so, my anniversary surprise set me back a couple of thousand calories. this isn't a high tea for the faint hearted and even o struggled to plough through. on a very sunny and unseasonably warm sunday o walked me up park lane to the london hilton. our second year anniversary was celebrated with a massage followed by the 'confessions of a chocoholic tea'.
we started with peach bellini's and open faced sandwiches. five rectangles of thin sandwich bread arrived on a long white platter. there was smoked salmon with horseradish, prawn mayonnaise and baby gem lettuce, cucumber and cream cheese with chives, egg and cress and honey roast ham and pommery mustard. the sandwiches were a mix and match of tastes. the smoked salmon was disappointing as the slices were too thick and there was no sharpness or citrus to cut through it. i couldn't detect any horseradish. the egg and cress was a rather pale making it seem like the egg had been cheated of the yolk. it could have done with a little freshness with something green. i don't eat ham so can't vouch for what it tasted like. the prawn sandwich was delightful though. nice and light with a crisp baby gem lettuce leaf. the star of the show was the cucumber and cream cheese with chives.
next came the three tiered stand best described as indulgence. o went for the chocolate chip scones whilst i had the raisin ones. the presentation was beautiful, especially the top tier with all its chocolate creations placed on a chocolate tray dusted with gold dust. on the side was clotted cream, chocolate praline spread and strawberry jam. o and i started bottom up. i didn't think much of the chocolate chip scones. my raisin scones were really good though. the strawberry jam was a disappointment though. very watery and runny and definitely not spreadable. the clotted cream had the texture of whipped cream as opposed to the thick luxuriousness of cream so thick it is hard to spread. the chocolate praline spread was lovely though with a lightly whipped texture.
on the second tier were four fanciful cupcakes. i have to confess i am not much of a cupcake fan. i find them a poor excuse for cake usually topped with more frosting than necessary. the cupcakes at podium were no exception. o and i tasted the tops and discovered that the cake underneath was remarkably uniform across the three ( we didn't try the coconut and key lime).
the final tier on top was a celebration of all things chocolate. the two miniature fancies that we didn't fancy much were the pineapple crumble with a chocolate jelly. the combination of milk chocolate with sweet crumble and an even sweeter pineapple came across as just too sweet. and somehow the combination didn't work. the cone of marshmallow and chocolate ganache was a tab bit too childish amidst the sophistication. i would have loved more of the lychee, raspberry, rosewater mousse, caramel of white chocolate and praline and the pistachio and chocolate macaroon. o had the hilton tea blend and i chose the oolong which was excellent.
so the final verdict. the sandwiches were okay. the scones very good. the cupcakes not much to write home about and the miniature fancies really really good.the service was really good and we even got to doggy bag our chocolate without having to ask. definitely worth the indulgence if you are able to overlook some of the shortcomings.