Photography by Chris Osburn
The world's oldest Champagne house, Ruinart, has joined with luxury fragrance house Miller Harris to offer the Ruinart and Miller Harris Sensory Tea at a handful of West End hotels: The Soho Hotel, Haymarket Hotel, Charlotte Street Hotel and Covent Garden Hotel (all part of the Firmdale Hotel group). The “sensory experience” includes a glass of Ruinart Blanc de Blancs champagne (a lightly bubbled, pale and citrus-y quaff) along with a pot of specially blended Miller Harris tea paired with a selection of cakes and sandwiches prepped by the hotels' chefs.
For your pot, there's a choice of four teas created by perfumer Lyn Harris. Among those, Londonist can happily suggest the well rounded Thé Bergamot, a second flush Darjeeling blended with top notes of bergamot and green tangerine. And if your palate's keen on floral flavours, the vanilla and rose Thé Petales yields delicate accents worth sipping.
As for the cakes and sandwiches, we suspect you know the score (however, no scones were presented when we attended the launch of this new afternoon tea). A peach and vanilla friand and some very buttery shortcake are highlights.
Londonist sat down to contemplate the fragrance of the champers and the tea in the Drawing Room of the Soho Hotel (4 Richmond Mews, W1D 3DH) and found this elegant setting a perfect match for such dainty dabblings. Should this afternoon session of the senses appeal to you, be prepared to pay £35 for it and to get round to one of the participating hotels before the end of September.