Afternoon tea is well known as a London institution, a little indulgence to treat yourself and some friends to – especially with a glass of champagne! But with so many options in London for afternoon tea, it can be a little tricky to find one that is that little bit extra special (or some might even say a cut above the rest…) or even just a little bit different. The new 45 Park Lane afternoon tea manages both – their CUTCakes & Tea was one of the most fun and delicious teas I’ve tried in a while – and it doubles as a beautiful place to cool down in all this heat!
Though I’ve been lucky enough to stay at The Dorchester and visit a few times for special drinks, afternoon tea and events, I hadn’t popped my head into their London sister hotel 45 Park Lane before, so I was excited to finally meet The Dorchester’s more contemporary sister. I was immediately struck by the more boutique feel of the hotel, as well as the beautiful art that hung on the walls. As I walked through the lobby I saw CUT, the hotel’s signature steak restaurant by award-winning Wolfgang Puck, the venue for our lovely afternoon tea at 45 Park Lane.
As I arrived and was greeted by friends like Angie and Alex who I had had the pleasure of meeting before, as well as new friends, a cool glass of sparkling Californian wine (J Vineyards, ‘Cuvée 20’) was placed in front of me – a very welcome treat on a very warm day!
CUTCakes & Tea is a twist on a classic, British afternoon tea and has been inspired by CUT’s American heritage, and from the childhood memories of executive chef David McIntyre.
As the savoury selection came out, there wasn’t a cucumber in sight; instead a plate filled with Black Truffle Grilled Cheese, Fried Chicken & Buttermilk Bisquet, served with honey-jalapeño jam, a tuna tartare ‘Sandwich’, served with ripe avocado and ginger, a lobster Po’Boy in a homemade brioche bun and a wagyu beef slider with garlic aioli were served to each guest. My absolute favourite was the truffle grilled cheese; it sounds so simple, but grilled cheese will always have a very special place in my heart! Though a close second was the tuna tartare sandwich; a fresh, light option that was so flavoursome.
I really liked that the tea wasn’t as dainty or as ‘feminine’ as some other teas in London; it would be a great experience to bring Andy to, as well as going with a group of friends.
After a little pause, the Sweet American treats are served – and this is where the tea comes into a life of its own. To start, a strawberry milkshake is as pretty as it is delicious – and served with a cute little pink straw and a strawberry, it’s a feast for the eyes, too!
Instead of the traditional serving on a cake stand, the sweet treats are served on a sharing plate in the middle of the table, ready for everyone to dive into. Oh, and before you ask – yes, those really are cake pops! Pink lemonade, cookies and cream and New York cheesecake in flavour, they’re light, delicious and utterly moreish!
I thought I’d slipped straight into a 90’s American film when the chefs explained what the sweets were – and I certainly became a small child again, as I was so excited to dive into these beauties!
My favourite was the Graham cracker s’mores… Mainly as I instantly felt like I had been transported to the Parent Trap!
And as much it was an American inspired afternoon tea, no afternoon tea is really complete without scones! And just like at The Dorchester, these were fluffy, light and wonderfully warm – and served with decadent cream and wonderful, fruity jam. I wish I had one to tuck into now as I write this…
The other sweet treats included a truly 5* ‘cheeseburger’ macaron (which made me oh so excited for my upcoming trip to Paris and reminded me of our afternoon tea at Le Meurice!), a cola cake and caramel corn cake which had the perfect salt/sweet balance – I could easily have had more than one! And finally, a peanut butter and jelly twinkie, my first taste of this American treat!
All served in beautiful surroundings with wonderful, friendly service.
Save me a cake pop if you go?!
If you’re looking for a slightly alternative tea – but still can’t do without perfectly fluffy scones – then it’s an ideal tea time delight.
After a wonderful tea, Angie and I headed to The Dorchester for a glass of champagne for some belated celebrations, but a little more about those later…
The Dorchester Collection means happy, happy memories for me, and it was exactly the same at 45 Park Lane. I was so pleased to finally visit the beautiful 45 Park Lane for their afternoon tea – next on my #DCMoments list I think it has to be Coworth Park!
I was a guest of 45 Park Lane for this afternoon tea.