After a half-baked start to the year, things are looking up for cake fans in February, with a whole new collection of afternoon teas on the scene — including a Valentine's Day special at pastel pink paradise Peggy Porschen. Here's what we'll be scoffing this month.
1. Afternoon tea at L'oscar London, Bloomsbury
Though not immediately obvious from the entrance, L'oscar London boutique hotel resides in a grade II* building that was once the headquarters of the Baptist Church. And its this history that's the inspiration for their new afternoon tea menu, which is served up in rather decadent surroundings, and features a cake shaped like a chapel. (Well, if you're going to be sacrilegious, at least make it delicious.)
Sandwiches include pastrami and cheddar cheese, egg mimosa and black truffle, and smoked Scottish salmon filled with lemon cream cheese. Follow that with scones, clotted cream and homemade raspberry jam. Classic.
The sweet finale includes L'oscar Chappelle (yes, that's the chapel cake), consisting of tonka sponge, mango & passionfruit cream and vanilla mousse; La Vie en Rose, which is infused with lime biscuits, strawberry confit, and rose lychee mousse, and ties in with the butterfly theme that designer Jacques Garcia applied throughout the hotel; and the Opera Pina Colada, layered with pistachio Joconde biscuits, coconut vanilla cream, and banana confit.
Wash it all down either with Michel Reybier champagne, or with loose leaf Newby tea.
Afternoon tea at L'Oscar London. From £49 per person. Available daily.
2. Italian afternoon tea at TOZI Grand Cafe, Battersea
TOZI Grand Cafe — a new, European Grand Cafe style restaurant within art'otel London at Battersea Power Station — has launched an Italian Afternoon Tea, blending English tradition with Italian flavours, representing different regions of the country.
The tea's savoury tier consists of miniature panini with antipasti and charcuterie fillings in freshly baked ciabatta, focaccia, and pane carasau (a Sardinian flatbread).
The second tier holds a selection of maritozzi, an Italian take on scones, served with jam and whipped cream. Pasticcini (small pastries) baked in-house crown the top tier, including, cannoli with pistachio cream and Valborona chocolate tart.
It's served with tea, but you can choose to upgrader to champagne or prosecco, if you're so inclined.
Italian afternoon tea at TOZI Grand Cafe. £28 per person. Available daily.
3. Lovestruck Afternoon Tea at Peggy Porschen
Both the Belgravia and Chelsea branches of the Instagram-famous cafe serve the seasonal afternoon tea, which takes its inspiration from Cupid. Brought to your table on a traditional tiered stand, the menu works its way through finger sandwiches (including coronation chicken and cucumber & mint), plain and fruit scones, and a selection of cakes including a raspberry jammie dodger cupcake, and a rose macaron. Veggie, vegan and gluten-free versions are available.
It's served with loose leaf tea, but you can level up with a raspberry mimosa, rose petal prosecco or Laurent-Perrier for an extra charge.
As with all things Peggy Porschen, expect the parlours to be beautifully-styled, both outside and inside, on the cupid theme too — in fact, the heart decor has been up since mid-January, as soon as the Christmas decorations came down!
Lovestruck Afternoon Tea at Peggy Porschen. From £52 per person. Available until mid-March 2023.
4. Love-inspired Skyline Afternoon Tea at Ting at Shangri-La London
Love is quite literally in the air on the 35th floor of the Shard, as Asian-inspired restaurant Ting puts a romantic twist on its Skyline Afternoon Tea. A beetroot heart with hibiscus powder, and prawn cocktail with marie rose sit alongside finger sandwiches and sweet and savoury scones. Desserts include elderflower sponge with strawberry cream and jelly, pistachio profiterole, and a heart-shaped pastry filled with white chocolate mousse. The showstopper is a miniature white chocolate and passion fruit Shard building for two to share.
Love-inspired Skyline Afternoon Tea at Ting. £71 per person, or £81 with champagne. Available 7 February-8 May 2023.
5. Valentine's and Galentine's Afternoon Tea at Kona at Taj 51 Buckingham Gate
Mates and dates alike are catered to at the 5* hotel, Taj 51 Buckingham Gate, which offers a Valentine's and Galentine's afternoon tea menu featuring rose profiteroles, red velvet cake and raspberry macaroons, along with sandwiches and scones. Veggie options are available, and include refried Mexican bean sandwiches, which sound... interesting.
Valentine's and Galentine's Afternoon Tea at Taj 51 Buckingham Gate. £75 per person. Available 10-19 February.
Also this month:
- The Orchid Lounge at Pan Pacific London is still serving its Lunar New Year afternoon tea until 27 March. Tuck into patisserie such as a mandarin and white chocolate mousse with orange marmalade, and Chinese savoury choices including crispy wonton with aromatic duck and tofu, and a lobster bun and Kaya toast — all served in a birdcage stand.
- Check for returns on the Royal Opera House's sold out Sleeping Beauty tour including a Lilac Fairy High Tea. Enjoy the high tea in the venue's gilded Crush Room before going behind the scenes of the long-running ballet.
- If you're just in it for the sweet treats, check out London's new designer doughnut boutique, Donutelier by R0ladin, open on Charing Cross Road from the end of January.