There's A Winnie The Pooh Themed Afternoon Tea... But Not For Long

Silly Old Bear afternoon tea ★★★☆☆

Laura Reynolds
By Laura Reynolds Last edited 8 months ago

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There's A Winnie The Pooh Themed Afternoon Tea... But Not For Long Silly Old Bear afternoon tea 3

When the V&A unveiled its Winnie the Pooh exhibition, it was only a matter of time before a themed afternoon tea followed. Enter the Silly Old Bear afternoon tea at The Gore and The Pelham in South Kensington, aimed firmly at families on a Winnie-themed day out.

The joy at seeing the sweet treats arrive on tree stumps — the only time we've found food served on wood to be acceptable — is trumped by the picnic basket that arrives at our table next. It's clear this one is aimed at families with children (the back of the menu doubles up as a Pooh-themed puzzle and activity sheet), but our adult selves are absolutely delighted. We're on a picnic. Indoors. In February.

With a target audience younger than that of your average afternoon tea, the food is kept simple and tasty. The trio of sandwiches — cucumber and yoghurt, cheese and tomato, ham and mustard — are generous on filling, but on the dry side. Similarly, the scones are crumblier than your average, with more of a biscuit texture. It's something that splits opinion on our table, but nothing that a generous dollop of thick clotted cream and tart lemon curd doesn't put right.

Savouries demolished, we're onto the sweet treats. The joy of the picnic basket turns to pure mess when one of our honey (sorry, 'hunny' — our inner pedant has never forgiven AA Milne for that one) lollies falls into the bed of moss, rendering it green, fuzzy, and inedible. Oh bother. The remaining one is retrieved with much to-do, resulting in honey smeared everywhere. It's not the most kid-friendly of snacks, and parents would do well to bring plenty of wet wipes for dealing with the aftermath.

In hindsight, perhaps the 'Hunny Pop'-meets-moss disaster was inevitable.

Absolute highlight for the tastebuds is 'Eeyore's Sweet Treat' a dinky chocolate mousse with orange compote — although it's hard to see how this, and 'Winnie's Cupcake', represent the character they've been assigned. No such problem with the stripy Tigger-On macaron, but the Buzzing Bites win all the points for cuteness. The marzipan bee is easy enough to remove if you don't like marzipan, leaving the satisfyingly crunchy meringue and biscuit base — sweet enough, without sending anyone spiralling on a sugar high.

Afternoon tea connoisseurs may find this offering a little too simple and understated, but anyone with a sense of fun will be amused, and it's a great way to introduce little Londoners to the joys of afternoon tea. Kids are welcome, and amply catered for, but by no means necessary — these two adults had a hoot of a time with no kids in tow.

Silly Old Bear afternoon tea is served at The Gore and The Pelham, both in South Kensington, until April 2018. It needs to be booked in advance and costs £35 per person, or £43 including entrance to the V&A's Winnie the Pooh exhibition.

Last Updated 14 February 2018