Helen created 'London Meets Paris' - a blog borne out of her passion for Paris, a love of travel, good food, cooking and baking and London. You can expect excellent recommendations and foodie ideas from London and Paris.
Helen of London Meets Paris visited Scoff & Banter Canary Wharf to try their limited edition Summer Blossom Afternoon Tea - a delicious and floral take on their traditional menu.
Scoff & Banters' slogan is "traditional British Soul food" fuss free, hearty and popular British dishes and that includes that Great British ritual, Afternoon Tea. There are four sites across London, Kensington, Oxford Street, Bloomsbury and Canary Wharf.
Last Friday, I had an opportunity to visit Scoff & Banter Canary Wharf to try their new Summer Blossom Afternoon Tea. Scoff & Banter Canary Wharf is located inside the Radisson Blu Edwardian hotel in Poplar overlooking the O2. With stunning riverside views in a quiet location within New Providence Wharf, the hotel is gracefully designed, modern, sleek and an oasis of serenity.
I hardly ever venture beyond Central London and I've never been on the DLR, this was my second trip to the city and to Canary Wharf. While I was a bit apprehensive, I made the journey in just under an hour and I promised myself that I must come to the city more often to visit some of the wonderful eateries that have sprung up around the area.
Afternoon Tea at Scoff & Banter is taken in the covered terrace which overlooks the river, my table was right opposite the O2. I imagine the views in the evening must be absolutely magical as twilight beckons bringing with it a twinkly dreamy blue hue, can there be anything more romantic.
To celebrate summer, Scoff & Banter have devised a floral themed Summer Afternoon Tea, a blaze of bright summery colours which brightened up a very dull Friday!
I was welcomed with a glass of Moet & Chandon champagne which had a pretty lilac edible flower floating on top, it was a lovely surprise. I chose to have English Breakfast tea with my sandwiches and scones and then I switched to my very favourite Jasmine Blossom tea to accompany the cakes. Afternoon Tea is served on a customary silver stand and looked magnificent, I was eager to get stuck in.
Scoff & Banter Blossom
Afternoon Tea - The Sandwiches
Honey Roast Ham with Wholegrain Mustard Mayonnaise on Brioche Bread
Scottish Smoked Salmon with Lemon Butter on Dill Bread
Rare Roast Beef with Horseradish Mayonnaise on Black Pepper Bread
Cucumber with Mint Cream Cheese on Tomato Bread
Cheese and Red Onion on Caraway Seed Bread
The sandwiches were beautifully arranged on the plate and perfectly and evenly cut, they were all so delicious, the bread was as fresh as can be without a dry edge in sight.
I thought the honey roast ham sandwich was especially tasty, the sweetness of the brioche bread was an unusual but perfect match for the ham offset by the piquancy of wholegrain mustard mayonnaise. The smoked salmon sandwich equally delicious complemented by the dill and lemon, the horseradish mayonnaise a classic accompaniment for the roast beef is a marriage made in heaven. I especially liked the cucumber and mint on the tomato bread which was in fact a focaccia-style bread. Focaccia is normally quite a heavy bread, but this was extremely light with lots of flavoursome tomatoes heady with the aroma of mint, a perfect combination for the mild cool cucumber. I really liked that this traditional Afternoon Tea sandwich was elevated to something refreshingly different and it really worked.
Last was the cheese and onion, a combination I haven't seen in an Afternoon Tea menu which I enjoyed very much. It was very hard to pick a favourite but if I had to, it would be the cucumber and mint and the cheese and onion simply because I haven't had it in such a long time, a touch of nostalgia as I remember having cheese and onion as a child. What I liked most about the sandwiches was how fresh the bread was, so often I have to endure dry sandwiches but not so at Scoff & Banter.
Traditional scones are served with customary strawberry preserve and thick unctuous clotted cream. The scones rather than spongy and soft were crumbly and short, but I actually didn't mind, it's ok to be a bit different, I really piled on the cream and jam; always cream first for me. In the menu, the names of the cakes are not listed but they are all fruit-based in keeping with the floral theme of the Afternoon Tea.
Blackcurrant Buttercream Cupcake
Chocolate Hazelnut Delice
I changed my tea as I often do when the cakes arrive choosing either a Jasmin Blossom or Rose Petal Tea infusion if available. The choice of tea isn't vast but there are enough options to choose from to satisfy any tea connoisseur with classics such as Early Grey, Fresh Mint & Lemon, Green Sencha, English Breakfast and Rosehip & Hibiscus. Rather unusually, there is a selection of coffee available too plus hot chocolate made with decadent Rococo chocolate. The cakes were stunning, a blaze of colour on the plate which looked so appetising, having a real sweet tooth, the sweet course is definitely my favourite part of Afternoon Tea.
The blackcurrant cupcake swirled with vanilla and blackcurrant buttercream was an absolute treat, really light and airy, the intensity of flavour from this much-loved berry was definitely coming through in the lavender coloured buttercream. The strawberry shortcake was probably the prettiest cake sitting majestically on the plate, it was gorgeous, the biscuit crumbly and buttery with a creamy fragrant strawberry mouse in between the layers of shortcake.
The chocolate and hazelnut delice were so light, normally I find chocolate cakes quite dense but the delice was a real pleasure to eat, hazelnuts another classic combination with chocolate. My absolute favourite was definitely the Macaron, a lover of all things French, the Macaron is always a cake I am partial to. The Macaron was chewy with the tantalising heady aroma and flavour of juicy raspberries it was a joy to eat.
Jasmin tea I always find brings out the flavour of fruit inspired cakes, but it can tend to get quite strong as the tea leaves develop intensifying the strength of the tea the longer the tea is left to brewed. A tip of mine is to request some hot water along with your fruit/floral based tea to top up and avoid this happening. Scoff & Banter's vibrant Summer Blossom Afternoon Tea definitely lived up to my expectations complemented by the stunning riverside views and attentive staff. I had a wonderful afternoon and thoroughly recommend that you visit to enjoy a really delicious Afternoon Tea with stunning views over the river.
Summer Blossom Tea is available until 22nd of August and is priced at £30 or £36 with a Floral-Infused glass of Fantinel NV Prosecco.
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