In celebration of the 150th Anniversary of the London Underground, The Park Lane Hotel in London has created a specially themed afternoon tea. Think scones, savouries and sweet treats – all with a Transport for London twist.
Served in the hotel's beautiful Palm Court Lounge, you'll want to give yourself a couple of hours to fully appreciate everything. The squishy cushion-laden sofas are perfect for making yourself comfortable as you listen to a classically trained harpist play songs by Take That and Adele – just try to avoid the urge to have a little nap between tea top-ups.
The elegance of the setting makes it an ideal place for a special occasion or just an afternoon treat. We spotted couples, mums-and-daughters and ladies-who-lunch all enjoying a bite.
Created by the hotel's head pastry chef, the food is witty as well as delicious, and certain to bring a smile to your face.
Keeping to the Underground theme, the savoury nibbles include a saffron 'Circle and District Line' roulade with coronation chicken and spinach, a 'London Bridge' roll with egg, crème fraîche, sunblushed tomatoes and rocket.
There's also a mini 'Royal Oak' smoked salmon bagel; and a particularly delicious leek, asparagus and double 'Gloucester Road' tart.
Of course it wouldn't be afternoon tea without scones, and here they arrive accompanied by generous pots of 'Limehouse' curd and 'Victoria Plum' jam and clotted cream.
Make sure to leave room for the delicate London Underground pastries. There's a hazelnut pound cake to represent Bank; a Victoria sponge for… well, Victoria; a honey, lemon and pistachio cake for Paddington (It's yellow and green for the Circle and District lines, with a Paddington Bear-amount of honey), plus a white chocolate oreo Swiss 'Roll' Cottage.
Each cake comes with its own tiny hand-decorated underground sign. They're almost too pretty to eat – but not quite.
Start your tea with a light and refreshing 'Metropolitan 1863' – a blend of blackcurrant tea and Beefeater gin – a brand which dates back to the same year the Underground was born.
There's also a large selection loose-leaf tea – from classic Earl Grey and assam to rosebud, Chinese oolong and peppermint.
The low down
The London Underground Afternoon Tea at The Park Lane Hotel costs £41 per person and is available until March 10. The tea is served from 3-6pm weekdays and 2-6pm at weekends. Bookings must be made in advance.
Park Lane Hotel, Piccadilly, London, W1J 7BX. 0207 499 6321, sheratonparklane.com
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