Hotel Café Royal in London has long history with the great British institution of Afternoon Tea and, on 14 September, will launch a tasty new way to get a slice of that past.
The hotel is set to unveil The London Royal Tea, a take on the English afternoon tea tradition, featuring a London theme playfully presented in the gilded splendour of the iconic Oscar Wilde Bar.
A celebration of British history, The London Royal Tea at Hotel Café Royal will allow visitors to learn about the origins of taking tea and many of its associated traditions.
The team of chefs at Hotel Café Royal have carefully crafted a menu of unique sandwiches, scones, delicacies, cakes and savouries, all inspired by London and Afternoon Tea through the ages, including the traditional Battenberg cake, supposedly created to celebrate the royal wedding of 1884 between Prince Louis of Battenberg and Queen Victoria’s granddaughter, through to macaroons inspired by the icon of the London Underground.
The experience will begin when Hotel Café Royal’s designated toastmaster rings a bell from the historical entrance on Regent Street, to signal the beginning and end of Afternoon Tea service. Dating back to the 1800s, this tradition evokes the spirit of the muffin men, who used to hawk their wares on the streets of London and ring a bell when the muffins were ready, until a law was passed prohibiting the activity in 1839 – a law that still stands today. On arrival at the Oscar Wilde Bar, guests will enjoy a brief history of the traditions surrounding Afternoon Tea in the UK and a piece of news from Café Royal’s legendary past.
Guests will embark on an indulgent culinary journey that begins with a customary savoury muffin with goats’ cheese and tomato, before a selection of traditional tea sandwiches with a twist including: cucumber, cream cheese and beetroot; prawn brigade with spices and London honey; and smoked ‘Wilde’ salmon, quail’s egg and cress.
Guests will then be encouraged to try the hibiscus ice tea to clean their palate together with a vanilla biscuit before moving onto the sweet dishes on offer, including traditional Battenberg cake, Underground macaroon, Pearly King and Queen Opera and Victoria sponge plus Raspberry Regent, a sweet treat that has been specially created by the hotel for this service, inspired by the iconic Dome Penthouse.
A choice of custom-blended teas from the Canton Tea company will be on offer, including the Celestine (a harmonious blend of Bai Lin Gong Fu Black Tea, Yunnan Black Tea, Organic Vanilla Pod and Cornflower Petals); and the eponymous Oscar (a Lapsang Souchong black tea).