There are some experiences that can really only be described as magical and stepping into The Dorchester a couple of weeks ago was one of those experiences. I had had a very luxurious 24 hours at The Dorchester planned for me, and it was something that I had been so excited about – and just as excited to blog about! Though I was very excited to share part of this experience with Andy, I knew that we could enjoy most of the night together and so I asked Colleen to join me for a rather indulgent chocolate afternoon tea at The Dorchester.
Being two entirely chocoholic fans the idea of a chocolate based afternoon was very exciting, but I have to admit I was entirely unprepared to be as blown away as I was.
As we arrived, I quickly dropped my luggage before heading to The Promenade, where the traditional afternoon tea is served. However, the chocolate indulgence tea is served on The Balcony, which sits above the beautiful entrance to the hotel and is a beautiful, light space.
The moment we walked into the balcony we could smell the chocolate; it was almost as if we had walked into a room entirely full of the world’s best chocolate! We somehow managed to resist diving straight into the beautifully presented golden pots of chocolate and made our way to our table, where we met our fantastic waiter, Arthur.
As we sat down Arthur explained the tea, as it’s a little different to traditional afternoon tea, especially since the tea is replaced with bespoke hot chocolates… We suddenly realised that the golden pots of chocolate weren’t just to give you a scent of the delicious chocolate and that we would get to taste it all (or as much as we could manage!)
Sensing that we were celebrating (Colleen and I always manage to find a cause for celebration!) we were brought two glasses of Laurent-Perrier brut champagne, a champagne that regular readers will know that I love.
The Dorchester is well known for having some of the finest hotel restaurants in London and across the globe, including Alain Ducasse’s 3 Michelin star restaurant at The Dorchester London and his other restaurants at Le Meurice and Hôtel Plaza Athénée, and so I was really excited for the food itself.
We started with the sandwich selection as we enjoyed our champagne. Regular tea go-ers will know that there are generally a certain selection of savoury sandwiches that restaurants tend to choose from, but I loved that the Dorchester have made their own mark on a British classic and added their own sandwich fillings.
I was pleased to see my favourite smoked salmon served with peashoots on pumpernickel bread, as it’s one of the best parts of afternoon tea (behind the champange!) as well as a delicious and delicate smoked duck with pickled carrot and truffle emulsion.
The other savoury options were a delicious petite mushroom tartlet with asparagus, Coronation chicken on almond brioche with raisin and coriander cress (a dish created in honour of Queen Elizabeth’s coronation) and a prawn and egg jar (which was the Queen Mother’s favourite).
As I caught up with Colleen about her wedding, which she’s just set the date for, and about her mum’s visit this summer, Arthur filled our champagne glasses and presented some beautiful chocolate treats.
Firstly we had a lovely cacao nib treat which was perfectly crisp on the outside and filled with delicious chocolate mousse; it was quite a strong flavoured chocolate which had a slightly unusual taste, but we both loved it.
We agreed that the setting was perfect for a luxurious celebration, and since it’s been just over a year since Colleen and I became such close friends, it was the perfect venue for our celebration. I could easily imagine myself here with my mum or with friends celebrating a birthday.
Though what we had had until now had been incredible, it was time for one of most luxurious and, frankly, perfect moments I’ve had in a long time. Arthur wheeled the hot chocolate trolley that we had walked past on our way in to our table and started to explain all the chocolates to us. He was about to make us a selection of bespoke hot chocolates based on our preferences and tastes. The trolley has all kinds of chocolate that you can think of, from incredibly dark 75% cocoa chocolate to white chocolate and chocolate that tastes like caramel.
We started with the Dulcey chocolate, a light white chocolate that taste of caramel and its beautifully sweet, before moving on to darker and darker chocolates from South America.
Arthur took the time to explain how he makes the perfect hot chocolate, using the right balance of milk and water. I loved hearing about the difference in all the chocolates and where they came from.
He’s also pretty amazing at the most beautiful hot chocolate pour I’ve ever seen…
No afternoon tea at the Dorchester is complete without sweet treats, and the chocolate indulgence is no exception. Make sure you leave some room for these as they’re something else! Topped with gold leaves and containing more of the cacoo nib as well as some of the delicious dark chocolates we were also experiencing in the second (and third..) round of hot chocolates we enjoyed.
Is there anything more luxurious than something topped with a gold leaf?
I think you’ve figured out the the chocolate indulgence afternoon tea at The Dorchester is beyond exceptional; it’s a real moment of magic.
If you’re a scone fan and are worried about the lack of their appearance, I wouldn’t worry since right at the end Arthur presented us with a little napkin wrapped package of warm scones. Served with clotted cream, jam and homemade chocolate spread, they’re something special.
And as if it hadn’t been special enough, Arthur had overheard us chatting about Colleen’s wedding and brought her a gorgeous cake to say congratulations from The Dorchester. I’ve always known the service at The Dorchester to be excellent, but with this they really went above and beyond.
If it’s a magical and luxurious experience that you’re after, afternoon tea at The Dorchester is pretty much perfect. And the best bit? This was only the start of my Dorchester experience..!
Our 24 hours at The Dorchester was complimentary, but all (very many) opinions are my own!