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Come hungry–everything’s swiftly replenished the moment there’s space on the plate – but staff are more than happy to pack you off with a doggy bag if you’ve overdone it.
Baby–and all your guests–will be utterly charmed by this decor, which is easy to pull off with the right balloons and paper goods. Go for a cheese box or one of our treat-filled letterbox gifts, perfect for delivering straight through their door. It was in 1840 that the Duchess of Bedford shared her guilty secret of enjoying tea and snacks a few hours before dinner, setting a trend that would evolve to become a national tradition complete with a new set of afternoon tea etiquette rules.
The staff are dressed to impress in their suited uniform, which makes it feel as if you’ve stepped into a Fifties, diner-style coffee bar. As one of the best bars in London, there's no need to move to a second location–the cocktails here are a knockout. It’s sweet but not too sweet and has a wonderful tang to it that pairs perfectly with the sweet summer berries. You can obviously use a buttercream instead if you want – but I would avoid an icing like on the school cake as that may cause the fruit to run off slightly. At first, we were disappointed to be served tea with tea bags (rather than loose leaf), but a conspiratorial waiter let us in on a secret; the Connaught kitchen hand-fills its own tea bags.
We love using Silver Spoon Icing Sugar for a glossy, lump-free glace icing recipe that works everytime. Blooms take pride of place here, even on the glass cake stand, which arrives flourished with a posy of wild flowers spilling out of a vase.The restaurant Jean-Georges at The Connaught was refurbished last year, and the new afternoon tea summer menu was launched in June this year. Just be sure to save room for the French canelé–a celebration of soft doughy cake with a chewy, caramel crust originating from the pastry chef’s home town of Bordeaux. Sugar – I used caster sugar as I wanted the colour and flavour to stay light, but you an swap it to light brown soft sugar if you want a more caramel flavour naturally. The tea has its own dedicated station manned by a sommelier who will weigh and infuse your selected brew to achieve the best possible flavor. Made exclusively for us by the renowned Fiona Cairns bakery, many of the cakes in our Entertaining range can be personalised with your own message.
Firstly, there’s the setting: it’s like being inside a mirror ball, albeit a very relaxing one, with its light-covered ceiling, clusters of bulbs set on fragmented reflective glass, light splashing every which way.The attention to detail is excellent here, with charismatic charm resonating through all the little touches, from the cakes and interiors to the adorably wrapped sugar cubes and mini biscuits shaped and decorated as first-class stamps. Plus, there are mini quiches filled with cheese, poppy seeds and herby cream which, in my humble opinion, should be double in size. Rustic furniture, distressed copper-topped tables and matching chairs are lit up by fairy lights strung from the glass ceiling and surrounded by thriving plants.