What: For the first time in the brand’s history, world-famous British tea company, Whittard of Chelsea, has partnered with The Chelsea Harbour Hotel to create a special Whittard Afternoon Tea.
New? Whittard of Chelsea is 130 years old but the tea is relatively new as it launched 8th May.
Where? Chelsea Harbour Drive, Fulham, SW10 0XG www.millenniumhotels.com
On the Menu: The traditional tea comprises of traditional finger sandwiches like smoked salmon, chives and cream cheese, freshly-baked scones with clotted cream and jam as well as a selection of cakes such as vanilla éclairs with matcha green tea frosting and plum posset with rhubarb caviar.
First Impressions: The hotel is quite remote hidden amongst blocks of flats and blends in well from the outside, whilst inside the lobby is glamorous yet modest. Seated by the window we had a nice view of the harbour with all the boats neatly lined up in the water below.
The Look: At first glance everything looks smart; the tables are neatly laid and the floor-to-ceiling glass revealing views of the harbour grabs your attention but once seated I started to notice that the room looks a little shabby, from the worn leather seats to the faded, out of date carpet. The Whittard Afternoon Tea does well to distract though, served on pretty Whittard of Chelsea fine bone china painted in pastel colours.
What We Ate: The afternoon tea curse of stale bread didn’t apply here as the bread from the sandwiches was really fresh and noticeably spongy. I enjoyed the British asparagus and watercress mayonnaise the best although the Coronation chicken with orange sultanas was highly enjoyable despite being a little unusual. Of the scones I preferred the raisin and apricot ones over the plain because of the – again, unexpected – addition of apricot. The only downfall of the spiced orange mascarpone cake was that it was too small – we needed more! The plum posset was sweet and creamy although a little runny, the Bakewell tart was pleasant but the berry compote was a little sharp for my taste.
What We Drank: While the tea selection has been specially chosen and curated by Whittard of Chelsea from its range of over 100 varieties we decided to go off grid to try the hot chocolate in both milk and white. The rare-sighted white chocolate was my favourite; satisfying my sweet tooth by reminding me of warm vanilla milkshake.
Go With: Given the hotel’s unbeatable harbour-side location, it makes for a nice change to city centre hotels.
Final Word: A little sprucing up of the décor would give the tea a more upmarket feel but the food itself made for an enjoyable, and slightly different, experience.
Chelsea Harbour Hotel: Chelsea Harbour Drive, Fulham, SW10 0XG www.millenniumhotels.com