As I discovered with Hannah on Friday afternoon, there is no more delightful way to enter a rose-tinted sugar haze than by taking afternoon tea in the Sofitel St James’ Rose Lounge.
I’ve stayed in the hotel once before, locking myself away for a weekend to recover from London Fashion Week. As I wandered through the hotel, I came across the hidden Rose Lounge and vowed to return, to take tea, listen to the harpist and eat vast quantities of patisserie.
Given that LLG is going floral for the next seven days to celebrate this year’s 2014 RHS Chelsea Flower Show, when I discovered that the Rose Lounge was serving ‘Le Tea en Rose’ in honour of Chelsea, I figured now was the time to return.
(And I’ve put together a list of other places to try with Chelsea Flower Show themes at the end of this post.)
There are the traditional finger sandwiches, and tiny scones, plain, sultana and apricot, with a heavenly home made lemon curd, (I was caught licking my fingers) and strawberry jam. We may have needed an extra dish of clotted cream. I drank restorative Earl Grey, and Hannah had the special Mediterranean rose, a blend of roses from Provence and Morocco.
There is a trolley of delectable sweet things, amongst which Head Chef Vincent Menager has added for Chelsea a chocolate dacquoise, with jasmine flower mousse and raspberry macaroon; elderflower jelly, lemon cheesecake crumble and Swiss meringue; and a white chocolate tartlet with a rose crème Chiboust.
I am always in favour of anywhere that brings a little extra table, because they anticipate bringing too much food for one table.
The Rose Lounge at Sofitel London St James will be serving the celebratory ‘Le Tea en Rose’ daily between 2.30pm – 5.30pm, throughout May 2014.
Priced at £30, or £34 including the La Vie en Rose cocktail.
To book, contact:
Sofitel London St James, 8 Pall Mall,SW1Y 5NG. Tel: 020 7747 2238 H3144-FB10@sofitel.com
Other Chelsea Flower Show-inspired food and drink offerings around London include:
A floral afternoon tea at The Corinthia London
A one off evening hosted by London Mess at The Dissenting Academy in Mildmay Park, on the 22nd May, with ‘a unique urban take on floral inspired dining’. More details here
Dukes St James will be serving a rose martini, created by head bar man and martini guru, Alessandro Palazzi, using aromatic Rose vodka, fresh chilli, strawberry liqueur, cranberry juice paired with cordial lime and finished with a rose petal, and an al fresco Dukes Afternoon Tea for guests in the Dukes front terrace or the outdoor cigar lounge. www.dukeshotel.com
The St James Court Hotel is also offering a a floral themed afternoon tea. Details here
The Blue Bar at The Berkeley London has created a Secret Garden cocktail in honour of this year’s Laurent-Perrier Chelsea Italian garden designer Luciano Giubbieli, containing Boulard Grand Solage Calvados layered with rose liquor, Herring Cherry Liquor and a dash of Orange Bitter. Topped with Laurent-Perrier Cuvée Rosé, and finished with a layer of honey and a spray of homemade perfume consisting of Penny Royal, Orange Blossom, Violette Liquor and Rose Water. www.the-berkeley.co.uk
The Langham’s resident florist Adrian Ghione has transformed its Palm Court into a quintessentially English garden for their afternoon tea, taking his inspiration from Laurent-Perrier’s garden at Chelsea, with bespoke picket fences and floral displays. london.langhamhotels.co.uk
The Botanical Bites afternoon tea by Eric Lanlard, including a pistachio parfait on a hazelnut praline base, a raspberry financier, an upside down balsamic and black pepper strawberry tart and a ‘Menthe du Jardin’ chocolate floral tube is available at Chinoiserie in the Jumeirah Carlton Tower. To book, visit jumeirah.com/jct or call +44 (0)20 7858 7181.
Thank you to the Sofitel St James, and its wonderful staff for hosting Hannah and me for tea in the Rose Lounge