A huge thank you to Searcys St Pancras Champagne Bar for hosting the three of us (grown up, small child, tiny dog) for afternoon tea one Saturday afternoon.
It’s arguable that a love of afternoon tea is part of the English DNA although these days it’s less tea, and more late lunch. (It’s hard to eat a proper midday meal and then do proper justice to a three course tea of sandwiches, scones, and cakes a few hours later.)
Unless, of course, one has in one’s possession a slightly grubby eleven year old boy who has the appetite of Just William combined with Molesworth. When I was invited to take afternoon tea in the new Searcys St Pancras summer pop-up, the Art of Travel, I could think of no one better to bring with me as an Official Tester than C, accompanied by Lettice, for Searcys St Pancras is joyously dog-friendly.
It’s a spectacular setting for a drink, let alone afternoon tea, in this, Europe’s longest Champagne Bar.
We were charmed by our custom reservation holder, and did indeed press for Champagne, upon which action the charming sommelier appeared brandishing something rather more interesting: a bottle of English sparkling wine, a Blanc de Noirs NV from the Greyfriars vineyard near Guildford in Surrey. The blend of 60% Pinot Noir and 40% Pinot Meunier has lovely honeyed apples and brioche and made a great accompaniment to what was about to arrive.
But do not think that Lettice had been forgotten: a big bowl of water appeared for her underneath the table.
We were all the anticipation.
Tea arrived in a neat custom Art of Travel suitcase, just big enough for an array of teatime classics
Hurrah for Burford Brown egg mayonnaise buns, prawn and crab cocktail with Bloody Mary sauce, London smoked salmon, chive & lemon butter on warm crumpets, York ham and wholegrain mustard rye bread sandwiches, French Opera gâteaux, Belgian white chocolate mousses, and passion fruit Swiss meringue pies. Not forgetting homemade scones with jam and clotted cream
My guest adopted the role of guest reviewer with gusto. After he had called for his third round of York ham sandwiches, I gently suggested it might be time to draw a line under the bread portion of tea, and move onto scones. He concurred with alacrity.
For myself I can highly recommend the avocado, pomegranate and quinoa wraps, also a surprising favourite of my guest, and the light as air and superbly fresh raspberry macarons.
I think it’s fair to say that we did the tea justice…
St Pancras Brasserie and Champagne Bar by Searcys
St Pancras International Station
Kings Cross, London N1C 4QL
Full Afternoon Tea: £26.00 with a glass (125ml) of English Sparkling Wine, Greyfriars Blanc De Noirs, NV £38.00. Check out the menu here