New? The tea is but the hotel opened back in 1923
Where? 6 Waterloo Pl, London SW1Y 4AN www.sofitelstjames.com
On the menu: In celebration of the 2016 RHS Chelsea Flower Show, Sofitel London St James has created a new afternoon tea menu and spa package inspired by the horticultural extravaganza.
First Impressions: Sofitel London St James has a gentle air of luxury about it without being over powering. The spa area is simply glorious, spread across 3 floors and I feel relaxed just walking around soaking up the scents. Parts of the spa can be rented out for guests only like the Jacuzzi whereas treatments are available to everyone.
The Look: The Rose Lounge where we dined reminded me a little bit of grandmother’s living room filled with deep raspberry coloured sofas, chinaware, intricate art work and as the name suggests blooms of roses, decadent and a little chintzy yet not overbearing.
What We Ate: We began with a selection of sandwiches and then scones in plain, fruit and chocolate served with clotted cream, rose-scented strawberry jam and lemon curd. The lemon curd was fantastically tangy but I prefer jam as just fruit without the floral addition. Four cakes were then served as the final course, my favourite was the Poppy Velour; a vanilla sponge with a heart of strawberry compote, poppy mousseline cream and pink chocolate spray atop a poppy seed base. Next up were the Daisy Macaron and the Jasmine Religieuse; a light choux bun filled with jasmine diplomat cream. The Rose Tartlet, was a sweet pastry shell filled with rhubarb and grenadine compote topped with rose water cream petals that had a very unusual carrot taste to it.
What We Drank: A gin based floral cocktail that looked aesthetically pleasing with its pink hue and rose petal garnish but gin is not my tipple and I found the after taste disagreeable.
Go With: It might be an obvious choice but we say take your mum.
Final Word: The Rose Lounge has a nice chilled atmosphere, which was helped along with the soft background music of the harpist, and I found it easy to lose myself chatting away and nibbling on cakes and pastries.
Alongside the afternoon tea (available until 31st May) guests can also indulge in a floral inspired package that begins with a refreshing hibiscus tea followed by a 30 minute brightening Fleur de Bali facial then a 30 minute back massage using sesame, neem and boswellia oils.