From rain to snow to sunshine… and all in one day, it’s safe to say that spring in London has been more than a little fickle of late.
Starting with an absolute beauty of a floral-inspired afternoon tea served in the Conservatory, which you’ll find fittingly transformed into a quintessential English garden!
It certainly made for the perfect retreat for mother and I to escape the grey confines outside, on a rainy bank holiday Monday…
The afternoon ceremoniously commenced with a flute of Harrods’ champagne, poured over (edible) hibiscus flowers that opened up in full bloom under the nurture of the fizzing bubbles!
I think I may found my favourite summer tipple in this crisp yet oh-so-luscious champagne cocktail.
As my close friends and family would know, Harrods is essentially my happy-place, my one-stop destination for anything and everything from wardrobe essentials & overhauls, to a spot of pampering and even as a dining destination – there’s nothing quite like the #SundayVibes at the busy Pizzeria where you’ll find the chefs regaling guests with their soulful renditions of Italian arias!
The airy Conservatory attached to the Georgian Restaurant on the fourth floor, is another of my favourite spots within the store. With its views over Knightsbridge and unhurried ambience, not to mention the incredibly discreet yet flawless service, the space lends itself quite effortlessly to a leisurely setting.
And I’ll confess that the gentle pitter-patter of the rain that afternoon only added to our warm and cosy feeling, ensconced inside the verandah!
But what I think I love most about Harrods, is that it’s always surprising you with a new discovery or experience… Such as with this new Floral Afternoon Tea, which celebrates Harrods British Eccentrics Garden, designed by acclaimed landscape gardener Diarmuid Gavin for the upcoming Chelsea Flower Show!
In keeping up with the garden-theme, our tea and treats arrived on the prettiest china I’ve seen in a while, designed by Wedgewood in soft pastel hues…
We made a bee-line for the scones first, while they were still warm.
In a surprise twist, these were served with homemade lemon curd and rose-petal jelly, alongside the traditional accompaniments of clotted cream and strawberry jam! The lemon curd made for a deliciously zesty spread, while the rose-petal jelly was a bit more delicate in flavour…
As always, mother and I continued to debate about whether cream first, or jam.
An elegant assortment of finger sandwiches offered a savoury reprieve – I particularly liked the smoky undertones of the sun-dried tomato and artichoke combination.
And saving the best for last… we tucked into the most exquisite selection of floral-inspired tea-time fancies, including the likes of lavender macarons sandwiching a lush peach cream; and lemon thyme financiers – light, lemon sponge cakes gently flavoured with lemon thyme!
A dark chocolate dome was another pastry reflective of spring, with the rich chocolate mousse infused with jasmine and orange, sitting lightly on a sable biscuit.
Having noted our vegetarian dispositions, the ever-attentive Stefano (the restaurant supervisor) was also quick to substitute any of the petits-fours containing gelatin for equally enticing alternatives. On the day, these included a dainty, beautifully-executed mille feuille (one of my all-time favourites!) and a light-as-a-feather banoffee cheesecake.
I’m so pleased to report that this was one of those situations, where the desserts tasted every bit as good as they looked…
Two more flutes of champagne provided a luxurious finish to an idyllic afternoon! This was actually my first time trying Harrods’ own label and I have to say that I really loved the smooth yet sharp, clean-tasting notes that it hit.
As we lazily made our way to leave, those astute words by novelist Alice Walker couldn’t help but spring to mind, as a fitting way to sum up our lovely experience… “Tea to the English really a picnic indoors”.
The Floral Afternoon Tea is available from 4th–31st May, at the Conservatory at The Georgian.