Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Penny Reviews: Restaurants- Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Afternoon Tea

*Note:This week is a little different as I'm reviewing a restaurant that served afternoon tea*

(Image Credit:http://www.onealdwych.com/food-drink/afternoon-tea)
I turned another 20-something this year, and got a special treat for my birthday. After doing a little research on the best afternoon teas in London, I found a Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Afternoon Tea at One Aldwych in Covent Garden, which looked much like the Mad Hatter Afternoon Tea that I have attended before. This time I went with my friend Sofia.

Entering the hotel, we were shown to the Indigo Restaurant by the friendly staff, seated and the menu explained. The staff asked if we were preferred just tea, champagne or a Cocktail Charlie. Sofia and I went for a Cocktail Charlie, which consisted of Scotch Whiskey (Sofia went booze free), grapefruit juice, cherry syrup and chocolate bitters. It was sweet and smooth on the tongue, may I say that it looked pretty awesome! I believe that it was dry ice that made it delightfully smoky.  

Next the savoury selection entered our sight, the presentation was minimal and clean. The selection itself was pretty standard for an afternoon tea, but executed very well. I was impressed very much with the leek and stilton quiche, which was Sofia's favourite too. We thought that we could have used more savoury items, however, the staff were very patient in explaining that we could request more, if we pleased. And we did. Quite a lot! We ordered about 8 quiches and lots more smoked salmon and herb creme friache sandwiches. I mean, we really took the piss and ordered lots more savouries as we felt the initial portion wasn't really enough. 

After 2 more savoury orders, we asked if we could have the sweet course. Again without missing a beat, the staff asked if we would like tea. We both finished our cocktails and opted for different teas. I wanted English Garden, which was a refreshing mix of lemon, spearmint, cornflour and strawberry. While Sofia opted for the Sugarcane Black and Mango Noir teas. 

A short while later the sweet course arrived, and it looked stunning! I went straight for the candy floss, which tasted like rhubarb and custard.

I moved up to the lemon cake pops, which also had a dusting of freeze dried raspberry, which was a little disappointing as it was a regular cake pop and I felt that the lemon could have been more pronounced. 

Eton mess was sweet, creamy and looked very appealing. The chocolate caramel milk was one of my favourites, as it was like drinking a mini milkshake, which hinted at sticky caramel.

One of the coolest parts of the afternoon tea was the golden egg, that was filled with vanilla and mango cheesecake. I don't actually like cheesecake, but this was so delicious. I was surprised to see real vanilla seeds in the mixture with a mango layer on top of the egg. The chocolate was thickly layered so it was hard to break but worth it.

Next were the scones, they were nice, soft and served with clotted cream and apple compote. Next I tried the blueberry broiche, which I thought was a little dry but I added for apple compote to make up for it. One of the best treats, was the cocoa bean financier, which was a small brownie shapped in a cocoa bean. It was sticky, sweet and warm chocolatey goodness in a small package. 

Overall, I felt compared to other afternoon teas I have been too, the food was lovely with a good variety, but I felt that the treats could have more unusual considering that Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is so wacky in the book. Also, I felt that the price was a little high for the quality of food that we got (£49 for a cocktail afternoon tea). The staff are definitely the reason I would come back again, they were attentive and they sung me happy birthday too, with a little cake! They really made the effort to make the day special. 

 Thanks for reading.


Bake On! Penny x
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