When Is A Tea Total Tea Not Teetotal?
First of all, let's clear one thing up. The Tea Total afternoon tea at W London is anything but teetotal. The plant-themed meal is paired with a quartet of mini crystallised cocktails, adaptations of the bar's most popular serves. Nothing wrong with that, but something of a misleading moniker.
Dramatic chandeliers and hanging disco balls give off something of a nightclub vibe, and one end of the bar is endowed with a flower wall. Yet despite its trendy setting, the first part of the afternoon tea is traditional, if mediocre. After waiting almost an hour for our food after arriving at our booked time, we assumed it would be freshly made. The dryness of the sandwiches suggests otherwise.
The scones are decent — let's be honest, they're a tricky thing to mess up — but most of the thought behind this afternoon tea has gone into the sweet part. Served in a cabinet with sliding doors and pull out drawers, the plant themed food is impressive to look at.
Highlight is the Spring Planter, a rich chocolate and mint mousse with popping candy, designed to look like a flower pot. The Dew Drop is the most intriguing, but turns out to be an odd one to bite into — comparisons to eyeballs are hard to avoid. The Queen Bee, a white chocolate covered sponge cake, is deliciously creamy, but so rich that halving the portion size would be sufficient. Every Cloud is equally as sweet, but the chunk of carrot cake hidden away inside the meringue makes for a charming surprise.
If you're not a drinker, you can opt for a booze-free option (request it when you book — the website makes no mention of it). Those 'crystallised' cocktails turn out to be jelly cocktails, rather than straight up liquid cocktails, and while Purple Rain and Pull The Pin are delightful enough, Hayfever is a bitter pill to swallow, and Banana Republic teeters a little too far into mushy territory for our palate.
Tea Total Afternoon Tea at Perception Bar, W London, 10 Wardour Street, W1D 6QF. £37-£42 per person, book ahead.
Last Updated 19 June 2018