What: Ruinart Rosé Afternoon Tea in the new Drawing Room
Why: Does afternoon tea need a reason?
Where: Flemings Mayfair Hotel, Half Moon Street, London, W1J 7BH
Our Favourite Thing: The sandwiches
Website: Click to visit
Earlier in the year luxury hotel, Flemings Mayfair had a bit of makeover, you know just the average, a lick of paint here and a £14 million refurbishment there. When they revealed the new look they also uncovered The Drawing Room, a new space, in which guests can enjoy in a drink or have afternoon tea.
We headed there on a Saturday afternoon for their Ruinart Rosé afternoon tea. Emulating the look of a regency drawing room; the room has high-ceilings, large sash windows and the original 1851 fireplace. The walls features beautiful de Gournay hand-painted wall paper, depicting early views of India, whilst the bookshelves are stocked with cultural books from publishers Assouline, crockery comes from Bernardaud and Eileen Schaer’s paintings adorn the walls. Deep raspberries, teal blues and bright, velvet, greys gives the room a glamourous look, like the Darcy household given a 2015 update.
So far so good, the room however is quite cramped, the tables were on the small side too, our cake stand had to be placed on the table next to us, I did wonder where it would go had there been another party there. Granted we visited nearer the end of service, but no one else was there, so not having enough space wasn’t an issue, but it did make for a stifled atmosphere. There were people having afternoon tea downstairs in The Grill though, I stuck my head in to have a look and everyone seemed to be having a lot of fun, it was rather like when you upgrade from the children’s table to the adult table at weddings and you are suddenly faced with stuffed mushrooms and crab and what you really want is chicken nuggets and baked beans.
They serve four teas in The Drawing Room, the Chocolate Indulgence, The Drawing Room Traditional tea, the Jacquart Champagne tea and the Ruinart Rosé tea. Served with half a bottle of Ruinart Rosé Champagne, the tea begins with sandwiches and stop the press. Stop it right there. Because hurrah the bread was actually fresh, that’s right, soft not slightly drying like it had been left out too long, but fresh. The fillings were kept simple smoked salmon, ham and mustard, egg and tomato, but the phrase less is more was definitely true here.
Next up were scones piled high with clotted cream strawberry jam, they were light, crumbly – since watching GBBO, we’ve all become critics and Mez Bez would have been proud of these. We definitely were. Following it were the petit fours, with the stand out being a lemon meringue pie and a strawberry tart. Teas were provided by The East India Company, we went for the smoky Lapsang.
The Drawing Room is beautiful and a great addition to the hotel, it just needs for more people to know about it and to take tea there, because it needs that lived in feel.
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