I have had coffee in The Rosebery Lounge at the hotel before and always wanted to try afternoon tea in this indulgent room.
The Rosebery Lounge
The huge windows mean the room is flooded with natural light and the lime green decoration etc gives it a light & airy feel, while the paintings give flashes of vibrant colour, a truly beautiful space and such a contrast with the imposing heavy dark marble in the impressive entrance hall of the Mandarin Oriental, Hyde Park.
I was first to arrive and could watch the frenetic activity outside in Knightsbridge while cocooned in tranquil luxury.
We started with Ruinart blanc de blanc champagne and our waiter was delightfully cheerful and friendly.
Next we met the Rosebery Lounge's Tea Master, a form of Tea Sommelier. I picked Earl Grey to have with my scones and loved the fact the East India Company provide the tea.
Then he served me the Director's Reserve Darjeeling Second Flush. I have not seen such exquisite attention to detail since my Tea Ceremony at the Imperial Hotel in Tokyo.
The sandwiches are circular (or rather fish shaped!) and so delicate & delicious. They were filled with Potland crab with pickled carrot & tarragon, Wiltshire cured ham with semi dried heritage tomatoes, slow roasted chicken with buttered corn, Cotswold egg with mustard cress and cucumber with mint & cream cheese.
They were presented on a metal tree in a Chinese-style bird cage that added to the magical 'garden' ambiance. There was even a glass 'mandarin' on the tree.
The sandwiches are replenished as often as you want and we ate too many of them.
Cakes & Pastries
On top of the metal tree was a pistachio frangipane cake and chocolate & hazelnut financier.
On the table was a macaroon flavoured with yuzu, sesame & praline, a delicious Asian twist. There was also a pink grapefruit tart, a choux bun that was almost a deconstructed apple crumble and a refreshing pomegranate & yogurt mousse cake. We could not do these delicacies justice and the staff agreed to package them for my friend to take home for her family.
Scones & Clotted Cream
There were plain & raison cones with some of the thickest Devonshire cream I have experience. However, it was the refreshing rose petal jam that was the star.
The only negative comment would be the lemon curd did not have the delicious 'bite' of the one at afternoon tea at the Alvear Palace in Buenos Aires last year.
Peter Burbidge, Digital Marketing Manager at Mandarin Oriental, Hyde Park
Peter, who had arranged for me to have this afternoon tea, came for a quick chat as we were finishing and was his usual friendly, charming and helpful self.
Just One More Wafer Thin Mint?
Our almost two hour afternoon tea ended with a single chocolate for each of us. It was so good you had to eat it.
🐻🐻🐻🐻🐻🐻 (6 out of 5 ‘teddies’) - the 'free' champagne, the mouthwatering sandwiches, the rose petal jam, the room & Peter gained this afternoon tea the extra 'teddy'. My tips- do not eat too many sandwiches, so you leave room for the cakes, pasties & scones, and try the rose petal jam.