Review: Genie Afternoon Tea At Cutter & Squidge
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On a searing hot summer day, the idea of descending into a Soho basement and stuffing our faces isn't an appealing one, but within seconds of entering Cutter & Squidge, the heat is forgotten entirely.
We've been promised a Genie's Cave, and we weren't lied to. The theme of the new afternoon tea has been carried spectacularly through the decor — things sparkle in every dark, mystical corner, in deep purples and cooling blues. It may be too overbearing for some, but we love it.
A treasure chest greets visitors, who then follow a magic carpet trail through a glittering archway into the intimate dining room. The food itself is all genie themed; think 'magic carpet' shortbread, 'ruby dream cake' and 'golden cheese clouds'. We note there's no mention of a certain Disney film anywhere, presumably for copyright reasons, but it's more than mildly alluded to.
Things get off to an impressive start with the 'genie's welcome', a puff of pashmak (a Turkish candyfloss) served in a glass bowl on a bed of raspberry mousse and topped off with a meringue. It takes a couple of mouthfuls to overcome the thought that you're tucking into a baby pigeon, but work through the fear to the sugar on the other side.
Cutter & Squidge is a sweet-toothed person's dream. Their signature biskies have earned quite a following in the 18 months that the store has been open, and rightly so. The cake and biscuit elements of this afternoon tea live up to expectations — light, crumbly shortbread, succulent hidden gem macarons (hint: not so much of a gem if you don't like peanuts) and lightly glazed sponge cakes.
The savoury snacks, while perfectly palatable, don't shine through as much as their sweeter counterparts — the scones, for example, are on the dry side. But hey, we're here for the sweet stuff. And, apparently, the teas. Fans of flavoured teas will be in their element with all manner of fruity concoctions to choose from — take it from us, the pineapple is a refreshing tipple. Best of all, it's served in an elaborate, Moroccan-style gold teapot, which we find ourselves playing with once it's drained of its contents.
Genie's Cave Afternoon Tea at Cutter & Squidge, Brewer Street, Soho. £29.50 per person/£34.50 with a glass of bubbly/£14.50 for kids under 10 years old.
Last Updated 17 July 2018