I am getting married soon and well I wanted to do something different with my uni friends. We are pretty close and have been friends for a heck of a long time, plus wanted a sophisticated afternoon of tea, cake and chit chat! Recently Rosewood London have been appearing in social media a lot for their art afternoon tea, conspired by none other than Executive Pastry Chef: Mark Perkins.
The hotel itself is beautiful, nestled in the bustling streets of Holborn, where you can escape for a bit of peace and tranquillity. The main reception, lounge area is dimly lit, allowing you to relax and take in the surroundings. Letting your eyes rest, from the outside world.
The Mirror Room is a beautiful setting, high mirrored ceilings, projecting enough light to make you feel relaxed.
The waiters and waitresses surely do know their stuff, everything behind the concept of the art afternoon tea was explained to us in thorough detail! I wouldn’t have expected any less! They even gave good tea recommendations!
I love the menu design, the front cover is chic and cool! Each dessert has a story of the artist, what their specialism is and how Mark paid homage to their designs! If you have a sense for art or a feel for it, or you appreciate it in a way no one does, then this is definitely for you! I love art, having studied it, and now a love for it, it is what brings me to life! It’s where I get most of my inspiration from!
I was in awe of the tea menu, only the best is used: Mariage Frères, the high quality stuff, which can be bought from Selfridges and Harvey Nichols! I first tried the Rouge Opéra – this infusion blends the melodious fragrance of red fruits and precious spices crowned by vanilla and the soft, sweet nuances of Roiboos tea. Naturally theine free. The first sip was calming, the second sip reminded me of shisha, I kid you not, that’s all I could taste, Shisha!!! I was like noooo this tastes like Shisha, Roiboos is not my favourite which I then figured out! They were served in pretty tea cups, and their teapots were huge!
I had to get a glass of brut champagne, it was very nice indeed, one glass was more than enough for me.
The way an afternoon tea begins is with Tea, Sandwiches, Scones, Amuse Bouche, and then the desserts! I specifically requested Halal, as my two friends don’t eat any other! They were very accomdating indeed. Each finger was different to the other, Spinach and Tomato Bread with Mixed Vegetables. Egg Mayo with Baby Watercress. Smoked Chicken. Goats Cheese and a simple Pesto. All were nice apart from the goats cheese, that was just not to my liking!
The scones were deeeeeeeelicious! The best I have had, and by that, I am real fussy. They need to be the right temperature, I shouldn’t be able to taste certain ingredients, and be able to spread the jam and clotted cream perfectly! And these were just that!!!! I especially loved the raisin scones, anything with raisins I generally love! They were so fluffy, melt in my mouth, I can literally taste them right now! The clotted cream was delicious, light and just right! The home made strawberry jam was just perfect, I mean what more could a girl want!! If there was no dessert involved after, I could have happily devoured more!!
The next course was the desserts and amuse bouche – mouth refresher. After the concoction that we had, a nice refreshing sorbet came out, to cleanse the palate and prepare us for the finalé!
The first plate consisted of Wassily Kandinsky: The Russian artist and theorist is credited with painting one of the first purely abstract works of art. A teacher at the Bauhaus School, Kandinsky frequently used geometric shapes in his work. Hearing music as he painted, he believed that colours and shapes evoked powerful emotions. Whipped jivara chocolate cream, mandarin jelly, praline feuilletine and a speculoos tart shell, topped with jivara chocolate ganache and a chocolate decoration. Banksy: Celebrated British street artist Banksy is recognised for his satire contemporary graffiti artwork, which is characterised by his exceptional stencil technique. We have taken our inspiration from his renowned ‘Girl With a Balloon’, representing hope, satisfaction and motivation to push through bleaker days. Chocolate cube filled with vanilla cream choux, salted caramel, chocolate cremeux.
My favourite has to be Banksy – the salted caramel was delicate and sticky. The chocolate cremeux was the best I have had with the vanilla cream choux, just immensely beautiful! Kandinsky was nice, I felt it was a little too rich with the chocolate ganache, however, the mandarin jelly was delicious, very delicate and light! There were a lot of enhanced flavours with Kandinsky, such a small tart, packed full of aromas! It looked beautiful, although I have to say the Cube won for me hands down! The splattered paint and the textures came out beautifully, deconstructed, it was a work of art too!
The next plate was my all-time ultimate fave though!! 3 scrumptious minis in one! Jackson Pollock: A major figure in the abstract expressionist movement, Jackson Pollock was an American artist famous for his unique style of dripping or hurling paint onto a bare canvas. Pollock’s drip paintings represent one of the most original bodies of work of the century. Cherry brownie, vanilla cream, macaron, cherry insert, and flick art chocolate. Jeff Koons: Known for working with popular culture subjects and his reproductions of banal objects, Jeff Koons is one of the most commercially successful artists in the world. His amazing blue balls, also known as the “Gazing Ball” series features reflective spheres on small shelves in front of classic works from art history. Chestnut cream, cassis jelly, almond sponge, topped with white chocolate and a glazed sphere. Hubert Le Gall: Hubert Le Gall is a self-taught artist known for creating luminous works of colour and fantasy. Inspired by Ruinart’s vineyards, he created The Glass Calendar as a bright and lively tribute to Chardonnay. Le Gall’s talents are many and range from sculpture to scenography. Green apple Bavarois, lime mousse, puff rice chocolate disc topped with an ivoire glaze and chocolate mobile with chocolate pearls.
This plate I did not want to eat, why?!??!?! Cause of the macaron, my ultimate favourite petite four! I am a sucker for the chewy delight! And no it’s not Macaroon, people who call it that, annoy the shit out of me!!! Its MACARON, please get it right, when you talk to me! Jackson Pollock inspired, the flicker of paint, the chocolate shard, the cherry brownie, everything about it was better than sex! (hah!) Mesmerising indeed, I adored the brownie, a very light hint of the cherry, could taste it in the back of my throat! Amen to Mark Perkins on that one!
Jeff Koons was nice too, I loved the attention to detail on the layers, the cassis jelly took me back to my LCB days, the session on jelly making, and cassis being the first thing I made! Very delicate notes on this particular one, unusual warmth of the chestnut cream on a cold rainy day, was like Christmas singing in my ears! Truly exceptional to look at!
Hubert Le Gall was the one I disliked. I mean it looks wonderful, shiny, bright white sphere, with a gold chocolate sphere, and I absolutely love anything with apples. But this particular one, I felt the texture was wrong, also as I went to cut the sphere, there was something slightly chemically about it, the smell of the glaze. I took one small taste and I kid you not, it tasted like “tipex”, yes of all things, that’s what I tasted! I did not taste the lime, let alone the apple, it was very squidgy, not a texture I like.
I ended up changing my tea towards the end to a black tea called Marco Polo – A marvellous fruity & flowery black tea, Mariage Frères’ overwhelming success is a mysterious blend that will take you to distant lands and unforeseen territories. Twas marvellous indeed, soft, light, very drinkable, something you can relax, on a cold winters day!
Overall summary: I am so impressed and I am so glad I booked this artistic afternoon tea, I have not felt pampered like this in a while, and the whole concept behind the inspiration is mesmerising. It really is a work of art, the attention to detail that goes into these desserts is phenomenal. Not only is it pretty as a piece of art, but they taste absolutely gorgeous too, with the exception of one of course! If you are looking for a splurge, I highly recommend booking this, it really is an experience to cherish! I am so glad my two closest friends came too, it was a wonderful afternoon enjoying deliciousness with the best of friends!
It is slightly pricey, so be warned, its £55 per person, for champagne its £65 per person with of course service charge on top! My rating is 9.5/10, I have never given such a high rating before for afternoon tea, this by far, in my opinion……IS THE BEST!!!!!!