1 The OVO Afternoon Tea at Royal Garden Hotel
Celebrate the return of Cirque du Soleil to London with the official OVO pre-show afternoon tea at Royal Garden Hotel in Kensington. OVO follows the lives of flexible fleas, silky spiders and crazy crickets when they discover a mysterious egg in their home, so Executive Head Chef Steve Munkley Park Terrace restaurant has taken it upon himself to craft an edible ecosystem with a colourful collection of critters to reflect OVO’s motif of the enigma of insects and their life cycle. Topping the tea you’ll find an elegant, sugar-crafted dragonfly on edible, spongy ‘grass’ and chocolate ‘soil’, alongside a butterfly perched on a custard-filled profiterole, a salted caramel popcorn dome with miniature trees growing out of it and more sweet treats. The delicate finger sandwiches include a smoked salmon ‘roulade’, beef and horseradish and egg mayonnaise, dressed with a scattering of cress to resemble grass. There are layers of teacakes and freshly baked scones to work your way through too, as well as a lengthy list of fragrant loose teas (I always opt for the oolong, since it’s supposed to boost the metabolism!). Available from £31pp in the Park Terrace restaurant until 4 March 2018. Conveniently located for The Royal Albert Hall, The Royal Garden Hotel is also be offering a room package from £280, which includes tickets to the show, a programme and full English breakfast served.
2-24 Kensington High Street W8 4PT; royalgardenhotel.co.uk
2 The Bright Young Things Afternoon Tea at Four Seasons Hotel at Ten Trinity Square
Four Seasons Hotel at Ten Trinity Square is housed in the former Port of Authority building just a stone throw’s away from Tower Hill station. And here, against an impressive backdrop of the Rotunda Lounge, the Bright Young Things afternoon tea is served. Inspired by 1920s iconography and the flapper girls of the day, tea begins with a cheeky glass of Delamotte Brut Champagne while the in-house pianist works his way through some classic jazz tunes. Beautifully cut finger sandwiches include the egg and truffle sandwich with watercress, coronation chicken mayonnaise and the heritage beetroot sandwich with chives and goat cheese mousse. The desserts arrive with a theatrical flourish in a jewellery box in the form of a chocolate and salted caramel mousse, a grapefruit cheese cake with cream cheese mousse and pink grapefruit confit, plus moreish homemade scones served with lashings of clotted cream. The tea list is enormous, so make sure you ask the friendly waiters for their suggestions. Priced £45pp or £55pp with a glass of champagne.
10 Trinity Square, Tower Hill EC3N 4AJ; fourseasons.com/tentrinity
3 Criminali-Tea at Barts
One for fun lovers, the Criminali-Tea at Barts is based on the fun, frolics and danger of Prohibition’s underground speakeasies. Once booked, you’ll receive a secret message with strict instructions you must adhere to, in order to make it past the cops. Sneak through the black door to enjoy hidden liquor and bootlegging activities, alongside a selection of most sought-after All-American sweet and savoury treats of the 1920s, smuggled all the way from Chicago, including miniature sandwiches and bagels, a blueberry muffin, a golden, cream-filled Twinkie cake and a creamy ice cream sundae. There are also craftily served teapot cocktails to choose from, like the Get Minted (Stolichnaya vodka, lemon juice, simple syrup, elderflower cordial, fresh cucumber, fresh mint, apple juice) and Sip of the Tongue (Sipsmith gin, Rinomato aperitivo, Martini chinato, fresh lemon juice, simple syrup, Fever Tree lemonade). But remember, the cops are always sniffin’ around outside the apartment – so be prepared for a raid to interrupt the party! Priced £35pp with a single teapot cocktail, £55pp with bottomless teapot cocktails and £59 with champagne (half bottle of Moët & Chandon Brut Impérial NV Champagne per person). Vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options available.
At an undisclosed location on Sloane Avenue SW3 3DW; barts-london.com