After our last visit to St Ermin's, I was really excited about being invited to try the new Spring Afternoon Tea. St Ermins Hotel has such a welcoming ambiance about it, although a four star deluxe hotel, there is no pretence and the whole atmosphere is very relaxed. St Ermins entrance hall boasts a beautiful fairy-tale castle-like balcony and 2 adjoining staircases. The tea room is situated upstairs or if you prefer you can sit on the more private balcony area and marvel at the intricate, white washed design.
We choose the balcony and were seated. Looking around, St Ermins was obviously a very popular choice for Afternoon Tea of all genders and age. Sometimes afternoon tea is dominated by ladies but there was a good mix in there and I loved the fact that the tables were well spaced apart, and you were able to hold a conversation without being drowned out by larger parties. We had opted to have the bottomless Prosecco option for our Afternoon Tea and almost immediately upon being seated, we were shown the menus and poured a generous glass of bubbles. Perfect!
There was a varied collection of teas to choose from on the menu, I opted for the Red Berries Tea which to my delight was a rich bright red colour and tasted as flavoursome as it looked. As we sat and read the menu, our glasses of prosecco were topped up and we were asked if we were ready to order. My husband is a vegetarian, so we informed them of this and were given a choice of alternative sandwich fillings. St Ermins also offer a Gluten Free tea and a Mini Gardener children’s afternoon tea which sounded wonderful.
Our tea was served in a bird cage style tea stand, which seem very popular at the moment, and was adorned with Lavender Blue and Dusky Pink floral plates. The whole table looked beautiful and the tea stand with its wonderfully detailed pastries was every bit an instagrammers dream. The apple creation was amazing, and I was surprised that the whole thing was edible, it looked far too perfect!
Although I couldn’t wait to dive into the pastries, we went with tradition and had our sandwiches first. The sandwiches were classic flavours including Coronation Chicken, Cucumber and Egg Mayonnaise with Watercress. All wonderfully fresh and tasty. Our glasses were topped up again as we finished the sandwiches and were brought perfectly sized freshly baked scones. At previous afternoon teas, we have occasionally been served huge scones, which, although is lovely can sometimes spoil your enjoyment of the pastries as scones can be really filling. The Scones were delicious and just the right size and very importantly served with a generous helping of clotted cream and homemade jam.
As we sat and discussed how we thought the Apple dessert had so cleverly been made, we were again offered a refill of Prosecco and asked if everything was to our satisfaction. The staff were friendly and informative and clearly had an eye on your glass all the time, they were always around but not at all intrusive and I liked that.
The top tier of the cake stand was, in my opinion, the best “course”. The White Chocolate and carrot choux bun was light and fluffy and not too sweet. The Lemon macaron was on par with my favourite Laduree macarons - tangy, sweet, soft, crunchy, chewy - everything a macaron should be. The Mango jelly and coconut panna cotta was perfectly balanced, smooth, creamy, fruity and striking to look at. The apple and cinnamon mousse was incredible, a light fluffy mousse that encompassed a centre of apple and cinnamon compote all covered in a shell of chocolate. The piece de la resistance for me though, was the chocolate and salted caramel flower pot, a silky chocolate and caramel ganache topped with a chocolate crumb, I actually think I could have eaten a real flower pot sized one of these!
Afternoon tea at St Ermin's Hotel remains one of my favourites and is now one of the best looking afternoon teas out there. At £35pp with unlimited prosecco, I don’t think you will get better value for money in London.