New? It opened in 1991 and then re-opened in 2014 after a refurbishment.
Where? 16 Bury St, London SW1Y 6AJ www.quaglinos-restaurant.co.uk
On the menu: Their new spring afternoon tea served with either Moët & Chandon Champagne or Moët & Chandon Rosé.
First Impressions: With no restaurant sign I almost missed the venue and had to check the menu in the window before confirming it was the place I was after. It was a scorching hot day and due to being underground Quaglino’s had a cool, cave-like feel to it especially after being exposed to the bright sunshine outside.
The Look: The interior is dark but not dingy; it has an exclusive feel to it like a member’s only club. We stayed on the upper bar level in a little alcove away from the main dining area downstairs where it was bustling.
What We Ate: A selection of sandwiches like smoked salmon on rye bread, prawn cocktail and baby gem leaf, and chicken & basil. The egg & baby cress on disc brioche toast was actually served on stale white bread which was disappointing as it let down the filling that was delicious. Freshly baked basil, chamomile scones were a slightly subtle twist on the typical classic scones served warm with strawberry jam and clotted cream.
Some of the desserts really hit the spot like the meringue mushroom where the top half was filled with cream and the bottom was a decadently chewy base – easily my favourite. The carrot cake pot was like decomposed carrot cake with layers of cream and carrot sponge crumbs in a cute miniature plant pot, complete with a marzipan carrot. The rhubarb and rose opera cake, and strawberry and white chocolate cheesecake tart were both pleasant enough but not thrilling and who can go wrong with a macaron?
What We Drank: In keeping with the spring theme we opted for their new Blossom City cocktails; a selection of 4 floral themed drinks. My favourite was the Queen’s Garden poured from a teapot to teacup with a dry ice effect making it look as though it was hot when it fact it is served chilled. Kali was a nice fruity affair, concocted of a mix of Hennessy infused with Hibiscus, Byrrh, raspberry syrup, orange blossom water and fresh blackberries. Kiss From A Rose was wonderfully refreshing given how hot it had been all day; a simple blend of Hendrix Gin, homemade rose syrup, lime juice and plum bitters. Thank You Mr F was a tad dry for my liking and lacked the sweetness I look for in my cocktails.
Go With: A date or work friends
Final Word: The afternoon is very aesthetically pleasing with a swirl of colours from the pretty flower themed pastries which are prettily arranged on an impressive cake stand – perfect for photo opportunities. Quaglino’s itself is a lovely venue, a nice mix of glamour and edginess. The tea is available until 26th August 2016.