Review: Festive Afternoon Tea at Great Scotland Yard Hotel

by Nadia Ismail

GSY

The Festive period is almost upon us, and where better to get in the seasonal spirit than central London. A stones throw away from Trafalgar Square, Great Scotland Yard Hotel is nestled on a quiet side street, away from all the hustle and bustle and the perfect location to warm up after while away the afternoon.

If London wasn’t Festive enough, their new Christmas offering will certainly put a smile on your face and melt any Scrooge! The tea lounge is luxurious yet relaxed: the walls are adorned with art linking to its history as the former home of the Metropolitan Police in a classic, artistic style.

Nods to the capital and the location are reflected in the China – The River Thames features on everything from the tea pots to the plates and soon after we arrive, we are served a three-tiered stand. This is standard practice at an Afternoon Tea; however we were pleasantly surprised to find that this was only the first savoury course!

Typical finger sandwiches are not found here – rather they are replaced with an array of savoury delights. Starting with a warm quiche, filled with pumpkin and Montgomery cheddar that oozes out when bitten into. It is warming and comforting and topped with a mini rocket salad.

The egg is infused with truffle, giving it a luxurious feel, filling a toasted briochette with a crisp exterior and soft centre. For the festive menu, a roast turkey, celeriac and cranberry remoulade is served on brown bread. Due to dietary requirements, we were unable to sample this specific flavour, but Great Scotland Yard were fantastic at ensuring all out requests were met and if it is anything like the rest of the food on the menu, we are sure it would be sublime.

The salmon gravlax is served in a roll, reminiscent of sushi and topped with Avruga caviar and my personal favourite was the caramelised artichoke gougeres. Whilst this is arguably the least charming aesthetically of all the savoury options, the choux pastry is done perfectly and it is filled to the brim with the most deliciously rich artichoke cream.

Once we had enjoyed out savoury course, the three-tiered stand was removed and replaced with another – this time full of sweet treats. We couldn’t help but gasp upon its arrival – it was so stunning we (almost) didn’t want to eat it! Decorated beautifully for the Festive season, it really was a showstopper!

We first started with the freshly baked plain and raisin scones, which are wrapped to ensure that they stay warm. Served with the traditional clotted cream, the preserve has a seasonal make over that further reflects the theme. The apple and cranberry spiced jam is warming and the spices give it a flavourful kick that works really well with the raisin scone especially.

Then onto the pastries: four stunning cakes, all with different concepts and colours lay shimmering at the top of the stand. We started with the choux, stuffed to the brim with a fruity filling and topped with a Chestnut Mont Blanc, piped to resemble a Christmas tree adorned with edible decorations. The fruity and nutty flavours worked really well together, and as with the savoury, the choux pastry was spot on.

The tangerine & cinnamon bauble is decorated with chocolate reindeer antlers and a golden chocolate ball nose adding texture to the soft mousse and tangy filling. It lays upon a chocolate pastry case filled with a brownie like base, creating a delicious dessert.

The Christmas tree fruit cake could not hold anymore dried fruit which adds bursts of flavour. It is topped with a thin layer of chocolate shaped as a decorated tree making it even more festive. The portion sizes of the cakes are very generous, but we couldn’t leave without trying the polar bear, finished with the sweetest tiny Father Christmas icing hat.

Although it was difficult to destroy something so pretty, we ended up enjoying the flavours so much the guilt soon faded! Placed upon a biscuit base, the white chocolate sphere overflows with a smooth creamy gingerbread custard and has a thick pumpkin flavoured heart. It is a decadent treat and wonderful way to end a truly magnificent Afternoon Tea experience. The flavours are vastly varied giving your palate a wonderful Christmas journey that really gets you in the spirit before adventuring out through the city’s twinkling lights.

The Floris London Festive Afternoon Tea in The Parlour at Great Scotland Yard Hotel is available daily from 28th November 2022 until 2nd January 2023 from £59.00 per person. Click here for more details on the menu and to book.

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Nadia Ismail

Nadia is a Londoner and dessert advocate. Passionate about showcasing the beauty within food and the memories they can evoke, she shares her sweet adventures on her Instagram page @southbankfoodie

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