One of my favourite things about the afternoon tea scene in London is the ever-changing themed menus you can find across the city. Of course you have always got your iconic afternoon tea places like The Ritz where you can expect their classic menu. But you also have so many places now that will change their menu every few months with a new and exciting theme. This was exactly why I headed to The Lanesborough earlier this summer for their Cruella themed afternoon tea.
‘It’s a Little Bid Mad’ the Disney Cruella-Inspired afternoon tea was launched at The Lanesborough to coincide with the release of the new Disney Cruella movie. The Lanesborough’s head pasty chef Kevin Miller created a limited edition menu that ‘features a selection of themed cakes that are a stylish celebration of fashion and rebellion, blending traditional patisserie expertise with an unexpected, modern aesthetic that is utterly Instagrammable and “a little bit mad” – just like Cruella herself’. Disney and beautifully crafted patisserie combined is the ultimate combo for my best friend and me so of course we rushed to get a booking as soon as we could.
– Selection of Finger Sandwiches –
Egg & Cress Mayonnaise
Smoked Salmon, Cream Cheese & Dill
Mint Yoghurt & Cucumber
Prawn and Squid Ink Tartlet with a Lobster Mayonnaise & Tomato Sponge
– Scones –
Square baked scones chocolate chip and dried cranberry served with clotted cream and strawberry jam
– Selection of pastries –
Millionaire Shortbread presented on a mini artists easel
Treacle tartlet with a whipped dulcey ganache garnished with red lips
Fashion Makes Art Makes Fashion
Raspberry Battenberg Cake with Cranberry Jam
White Chocolate Feuilletine base with yoghurt raspberry mousse & liquid hibiscus centre
Red choux bun hat with caramelized banana and pecan nut crème
Gold inside out cheesecake – Blueberry compote, lemon cheesecake with a blackcurrant and violet sauce injection
I’m not really a fan of an afternoon tea where they get too creative with the sandwiches – I’d rather they save the artistry for the pastries. I can be a bit fussy when it comes to sandwich fillings and I’d rather have a classic filling prepared expertly than something left of field. What I loved about the savoury selection on this particular afternoon tea was that the sandwiches were classic but then you had the addition of the Prawn & Squid ink tartlet to provide something a little different, and it was delicious! Similarly I don’t like a scone to be messed with too far from its classic form and I felt that the square shape was an interesting way to mix things up for the theme of this tea.
Onto the sweet treats – the pastries were all absolutely beautifully prepared and presented. The highlight for both of us was the ‘Anarchy Reigns’ as these were presented on individual artists easels and it linked up with the movie theme perfectly. The inside out blueberry cheesecake ‘Modern Masterpiece’ was also a standout.
The real showstopper though was the ‘Scene Stealer Cocktail’ – Bombay Bramble, freshly squeezed lemon juice, raspberry purée, Maraschino cherry juice, simple syrup, topped with white apricot air foam and dry freeze blackberry dust served on a tray of dry ice. Any cocktail served on a bed of dry ice is a winner for me – the drama of the presentation was spot on for the theme and of course provided the most Instagrammable moment of the whole tea. The cocktail was quite tart which was actually a nice contrast to the sweetness of all the pastries.
The Cruella Afternoon tea cost £55.00 per person, £74.00 per person with a glass of champagne or £72.00 per person with the Scene Stealer cocktail. This is one of the more expensive afternoon teas in London but I always find the more expensive ones are actually the best value. Partly for the level of service and setting but mostly because they will often replenish the food for you. I find the cheaper ones you get what you’re given and no extras. I often find after I sampled the pastries I am feeling a bit sick with sugar overload and craving savoury again so it’s great to do a tea where they will bring you more sandwiches – I think we might have even been through three rounds of sandwiches on this particular occasion!
Unfortunately this Cruella inspired Afternoon Tea was limited edition and only ran between the 28th May – 4th August 2021. However I would highly recommend checking out what the latest afternoon tea theme is at The Lanesborough. Currently they have an afternoon tea collaboration with Peggy Porschen running until the 11th November 2021 followed by a Festive Peggy Porschen afternoon tea until the 5th January 2022.