“The snozberries taste like snozberries!”
― Roald Dahl,
I’m a sucker for afternoon tea and have sampled some of the poshest, quirky and themed one’s that London has to offer. Last week we headed off to the city to try one I’ve had my eye on for a while, the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Afternoon Tea.
5* One Aldwych is the setting for the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory afternoon tea, one of London’s most popular afternoon tea’s. The hotel is located in London’s ‘theatre district’ and is within walking distance of various tube stations.
With a relaxed sofa area fitted with contemporary fixtures and huge floral displays, the lounge is an inviting space for a casual drink, whilst still retaining an air of exclusivity that makes you feel extra special throughout. The staff are attentive, leading you to your seat, taking your coat and enthusiastically explaining all the individual nibbles that are about to come your way.
The menus come complete with illustrations of your favourite Charlie and the Chocolate Factory characters which I thought was a great personal touch. The afternoon tea, which costs £39 per person, consisted of:
Sandwiches and Savoury
Cucumber and smoked salmon on poppy seed bread
Egg mayonaise with watercress on tomato bread
Coronation chicken in a brioche bun
Leek, walnut and cheddar quiche
Golden chocolate egg filled with vanilla cheesecake and mango
Chocolate caramel milk
Homemade candy floss
Lemon and white chocolate cake pop
Cocoa bean financier
Warm scones served with berry jam, apple and meadowsweet compote and clotted cream
I have a sweet tooth and normally rush through the savoury offerings in order to get to the cakes, but this wasn’t the case here. The coronation chicken was perfectly seasoned, with just the right hint of spice, and the egg mayonnaise was light, with the tomato bread complimenting it perfectly. I’m not usually a fan of quiche, however this bite size pastry was delicious, so much so that I actually asked for seconds, something that the staff are happy to provide throughout the duration of the afternoon tea.
Next up were the scones, which were served warm, and the blueberry brioche, which I’ll admit I didn’t try as I’m not a fan of blueberries. The scones were actually plain and didn’t contain any fruit which was a shame as I did feel like they needed it. Nonetheless they were lovely and I heaped on the clotted cream and jam and it was gone in a few mouthfuls.
The golden chocolate egg filled with vanilla cheesecake and mango was a creamy delight! It has heavenly splashes of mango that fade in to the vanilla and chocolate perfectly.
The cocoa bean financier’s was a chocolate lovers dream. They were warm and chewy, almost like a brownie, and I could have eaten a basket full of them.
The chocolate caramel milk came in a quirky miniature milk bottle. It was gone in two sips but that’s all you needed as it was sickly sweet.
The Eton mess was one of my favourites of the day. You can’t go wrong with meringue, cream and strawberry in my opinion and this one was executed just right.
The candy floss wasn’t candy floss as you know it. It’s actually a ‘mystery flavour’ and the staff take great delight in watching you try and guess what it is. I won’t spoil it for you and will let you guess for yourself but if you’re anything like me it may take you a while to figure out the flavour.
We finished off the afternoon with the lemon and chocolate cake pops. They were no more than a mouthful but by this point that’s all we could manage. The sweetness of the chocolate and the bitter lemon were a match made in heaven.
The spread is filling, and delicious, in every possible way and has the perfect mix of flavours to suit all tastes. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory afternoon tea is a perfectly quirky treat if you’re looking to spoil yourself or a friend, suitable for all kinds of special occasions. Just this once, it’s perfectly OK to unleash your inner Veruca Salt and demand “I want it now.”