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Like most people, I can’t resist indulging in the decadent British tradition of Afternoon Tea. Whether celebrating, relaxing or commiserating, there’s always a reason for Afternoon Tea. My latest reason? To celebrate the 2014 RHS Chelsea Flower Show of course! The show takes place a the end of May, but in recognition of this gorgeous event, for the whole of May, Sofitel St James is inviting Londoners to discover their specially themed ‘Le Tea en Rose’ Afternoon Tea in the stylish surroundings of The Rose Lounge.
The hotel, located in the heart of St. James in a grade II listed building, combines traditional British design with a contemporary style that is unmistakably French. The Rose Lounge is famous for serving traditional Afternoon Tea with a French twist, which includes a unique pink china service designed by Bernardaud and a delicious tray of Parisienne pastries. The lounge is beautiful – it was designed with elegance in mind; pastel shades and soft furnishings create a sophisticated atmosphere reminiscent of a bijous Paris drawing room. There is also a live harpist to provide gentle background music.
In honour of the world-renowned flower show, Head Chef, Vincent Menager has created a series of floral themed pastries, including a chocolate dacquoise, jasmine flower mousse and raspberry macaroon; elderflower jelly, lemon cheesecake crumble and Swiss meringue; and a white chocolate tartlet with a rose crème Chiboust. These floral inspired pastries are served with traditional homemade sandwiches and a selection of scones, rose scented strawberry jam and Devonshire clotted cream.
The ‘Le Tea en Rose’ Afternoon Tea experience was really special and I was greeted with a glass of Moet & Chandon Imperial, while the waiter talked through the various cocktails and teas. I chose the Signature Champagne Cocktail, made with rose & lychee liquor, fresh raspberries, all topped with champagne, and the Mediterranean Rose Tea, which contains an uplifting blend of roses from Provence and Morocco, to accompany my food. The finger sandwiches were light and tasty (my favourite was the beetroot bread, ham, emmental cheese and mustard sandwich), the scones were sweet and the desserts were simply mouth-watering! I could tell straight away that all of the food was freshly made, everything tasted so delicious, and naturally, the service was impeccable.
I also had the opportunity to try the new La Vie en Rose cocktail, developed by Head Bartender, Emilio Moscati, which is made of Tanqueray gin, elderflower syrup, cucumber, lemon, rosé champagne and a delicate rose petal. It was amazing, delicate, sweet and perfectly refreshing.
The whole experience was simply faultless, a treat for all the senses and I can’t wait to return for more of the seasonal teas and cakes!