Not saying the powers-that-be (or should that be, the powers-that-afternoon-tea*?) have bugged my office or anything, but some colleagues and I had a conversation about how there absolutely should be a Winnie the Pooh themed afternoon tea in London, and to be quite frank, it's a travesty that there isn't.
The next day, a press release lands in my inbox about a Winnie the Pooh afternoon tea in London. Coincidence? I think not. Tempted? Absolutely.
The Pelham and The Gore hotels, both part of the Starhotels chain in South Kensington, have produced the Silly Old Bear afternoon tea to tie in with the current Winnie the Pooh exhibition at the V&A. It's clear from the off that this afternoon tea is aimed at families. The back of the menus are covered in games and puzzles to keep younger guests (yeah, alright, and me) amused.
The food arrives in the form of a picnic, with scones, cream and honey lollipops - and those all-important crayons - served up in a picnic basket. The sandwiches and sweet treats are presented on what can only be described as tree stumps (don't alert #WeWantPlates just yet though - it's exquisite).
A pair of twenty-somethings without any kids in tow, we were thrilled by the presentation of the tea. Those of you who know me will know I'm a stickler for afternoon tea being served on the traditional tiered stand. Well, this case proves to be the exception to that rule.
But does it pass the taste test? Mostly, yes. Let's start with the sweet treats; the Eeyore themed chocolate mousse - served in a gorgeous mini Kilner jar - was the absolute highlight, although it could have done without the layer of orange compote at the bottom.
The meringue and marzipan bee was a cute little fella, the marzipan easily removable for those who don't like it, the biscuit and meringue paired perfectly. The cupcake and the passion fruit macaron slipped down nicely too.
The Hunny Pops - balls of honey parfait, white chocolate and caramel glace on a stick - were where we ran into trouble. They're served up in that picnic basket, which as it transpires, is lined with moss to really commit to the picnic theme - cute, but not ideal when one fell off its stick and was rendered green, furry and inedible. We had to abandon the rescue operation due the sheer volume of honey everywhere - parents, you're gonna need a bigger pack of wet wipes.
|In hindsight, we should have seen the problems coming|
The scones are crumblier than your average, almost biscuit-like in texture, which I rather enjoyed. Rummage around in the picnic basket (mind the honey!) and you'll find delightfully thick clotted cream and generous amounts of lemon curd to send them on their way.
Afternoon tea connoisseurs may find little to please them here, but that's OK because this isn't an afternoon tea for them. It's a fun twist on the tradition and a great way to introduce younger diners to afternoon tea. The food is ideal for this - not too much, not too rich, not too unusual.
*If any other afternoon tea planners are reading this, I have two words for you: Lion King. DO IT, I beg of you, and do it well.
Silly Old Bear afternoon tea is available at The Pelham and The Gore, both in South Kensington until April 2018. It costs £43 per person which includes entry to the V&A exhibition, and needs to be booked in advance.