Despite passing by Flemings on an almost daily basis, it was only recently that I first ventured in, enticed by the promise of the best of seasonal and locally-foraged Jersey and British fare.
I emerged smitten… and not just by the flair and finesse of Michelin-starred chef Shaun Rankin’s cooking. There was something rather enchanting about the boutique hotel too, its discreet demeanour hiding other delightful charms.
And so I returned within a few short days, this time to celebrate mother’s birthday over an indulgent afternoon tea in Fleming’s elegant drawing room…
The afternoon commenced rather ebulliently, a glass of champagne in hand as we sank back against the plush velour sofas and drank in the understated elegance of the colourful room, evocative of our motherland with its hand-painted De Gournay wall panels illustrating scenes from an old-world India.
The Drawing Room was filled with the spoils of Mayfair too, a marble fireplace (dating back to 1851!) commanding pride of place, while a multitude of cultural tomes invitingly beckoned from the bookshelves lining the wall above us.
Quite fittingly, the teas have been sourced from The East India Company and so there was no forgoing our afternoon chai (Bombay-style!) as we tucked into the first tier of our eats, carefully curated by Shaun to elevate simple flavours to more intriguing levels…
… Such as a classic egg mayo, sandwiched inside a fluffy brioche bun to provide a bit of textural contrast.
Traditional homemade raisin and plain scones also received Shaun’s Jersey twist, courtesy a plummy pot of Jersey Chantilly cream served on the side as a vanilla-infused variation to Devonshire clotted cream. The scones themselves were rather exemplary too, their firm egg-brushed exteriors giving way to just the right touch of crumble!
Saving the best for the last, we finished with a substantively rich array of petit fours.
A slice of opera cake was as decadently layered as it should be, with a mini coffee macaron sitting jauntily on top. Sweet and crunchy, a perfectly golden Paris Brest yielded a delightfully smooth explosion of hazelnut crèmeux; while a Victorian sponge cake was light and fluffy, suffused with a tinge of summer.
It was the pavlova, which was something spectacular though – cocooned in a lightly crunchy meringue which revealed an exotic blend of fresh fruits and cream!
Lulled by the comforting glow of the flickering flames beside us, afternoon slowly slipped into evening by the time mummy and I finally put our forks down and caught a breath between all our chatter.
We left safe in the knowledge that we’ve found our happy place close to home, perfect for escaping to whenever in need for a bit of quiet-time over a good book, cup of tea and a sweet treat!
The Drawing Room at Flemings Mayfair, Half Moon St, Mayfair, London W1J 7BH, UK
I was a guest of Flemings Mayfair, but as always all opinions are mine and mine alone.