The tradition of afternoon tea dates back to the 7th century when Anna, the Duchess of Bedford decided to schedule time to have tea and snacks each afternoon in a bid to combat hunger pangs, at a time when it was common to live off just two meals a day.
Today, the centuries-old ritual of afternoon tea has become somewhat of a phenomenon all around the UK, and one of the most impressive places in the English capital to have afternoon tea is the London Hilton on Park Lane. Here’s what we thought of the ‘Confessions of a Chocoholic’ experience.
Confessions of a Chocaholic Afternoon Tea at London Hilton on Park Lane
Famed for its quirky and stylish afternoon teas, London Hilton on Park Lane offers the ever-popular Confessions of a Chocoholic afternoon tea served in the Podium restaurant, an established member of The Tea Guild which recognises establishments dedicated to brewing and serving tea, which meet the exemplary standards set by the UK Tea Council.
This is one for those who want to experience the traditions of afternoon tea and indulge a sweet tooth. Service is quick; the staff polite and attentive, surroundings immaculate and stylish and the food, simply delicious.
The London Hilton on Park Lane upholds the English tradition of afternoon tea by providing a menu that is bursting with exquisite teas and the usual foods for this particular pastime, however this afternoon tea experience is made all the more special because the Hilton on Park Lane has evolved and added its own touch of luxury to Confessions of a Chocoholic.
What was once simply tea, scones and jam, is now a stylish experience of intricate and artistic chocolate fancies and pastries, as well as the much-loved freshly baked scones with smooth strawberry jam and silky clotted cream. Meeting the high-end standards of the hotel itself, this afternoon tea provides escape from the bustling London life and offers something fun, colourful and packed with a great variety of mouth-watering treats, including a choice of sandwiches; Forman's smoked salmon and horseradish, Honey roast ham and Pommery mustard, Prawn mayonnaise and baby gem lettuce, Cucumber with cream cheese and chives and Egg and cress. It was most-welcoming to find that our waitress at the Podium was very accommodating of my dietary needs and replaced the sandwiches I could not eat with more of my favourite – cucumber with cream cheese and chives.
After the sandwiches came the real treats; freshly baked scones, both plain and chocolate chip, with a tray of delicious homemade chocolate praline spread, strawberry jam and clotted cream. The scones were just the beginning of a three-tier indulgence spree. Each stage offers over-the-top miniature delights, including; red velvet cupcake, white chocolate and cherry cheesecake, pistachio and Madagascar chocolate ganache macaroon, milk chocolate cremeux and many more wonderfully presented nibbles. My favourites (apart from the delicious scones) were the iced shortbread butterfly served on an orange and chocolate profiterole, the sweet cream cheese cupcake and, wait for it, an edible chocolate plate.
Aside from the food, the selection of loose leaf teas from master tea blenders Harvey & Sons Fine Teas was exceptional. The tea menu included Black teas, Green Teas, Oolong Blue Teas, Herbal Teas, White Tea and Decaffinated Tea. My waitress kindly bought over a box full of the black teas for me to sample the smell and taste which was incredibly helpful in making my decision to opt for the I opted for The Hilton Royal English blend, described as ‘A secret recipe blend created especially for London Hilton on Park Lane Afternoon Tea.
A rich, robust and full bodied black tea, delicious malty Assam blended with mellow Ceylon’. It was a lovely strong blend that complimented the four-course feast very well.
The atmosphere at The Podium was relaxed, a real escape from the busy city streets just beyond the hotel doors. Guests enjoying Confessions of a Chocoholic included couples, families, groups of friends and single visitors too. The tables are adequately spaced to avoid eavesdropping or feeling as though you are invading another diner’s space. However, the experience could have been made more comfortable with some mellow background music as at times when guests were tucking in to their treats, it was too quiet.
Whether you’re a chocolate lover or not, Confessions of a Chocoholic is recommended to all those visiting London, especially those who are looking for an afternoon tea with a good mix of tradition, contemporary and quality tea, food and service. It has been especially designed and created by Anthony Marshall, the Executive Chef of London Hilton on Park Lane, and this new menu offers a four course feast of exquisite treats that you’ll be raving about for days.
Confessions of a Chocoholic Afternoon Tea
Times: 2pm to 6pm every day
Price: £29.50 or £37.50 with a glass of Champagne. A discretionary 12.5% service charge will be added to your total bill.
Dress Code: Smart Casual
For more information or to book, click here
Have you had the Podium’s Chocolate Afternoon Tea? Would you recommend it to other travellers? Tell us in the comments below or tweet us @FemaleFirst_UK