Covent Garden-based hotel Middle Eight launched its new musically-themed afternoon tea in March this year, and it was a symphony of delicious treats and unusual teas. 

The tea is a nod towards the hotel's “QT” evening where you can listen to live music over food and drink, and held in the hotel's lounge area upstairs which has a very modern, open and relaxed feel to it.

Created by Head Pastry Chef and former Bake Off: The Professionals semi-finalist Clanny Rodrigues, it is a traditional tea that doesn't stray too much away from classic options, however the sweets are where Rodrigues' experimental flair shines through.

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Our tea began with a glass of fizz as we browsed through the many teas on offer.

The Resident: The tea was a symphony of delicious treats and unusual teasThe tea was a symphony of delicious treats and unusual teas (Image: Middle Eight)

 It was the first time I’ve ever had an afternoon tea experience where the teas are treated like fine wines, and our knowledgeable server talked through some options that would pair well with our savoury dishes and then with our sweets.

In the past when I’ve been for an afternoon tea I’ve always opted for the classic English breakfast or earl grey, however, I was feeling more adventurous and tried a few different teas this time and I’m definitely a convert.

The organic Abruzzo olive leaf tea was recommended to go with the selection of finger sandwiches. Unsurprisingly, the tea was made with olive leaves.

Surprisingly however, was how the warming blend of olive leaves brought out the flavours of the flaky pastry sausage roll and slender sandwiches filled with salmon and cream cheese, coronation chicken, and grilled vegetables it accompanied.  

The Resident: Each of the desserts were decorated with a musical touchEach of the desserts were decorated with a musical touch (Image: Middle Eight)

For the cakes and pâtisserie at the end, I chose the Chelsea rose tea which had a delicate floral taste that enhanced the sweetness of the desserts.

The tea's finale course was a selection of pâtisserie flavoured with a mix of chocolate, citrus, vanilla and fruit, and each decorated with an insturment or musical reference. 

My favourite was the blood orange opera, which was a citrus pannacotta with layers of blood orange jelly. The jelly had great strong flavours that worked well with the pannacotta's creaminess.

The treble clef treat was a pistachio macaroon with a buttercream and roasted praline centre embossed with a chocolate treble clef. 

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The hazelnut harmony was a chocolate covered hazelnut éclair finished with a decorative piano keyboard made from icing.

The to the beat lemon meringue tart brought sharper notes to the tea's grande finale, which I finished off with the strike a chord cake - a small almond cake filled with raspberries and topped with gold leaf and a chocolate guitar on top. 

With so much flavour, variety and attention to detail - from the tea recommendations to the musical finishing touches on the cakes - Middle Eight's musical afternoon tea was a symphony of tastes and one I’d revisit again in the future.

Address: 66 Great Queen Street, Covent Garden WC2B 5BX