What? The two most popular meals in London? Brunch and afternoon tea. What if you can’t choose between the two? Quite the conundrum. So, Le Méridien Piccadilly have decided to go where no afternoon tea or brunch has gone before and has bought the two together with their B’n’T – so it’s effectively, breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea in one.
New? Yes, the afternoon tea only launched at the end of April.
Where? The Terrace Grill and Bar at Le Méridien Piccadilly, 21 Piccadilly, Mayfair, W1J 0BH, www.terracegrillandbar.com
On the Menu: The menu marries brunch foods with afternoon tea, which means you’ll find miniature brunch dishes alongside cakes and scones. Rather than sandwiches you’ll find a Yorkshire basket with a full English breakfast inside and rye bread topped with whipped goat’s cheese. Scones are savoury rather than sweet and eggs arrived made of white chocolate.
First Impressions: Served in the Terrace Grill and Bar on the second floor, it’s thankfully a quiet retreat from Piccadilly below, because as any Londoner knows you only go to Piccadilly or Oxford Street, to get away from it.
The Look: Running across two levels, the room is both impressive and slightly soulless. The impressive side, the glass atrium and wall, which looks out onto the alfresco terrace and out across Piccadilly – it gives the feeling of being in a giant bird cage. The muted colours, greys, browns and stones just feel a little impersonal and the grey thin curtain that divides the tiers seems unnecessary as it blocks the views.
What We Ate: We started with a Scotch egg sitting in a little potato rösti nest, which in a brunch twist replaced the meat with avocado, unexpected but it really worked – they should make them a staple at brunch. A light, fluffy Yorkshire pudding became the basket for a mini full English breakfast; baked beans were topped with a single mushroom, cocktail sausage, slice of bacon and a little tomato. Perhaps a little twee but also genius. Eggs Benedict was reimagined as Eggs Piccadilly – a little pot made from an English muffin, filled with an oozing poached quail egg, smoked salmon and spinach topped with golden, truffle hollandaise.
In place of clotted cream and jam with plain scones they served a red pepper, chilli and cheese scone with avocado and a light whipped relish and sweet chilli clotted cream, which was more of a mousse. Chocolate and raspberry scones were good, but without the usual cream and jam they couldn’t quite hit the spot.
There’s a chocolate take on eggs and soldiers – a white chocolate shell filled with a rich dark chocolate mousse, a mango coulis yolk and a cinnamon sugar roll in place of the toast. A gooey beetroot brownie is topped with sweet potato and a fruit tart with a light cream provides a refreshing hit after the rich chocolate.
What We Drank: We stuck with Prosecco but there are cocktails like the Frencini – a raspberry twist on the traditional Bellini and a Far East Bloody Mary which features lemongrass.
Go With: Naturally take someone who is a fan of brunch or afternoon tea, they also don’t hold back on their portions so you’ll want someone who has an appetite.
Final Word: If you like your afternoons tea to be classic then this isn’t the one for you, but it’s something fun, something a little different to the usual afternoon teas and in a city full of brunch and afternoon you need something to stand out.
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B’n’T at The Terrace Grill and Bar: Le Méridien Piccadilly, 21 Piccadilly, Mayfair, W1J 0BH, www.terracegrillandbar.com