Monday, April 30, 2012

Afternoon Tea at the Lanesborough Hotel

A few weekends ago, a group of lovely ladies organised a surprise baby shower for our friend to celebrate her impending journey into motherhood. The hostess decided on a ‘tea party’ theme and what better place to enjoy the quintessential British high tea than the luxury Lanesborough Hotel on Hyde Park Corner. With accolades including the The Tea Guild's Award of Excellence 2011, UK Tea Council's Award of Excellence 2010, and Best Afternoon Tea in London 2008, we knew we were in for a special treat at the Lanesborough.
Afternoon tea is held in the opulent Apsleys Dining Room surrounded by brocade walls, chandeliers, plush chairs, and fine china. It’s definitely a lovely place to celebrate a special occasion. We were seated at a quiet corner of the dining room so Baby Jacob, our friend's one-month old son, could nap peacefully. Baby gifts, toys, and a bouquet of flowers adorned the white linen clad tables including a three-tier diaper ‘cake’ I made as a gift for the baby.

For the next two hours, we devour decadent trays of sweets, tea sandwiches, scones, and clotted cream all washed down with pots and pots of Earl Grey tea. But first, we started off with a glass of Tattinger champagne with strawberries and cream. By my books, it wouldn’t be a celebration otherwise. I'm waiting for the arrival of my first baby niece in June to pop open the Moet & Chandon I bought in Champagne, France.
The staff then brought us an amuse bouche, a parfait filled with berries and chocolate. Amazingly creamy, delicious, and almost too pretty to eat. Next came the three-tiered tray of sandwiches, mini cakes (carrot, red velvet, banana nut), chocolates, and friands, followed by several savory tarts. Then came the scones (amazingly dense!) and fruity tea cakes served with heavenly Devonshire clotted cream, strawberry jam, and a lovely lemon curd, which was my favorite as I love any desserts (or cocktails for that matter) with lemon. It was truly an afternoon of sheer decadent and overindulgence.

Needing a break from our sugar high, we proceeded with baby games created by the talented hostess, which was a lot of fun. The games included 'guess the number of pins', baby food tasting (rice cereal with peaches anyone?), how big is mama’s tummy (don't worry, mama-to-be didn't take offense), and what’s in mama’s diaper bag?. We all received awesome Philosophy bubbles as prizes to take home.  Then it was on to opening adorable baby gifts.
It was a wonderful afternoon with the beautiful mama-to-be and her lovely lady friends. Congratulations – we can’t wait to meet Baby McN this summer!

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