Festive Afternoon Tea Review: Podium at the London Hilton on Park Lane
Words by Olivia Biggin
Situated in the heart of Mayfair and a stone’s throw from Hyde Park, the London Hilton on Park Lane is a desirable destination to visit any time of the year. Executive Chef Anthony Marshall has made this temptation to visit a lot harder to resist with his seasonal offering of Festive Winter Wonderland Afternoon Tea. With the countdown to Christmas well and truly underway, there is no better place to hide away on a cold winter’s afternoon than indulging in the festive treats on offer.
Walking into Podium you are instantly embraced by the warm welcome of Christmas music and decorations adorning the restaurant, creating a sumptuous backdrop against which the festive experience can begin. Once sat at the table you are given the choice of afternoon tea with or without a glass of Pommery Champagne. I have to say I didn’t hesitate in including a glass with mine! There was something particularly inviting about the idea of sipping on a warm cup of Twinings tea alongside a refreshing glass of Pommery Champagne. However if a glass of champagne does not tickle your fancy you will be spoilt for choice with the array of Twinings tea on offer, from classics such as The Full English to the more exotic delights of Apple & Elderflower Green Tea.
Drinks sorted, it was time to move on to the first course consisting of a selection of sandwiches. Beautifully presented on a long white plate, there were a total of five sandwiches on offer. A horseradish cream accompanied the smoked salmon sandwich, the cucumber was served traditionally with cream cheese, and perhaps the prettiest of all, the prawn cocktail was served on a bed of lettuce. Further offerings included coronation chicken with curry and pineapple, and ham with a tomato chutney and mustard, both served on a ciabatta bloomer.
Once finished with the sandwiches I was presented with three tiers of sweet treats, the sight of which made me think Christmas had come early! Perhaps my favourite part of the tea was the warm selection of freshly baked scones. The cinnamon dusted cranberry scone was divine, however the chocolate chip and plain scones came a very close second. These were accompanied by praline chocolate spread, clotted cream, and a lemon curd mixed with strawberry jam.
Finally it was time to move on to the miniature fancies, all almost too beautiful to eat. From a blackcurrant cheesecake to the hazelnut and chocolate tart, the array of flavours was tantalising for the taste buds. The tea was topped off with what can only be described as a piece of art, perfectly constructed by Chef Anthony Marshall. A meringue mushroom decoration, nutcracker biscuit, and mandarin chocolate yule log lay exquisitely atop a bed of silver painted dark chocolate. It was not only a treat for the eyes but truly delicious!
The Festive Winter Wonderland Afternoon Tea is available weekdays from 2pm to 5pm and from 12.30pm to 5pm Saturday and Sunday, between 4th December and 2nd January 2018, priced at £39.00 per person or upgrade to a Champagne Afternoon Tea for £49.00 per person. www3.hilton.com/en/hotels/united-kingdom/london-hilton-on-park-lane