Afternoon Tea in the Park
June 11, 2010
Well okay not in the park but overlooking Hyde Park at The Athenaeum Hotel in Mayfair.
The Hotel has a vertical garden on its walls, which even on a grey day looked amazing, I really want one in my garden. Check out Patrick Blanc’s website, he is the guy who did the hotel’s among many others… they really are beautiful.
We were seated in the Garden room, which is on a lower ground floor level along the side of the hotel, the vertical garden reaches down to the window so we had a view of the “garden”, it seems to be a wall with little pockets for the plants
The room is all muted tones and we felt so relaxed the moment we sat down, in our own little enclave…
The hotel has won awards for its Afternoon Tea, and as soon as we were sat we were handed the tea menu, which was wooden and held tea leaves from each blend…
I went for a peach green tea, as part of afternoon tea you have unlimited tea but I stuck to this one as it was so yummy
Then the finger sandwiches arrived… we had two servings of avocado wraps, ham and tomato relish, smoked salmon and cream cheese, egg and of course cucumber
Then mini scones, we had one plain one fruit with a plum jam, strawberry jam and clotted cream scooped like ice cream
Despite everything being mini we were quite full at this stage and had to take a break before the dessert trolley was brought to us… which was very pink and girlie, and we were allowed 3 picks from the trolley
It was so hard to choose, they even had marshmallows and candy canes and lots of cupcakes…
I picked a mini chocolate cake with vanilla filling, a champagne jelly which had flecks of lavender and a strawberry mousse
Hayley picked a piece of chocolate banana cake, a chocolate covered strawberry and a mini praline tart…
We were then offered crumpets and tea cakes but had to give up as we could not eat anymore!
Also have to mention there were no toilets but a ladies powder room with Ren hand wash and lotion and a bay window and 2 dressing tables… nice touch, girls love a pretty bathroom!
So a recipe for you… has to be scones right? They are easy! If you have never made them give it a go… takes roughly half an hour in total.
225g self-raising flour
1/2 tsp salt
50g butter, cubed
30g caster sugar
115ml full fat milk
for the glaze
1 egg yolk
1 tsp caster sugar
Preheat the oven to 220C and lightly dust a baking tray with flour
Sift the flour and salt into a bowl and rub in the cubes of butter with your fingers until the mixture resembles very fine crumbs, then stir in the sugar
Beat the whole egg and milk together and mix into the flour using a round ended knife. Do not overwork the mixture or it will become too tough.
Make the mixture into a big ball and pop onto a lightly floured work surface.
Form into a rough ball and roll it out, try t aim for a 2cm thickness.
Cut as many scones as you can using a round fluted cutter of about 5cm dipped in flour, then keep re-rolling the dough and cutting until you run out (should be roughly 8-10 scones) Then put these on the baking tray, mix the glaze (1 egg yolk, 1 tsp caster sugar and 1 tsp water) and brush over the tops of the scones.
Bake for 12 minutes until they become golden and have risen (if using a fan check after 8-10 minutes) then transfer to a wire rack to cool… eat whilst still warm with jam and cream! (these will keep for a couple of days in an airtight container)
I have made scones using this recipe and they are so good! Make and enjoy!