After wandering up and down St Martins Lane dodging the tourists we finally found St Martins Lane Hotel. We should have guessed really that it would be the building with no sign, and neon yellow glass. It’s cool, quirky and unashamed. What we assume were stools in the shape of gold teeth lined the foyer, huge oversized vases stand in the corner and cheeky little gnomes hold up small tables.
But we weren’t there to stand and admire the foyer, no we were there for the Cuban afternoon tea at Asia de Cuba. Starting with the cutlery being presented in a Cuban cigar box, everything was wonderfully bright and colourful including the crockery designed by Luna & Curious. Having chosen our cocktails, I opted for the Old Cuban Martini and our savoury tea, it had to be the smoky Bohea Lapsang we were presented with the aperitvo, a wonderfully creamy sweet mango, kiwi and strawberry layered bottle. It was delicious, if they served it as a full sized drink I would be up there at the front of the queue, it was that good.
On the savoury side the Cubano pressed sandwiches with pulled pork, Swiss cheese and ham and the hot and sour chicken and avocado spring rolls were the winners! The hot smoked salmon tart with quail’s eggs and chiptotle sauce had a great flavour although the pastry was a little hard, we were expecting it to melt in the mouth, but rather it had to be broke up with a fork. The green mango, cucumber and mooli summer roll was light a change from the other pieces although it was a little bland and needed more flavour to keep up with the rest. They have done away with traditional sweet scones for small savoury scones with, oh hello Mojito butter!
Swapping to a caramel tea we then tucked into banana spring rolls which were filled with white chocolate and coconut ganache, and oh they were perfect! The doughnuts which were most excited about had plenty of apple sauce but the dough was too dry. The chilli chocolate whilst sweet had a real after kick to it and was beautifully smooth, it was surprisingly good! The key lime pie was sharp and crisp but the soft meringue was almost too soft and the pastry of the pie again was just too hard for our liking.
With so many places around Leicester Square and Covent Garden which rip off tourists or just attract the masses whilst serving bland overly priced food, St Martins Lane and Asia de Cuba have got it right with their afternoon tea.