! They were tucked away in a little napkin at the bottom of the tower and definitely looked good. Full of jam and cream, excuse to go back I think…
But moving swiftly onto the crowning glory, the sweets! My highlight for sure was the carrot cupcake with Gran Marnier frosting which was oh so moist and one of the best carrot cakes I’ve ever had. Erica raved about the strawberry and rhubarb custard tart which also looked amazing, plus you can’t beat the crunchy salted caramel dark chocolate mousse. The white chocolate, mint and rum macaroon was also a good one, though definitely more mint rather than anything else.
We popped over to have a bit of a tea tasting with the East India Company too, who are partnering with the Royal Albert Hall. I am really into my tea lately, as I’ve been trying to cut down on fizzy, it offers something a bit different than just guzzling water all day. The peach tea was definitely my favourite, followed of course, by the Jasmine pearls which was lovely and floral. But do not worry, if you’re not a normal tea lover, all of them taste totally awesome in a cocktail! I’ve got a few bags to take home so I’m keen to get trying them all.
Overall, I really enjoyed the afternoon tea at the Royal Albert Hall, I think it is such a good idea for somewhere a bit special to go, as not only do you get really nice food and drink, you get to visit an iconic building too. And for only £25 for the standard fare, you really cannot go wrong. Trust me, I will be back for more!
Where have you been for afternoon tea recently?
*I was invited to try the afternoon tea but of course, all delicious opinions are my own!