Thursday, 27 December 2012


Whilst we admit we are not afternoon tea experts; it would be fair to say that we are both avid fans and have experienced more then our fair share! In light of 2013 drawing ever closer we thought we would share with you all our favourite afternoon teas off 2012.















Monday, 24 December 2012

Bradford Elysées Hotel, Paris

The 4-star Bradford Elysées is set in a Haussmannian building, near the famous Champs Elysées in central Paris. It offers refined guest rooms and a breakfast room with a glass roof.

Each of the spacious guest rooms at Bradford Elysées has a classically elegant décor, and is equipped with an iPod docking station, cable TV and a minibar. Some rooms feature a balcony. The tiled private bathrooms include a marble sink.

A buffet breakfast is served every morning in the hotel’s luminous dining room. Guests can also choose to have breakfast served in the guest room.

The Bradford Elysées hotel is a 5-minute walk from Franklin D. Roosevelt Metro Station providing direct access to the Tuileries Gardens, the Louvre Museum and Place de la Bastille. Free Wi-Fi access is available throughout the hotel, and all rooms are serviced by a lift. After a day of sightseeing, guests can relax in the hotel lounge.

Thursday, 13 December 2012

'Japanese Rituals' Afternoon Tea At The Halkin by COMO, London

The Halkin by the COMO group is a luxury hotel situated in a quiet residential area in the heart of Belgravia, one of London's best locations and close to the famous shopping destinations of Knightsbridge and Sloane Street. Elegantly understated and oozing class the hotel is internationally recognised as one of London's most stylish with an intimate ‘home from home' ambiance.

If your looking for a new innovative and alternative take on the traditional afternoon tea look no further, The Halkin has teamed up with chocolatier William Curley, one of the UK’s foremost chocolatiers, who has been named Britain’s best chocolatier by the Academy of Chocolate no fewer than four times.

Scottish born William who became the youngest Chef Pâtissier at The Savoy, where he met his Japanese wife Suzue – also a highly respected pâtissier. William and Suzue, have injected the traditional British tea experience with an infusion of beautiful subtle Japanese flavours. The ‘Japanese Rituals’ tea experience combines a colourful range of patisserie delights that enthral and tantalise the taste buds.

Afternoon Tea is served in The Halkin Bar, the chic and contemporary lounge that offers a quiet serene haven where you can 'zone out' and re-energise away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Upon our arrival we were greeted with a warm welcome and barely needed to consult the menu, except to choose from the range of teas to go with our afternoon tea. The staff where truly exceptional, and please do believe me when I say you are in good caring hands, with staff that go above and beyond the norm to ensure you have a faultless and truly wonderful time. Nothing is to much trouble and they are more than happy to go through the selection of teas on offer and help with your selection with a few recommendations.

For me I love to start my afternoon tea with a champagne cocktail and I always love to see whats on offer, the Halkin has created a fantastic and creative selection. I took a fancy to Valentine which is a combination of Hendricks gin, with raspberries and basil and topped with Louis Roederer champagne, the champagne of choice at the hotel. Another special mention must go to 'Brass button' which is a mixture of Plymouth gin shaken with grand marnier and orange juice topped with champagne. The champagne cocktails where perfection and something I urge you to try, as it really sets the tone for the rest of the afternoon.

Whilst sipping on my cocktail the waiter describing all the treats on offer in detail, I had a feeling this afternoon tea was going to be extra special and I wasn't wrong. With patisseries mixing some interesting combinations everything from green tea, creamy wasabi, floral jasmine and tangy Yuzu I just couldn't wait for the tasting to start.

With the delectable array arriving at our table, everything was presented to perfection. A delicate row of full sized sandwiches with fillings such as Scottish smoked salmon, king prawns and poached corn-fed chicken breast. The king prawn was particularly delicious served with mustard cress and cocktail dressing, they truly where sandwiches to make Britain proud. On request more sandwiches can be brought to your table, which are all included within the price, so don't hesitate to try more, as you will definitely desire more.

This may be a new innovative take on afternoon tea, but traditional elements such as freshly-baked succulent plain and raisin scones, which where perfectly warm and fluffy and are far from understated, served along side clotted cream and jams. Whilst tucking into the scones my tea was then presented. I opted for White Peony, also known as Pai Mu Tan, it is a sweet, mild tea made from unopened tea buds, as well as the two newest leaves to sprout. The freshly harvested leaf is allowed to wither dry in the sun. The natural oxidation which takes place during this withering gives White Peony beautiful, plush flavours. The nose is warm, floral and rich, like fruit blossoms. The liquor is golden and bright. Clean, succulent floral-fruit flavour and rounded mouthfeel. If you are beginning your exploration of white tea, or even just tea in general, the White Peony tea will serve as a wonderful introduction.

Being that the common denominator between British and Japanese cultures is Tea and although the British may be renowned for their drinking of this beverage, no one quite knows how to make such a beautiful brew as the Japanese. The teas on offer showcase a selection of 'rare teas produced by JING TEA'. JING is run by Edward Eisler and his team, JING celebrates the core meaning of Asia’s ancient tea rituals, distilling the essence into a tea experience which is right for the modern, hectic world. By travelling thousands of miles each year, they source definitive examples of Asia’s finest teas and accrue an extensive knowledge of the tea cultures from which they originate. Just a few of the selection included black teas; Jasmine pearls, Keemum and whole rose, Russian caravan and Gyokuru white; peony, Taiwan jade and finally herbal infusions ginger with acacia honey, rose buds, lemon verbena and don't forget trying more than one is most definitely encouraged.

Next up the stunning cake stand of delicious treats that have been mesmerizing me since they where placed on the table. Each is so full of different tastes that with every bite a new flavour is released. Apricot Wasabi Entremet, which has layers of pistachio sponge, chocolate cremeaux, wasabi ganache, and apricot compote. The Dark Chocolate Pyramid Mousse, with jasmine crème brulee, caramelised mandarin and chocolate sponge, is a delicately flavoured sweet. The Chestnut and Yuzu Almond Sweet Pastry Tart is created from an almond and chestnut sponge, Yuzu marmalade, and chestnut mousse topped with Italian meringue. The Raspberry and Green Tea White Chocolate Casket has raspberry mousse, green tea crème brulee and green tea sponge. Simply delicious! It is impossible to pick a favourite as each of the amazing cakes is a whole new experience.

It's hard to imagine that anyone could improve on the age-old tradition of afternoon tea, but the Halkin Hotel, along with William Curley, have found a way to elevate that tradition to couture cuisine. With impeccable service, there is a real enthusiasm that is sometimes lacked at afternoon teas, but for me if there is one hotel that has the most knowledgeable and genuine staff providing excellent service, for me it would be the Halkin.

So go ahead, treat yourself to the flavours of the east at a truly worthy price of £37.50 for the ‘Japanese flavours’ tea and £47.50 for a champagne afternoon tea. This is definitely one treat worth indulging yourself in

Wednesday, 12 December 2012


1-31st December - Everyday from 2pm to 7pm

Tis' the season to be jolly!

Savour at Raffes Salon an array of delicacies while listening to your favourite festive songs with The Collection – Afternoon Tea by Raffles/Christmas Edition. Completing this experience is a fine selection of teas, coffees and a glass of mulled wine. 

Count down to Christmas with our wall-sized “Hand-Painted” Advent Calendar. Each day will reveal surprise giveaways!

Price: AED 299 per couple / AED 499 per couple with bubbly
For more information, please call +9714 324 8888 or

Raffles Salon - Lobby Level
Raffles Dubai, Sheikh Rashid Road

Monday, 10 December 2012

Christmas Cocktail Masterclass At 69 Colebrooke Row (The Bar With No Name)

The Bar With No Name is quite possibly one of London’s best kept secrets; so we thought it would be only fair to share it with all of you! Located just outside Central London; within close proximity to the tube stop Angel, guests visiting the bar will find themselves in an intimate, cosy setting embracing décor of the American Moonshine era whilst being dazzled by the captivating cocktails created by the vastly talented Tony Conigiliaro.

Tony Conigiliaro the man behind the bar with no name is widely acknowledged as one of the UK’s most innovative drink creators, and continually strives to explore new ways in which guests can enjoy their drinking experience. To date Tony has been exposed to a wide range of experiences, having worked as a bartender in the following premier cocktail bars; Isola and Shochu Lounge in London. It was in this period Tony began collaborating with the UK three star Michelin Chef Heston Blumenthal to create the cocktail menu at ‘The Fat Duck’; which as I am sure you agree is a true testament to his skill. In accordance with Tony’s desire to revolutionise our drinking experience he has personally devised exclusive hands on and informative masterclasses exclusively at the bar with no name. In light of the festive season fast approaching Kate and I could not resist taking part in the Holiday Masterclass.

As we approached the front door of the Bar With No Name, we were incredibly excited for the masterclass awaiting us. On arrival we were presented with a breakdown of the drinks we would be making, which included the type of glass required, ingredients and suitable room to make additional notes before being shown to our seats with a great view of the bar. From the onset we became infused with the upbeat, happy atmosphere that had been created by a combination of eager fellow pupils and staff members. The class was evenly spread out in terms of gender, age and geographic background meaning it was very easy to begin chatting with one another before the drinks had begun flowing. The masterclass began with an alcoholic egg-nog with freshly grated nutmeg on top; the taste was deliciously sweet with a truly homely, winter aroma. As we sipped on our egg-nog we were educated in the drinks contents and origins, which are actually English rather than the popular misconception of American/Canadian before being introduced to both Tony and Martha that would be taking the masterclass.

The masterclass followed the format of us watching, taking notes and asking questions about the drink whilst the Tony and Martha created enough for us to share among small groups (straws provided) and comment on before volunteering to go behind the bar and recreate the drinks ourselves. The first drink within the Holiday Masterclass collection was the Sicilian Sour; with Amaretto Disaranno. As the drinks were being created with masterful precision we were talked through the origins of the drink; and told that at the No Name Bar their signature on this drink is a Star on top. The taste of this drink was truly divine; and although the next eight that followed tasted great this was our favourite from the onset. Arguably; the most fun and indeed challenging part of the masterclass was getting behind the bar and creating the drink yourself. I will say this is something that defiantly looks easier than it is in reality; I fear I will defiantly require some additional training before I can create drinks like Martha and Tony!

Throughout the Holiday Masterclass we made the following drinks: Classic Champagne Cocktail made with Perrier Jouet NV Champagne, Alfonso Cocktail which we were told was enjoyed by the late Queen Mother, the 1920’s London classic Hanky Panky, Sherry Cobbler which was the first drink to incorporate ice, Tom Collins a gin based afternoon drink that soared to popularity in New York as a result of a genius joke, Golden Fizz served without ice and topped with soda water, Corpse Reviver N2 which we believe could truly wake the dead and finally Scoff Law a popular drink in the Prohibition era. Despite these being listed as the Holiday Masterclass selection; both Martha and Tony were happy to engage in debates, and in one example created an additional drink for us guests to enjoy to further enhance a point made regarding the taste of the classic Martini.

We really enjoyed this masterclass; it was the perfect blend of education, insight and hands on interaction. The amount of alcoholic drinks whilst impressive was staggered in a way that even after your sixth or seventh drink you were only tipsy at very best, which meant you were able to really appreciate what was going on. To put it quite simply; this masterclass is truly unique, and a fabulous treat for the Holiday season.

15th DECEMBER 2012
HOLIDAY COCKTAILS MASTERCLASS: Eggnog, punch, perfect martini and champagne cocktails

19th DECEMBER 2012
TONY CONIGLIARO BOOKLAUNCH SPECIAL MASTERCLASS Recipes and flavours from Tony C’s new book Drinks


With an exclusive selection of teas and an intimate decor The Rose Lounge at the Sofitel London St James is one place that must be visited for afternoon tea .  Subtle colors of pink and cream make for a a beautiful and elegant setting. Stunning fragrant roses displays fill the room which is  further enhanced by the gentle sound of a harp perfect way to spend the day enjoying a delectable afternoon tea.

Now is the perfect chance to visit as throughout December, Sofitel London St James will be serving an exclusive seasonal afternoon tea and cocktails inspired by the fragrances of Penhaligon’s.

Head Bartender of the St James Bar has created four exclusive cocktails inspired by four best-selling Penhaligon’s scents;Endymion, Juniper Sling, Peoneve and Artemisia. Such fine names for perfumery that it was only a hop and a skip away from classic cocktails, containing essential oils, spices and unusual liqueurs, each taking key notes from the fragrances and transforming them into quaint quaffable tipples.

In addition, Head Chef, Vincent Ménager, has created a delightful scented afternoon tea featuring scones with rose scented jam, cardamom scented crème brûlée tartlets and pear mousse snow balls with violet flakes for the Rose Room.

In addition, Sofitel London St James invited Penhaligon’s to decorate their lobby Christmas tree. Festooned with opera glasses, theatre masks, programmes and bottles of scent, the Penhaligon’s tree is a veritable English theatrical celebration of all things fragrant.

The bespoke cocktail and afternoon tea menu will be available at Sofitel London St James throughout December

Have Your Carrie Bradshaw Moment At Hôtel Plaza Athénée, Paris

Situated in the heart of the beautiful French capital; Paris, just steps from the Champs Elysees is the fabulous five star luxury hotel, Plaza Athenee. Hotel Plaza Athenee perfectly embodies the very essence of traditional Parisian style, with an unmatchable aura of sophistication and splendor. In May 2011 the hotel became officially recognized by the French government as a Palace hotel; which we firmly believe further ratifies why its one of the best hotel’s in Paris. 

For all the Sex and the City fans out there, you may recall the balcony of her room at the Hôtel Plaza Athénée that Carrie first sees the Eiffel Tower. As a special treat for those of you with a pocket like 'Mr Big' the hotel has created a Sex and the City Package that includes either the Prestige or Presidential Suite. Both of these suites offer stunning views of the iconic Eiffel Tower. On arrival complimentary cakes will be delivered to you room, so you can begin your indulgence as your bags are being unpacked. Additional pastimes can include a visit to the hotels bar to enjoy some Cosmos before a tasty continual breakfast the following morning at the hotel. We couldn't think of a better way to experience and enjoy Paris! 

Prestige Suite 

An added bonus for any fashionista wanting to follow in Carrie's couture footsteps is that Dior,Chanel, Prada, Valentino, Gucci and Louis Vuitton are a mere Manolo'd totter away, as they are situated on the same street as the hotel, the designer heaven avenue Montaigne. However if like us the Sex and the City Package is unfortunately out if reach there is nothing stopping you dropping in and splurging on a €26 cocktail; you’ll be treated like a celebrity and you’ll also have the opportunity to absorb a little bit of Parisian chic. 

Cosmo ice €26

The Cosmo was Carrie Bradshaw’s drink of choice throughout much of Sex and the City. Despite its modern image, the recipe follows the classic sour-family cocktail recipe of base spirit (vodka), sweetener (Cointreau) and sour (lime juice), with a bit of cranberry juice thrown in to add an extra bit of tartness and a nice pink colour. The Cosmo is now firmly rooted as one of the most popular cocktails of the past twenty years.

Plaza Athénée's 'The Bar' is a balance between sophistication, innovation and undeniably one of the best places in Paris to be seen sipping cocktails. The hotel has decided to give the cosmopolitan a unique make over; the drink is served in a translucent Ice Lolly in a Martini glass. The 'Fashion ice' is a popular cocktail choice at the hotel and also comes in other flavours. We must say that the hotels unique twist on the cosmo is glamorous, fun, and deliciously Sex and the City we can personally testify that it really brings a new zeal of life to the traditional counterpart; the taste is intense and flavoursome alongside offering you a unique and memorable experience.

Sex and the City Package:
Daily Continental breakfast for two
A Cosmopolitan cocktail for each at the Bar du Plaza Athénée
A trendy red Plaza Athénée umbrella
A delicious cake offered in room upon arrival

Deluxe Suite from € 2695
Prestige Suite from € 3795
Presidential Suite from € 4895
Rates understood per night, including VAT and service charge 
except the city tax of 1.50 Euros per person on a daily basis.
Subject to availability. Rates are commissionable
Direct line: +33 1 53 67 66 67 - GDS code: DC

Saturday, 8 December 2012


A visit to Bertie's Bar is a must! this elegant and stylish space has a relaxed, fun and friendly ambience that is all down to bar manager extraordinaire Luis Cobas. A host with more than 40 years experience at the hotel, Luis ensures that Bertie's Bar exudes warm hospitality; excellent service and discretion are the watchwords as he serves up a wonderful selection of beers, wines, champagne and cocktails. 

Bertie’s Bar is the heart and soul of the hotel where a star or two can be seen relaxing in the early hours.Order champagne and bar snacks or choose from a selection of wines by the glass, malt whiskies and speciality beers. All guests are served delicious nibbles to enjoy with their drinks.

Bertie's Bar is open from 5pm to 2am, Monday to Saturday.

St. Ermin's Honey Afternoon Tea

To celebrate the overwhelming success of St. Ermin’s’ 200,000 rooftop bees, they have created a Honey Afternoon Tea. St. Ermin’s’ Honey Afternoon Tea includes honey and caramel mousse with crunchy honeycomb topping; honey Bakewell tart; scones with strawberry jam, clotted cream and honey; lemon and honey polenta cake; goats’ cheese and honey mille-feuille plus a selection of finger sandwiches and a 1.5oz jar of St Ermin’s’ honey to take home.


Honey and caramel mousse with honeycomb crunchy topping

Honey bakewell tart

Scones with strawberry jam, clotted cream and honey

Lemon and honey polenta cake

Goat's cheese and honey mille feuille

A selection of freshly prepared finger sandwiches with a selection of fillings

Tea selection from Jing

Add a glass of Laurent Perrier Champagne (supplement) £10

St. Ermin’s’ Honey Afternoon Tea will be served daily in the St. Ermin's' Library or Lobby between 1pm and 5pm.

Don't Miss The Chocolate Festival This Weekend And Celebrate All Things Chocolate.

Friday 7th - Sunday 9th December 2012

11am-8pm on Fri & Sat

11am-6pm on Sun

Southbank Centre Square
(Behind Royal Festival Hall)
Belvedere Road

Free Admission
  • Valrhona Afternoon Tea with creations by their Head Pastry Chef.
  • Masters of Chocolate Afternoon with Paul A. Young, Paul Wayne Gregory, Damian Allsop, Barry Johnson and Chantal Coady.
  • Create your perfect chocolate bar with a little help from ChocoMe.
  • Indulge in a comforting bowl of Southern chocolate chilli from Anna Maes, patisserie from Café On, The Dessert Deli, Outsider Tart and Sweet Tooth Factory or Jaz & Juls’ award-winning organic hot chocolate.
  • Make Christmas chocolates with Scandinavian chef Trine Hahnemann at a free workshop.
  • Indulge in Sugargrain’s award winning Free From cakes and bakes.
  • Join a free tutored chocolate tasting with Martin Christy of Seventy%.
  • Discover how to make cocoa butter beauty products with Chocolate Ecstasy’s Jennifer Earle and Katie Napper.
  • Delight your friends and family with Christmas gifts from L’Artisan du Chocolat, The Chocolatier, Chocolate & Love, Hotel Chocolat, Demarquette, Rococo Chocolates and many more…

Friday, 7 December 2012

Afternoon Tea At The Shangri-la, Paris

Shangri-La Hotel Paris is a 5-Star luxury Hotel located at the heart of the city with the legendary Jardin des Tuileries just around the corner its the perfect place to indulge whilst in the backdrope of the dazzling effel tower .

When the Shangri-La Hotel opened in Paris at the end of last year, it marked the first incursion by an Asian hotel brand into this innkeeping mecca. Fitting, then, that the Hong Kong-based group should be housed in a palatial property: the former residence of Napoleon Bonaparte's grandnephew, Prince Roland Bonaparte. The 1896 landmark was painstakingly restored over four years, its salons and reception halls — with their frescoes, gilt work and chandeliers — returned to their former splendor.

Afternoon tea is held in the airy La Bauhinia restaurant, named after Hong Kong's official flower. It offers a unique ambience in the heart of the hotel. Inspired by the bauhinia flower, the restaurant is a reminder of Shangri-La Hotel's roots in Asia.


Scones, minis pâtisseries et une sélection de finger sandwichs accompagnés d’une boisson chaude de votre choix.
Scones, small pastries and a selection of finger sandwiches served with a hot beverage of your choice. 


Aftertoon tea classique accompagné d’une coupe de champagne brut ou rosé.
Traditionnal afternoon tea served with a glass of Champagne brut or rosé. 


Tea time pour deux personnes - Afternoon tea for two persons. LES PATISSERIES 

François Perret notre chef pâtissier a crée pour vous une “collection” de cupcakes qu’il renouvèlera
au gré des saisons et de ses inspirations. 60 € 
François Perret, pastry chef, created a cupcakes “collection” wich will be renewed every season.

Tea Is Served 
3.30pm - 5.30pm (weekdays); 
4.30-5.30 (weekends)