St. Ermin’s Hotel
2 Caxton Street
Tel: 020 7222 7888
You may recall I have visited St. Ermin’s before with my seven-year-old son. On that occasion he was operating ‘undercover’ and worked with the staff on a highly top secret mission devised by the hotel to celebrate it’s history with spies. He set about solving clues around the hotel and earning himself a reputation as quite a sleuth. Well a return trip was less cloak and dagger and more cape and web, let me explain. We were there for a new initiative in afternoon tea. A tea so special and amazing it’s called ‘To InfiniTea and beyond’. The theme, super-heroes of course has just launched and is aimed at taking the formality out of afternoon tea for the younger sipper. The caped crusaders have their own special menu packed with wonderful delights referencing all there favourite cartoons.
As we entered the library the waiter who looked after us last time came bounding over to greet us. Jozsef Vamosi is a superb asset to St. Ermin’s. He remembered our son and gave him a good solid handshake and quietly thanked him for his secret work on the last visit. Jozef and all the staff are just charming. There was a wedding happening the afternoon we visited but you’d never have known except for the odd button holed guest wandering about and of course the beautiful bride making her entrance. All the staff were totally at ease with their extra duties, nothing was too much trouble. A sign of a quality hotel and a sure sign of guaranteed returning customers like us.
So what do super-heroes have for afternoon tea? Well it turns out that they like weird multi coloured sandwiches and cakes, lots of cakes! Cheese and ham sandwiches were in green bread, egg and cress in yellow and strawberry jam yes you guessed it red! This simple device completely enchanted my son. He scoffed the lot in record time. Not something he’s always accomplished with savoury food, so full marks to the team behind that idea.
Our drinks arrived, the grown ups had some of the excellent teas on offer and our little super-hero had ‘super vision juice’ cocktail, orange and grenadine to you and me. The Batman cupcake would save any little boy in perilous hunger and the Superman brownie had such wonderful icing.
Us mere mortals had to ‘put up with’ the most fantastic array of savouries. The smoked salmon on anchovy buttered toast was fresh and light. Cucumber truffled cream cheese sandwiches were delightfully piquant. A surprise for me was the delicate pastry enveloping both the Stilton and spinach quiche and a zippy crayfish tart, quite masterful.
Elaborate sugar work on the Spiderman carrot cake did its job of encouraging our budding hero to first investigate and remove the ‘web’ then ask “can I eat this stuff dad?” then rapidly eating it all up. I was getting a bit worried as he had already had two ‘krypton strips’ of apple jelly. Would he have the strength to continue?
The sweet end of our grown up art deco cake stand still had to be tackled. Earl Grey macaroons tasted of Earl Grey and were gooey and slightly crunchy. The sea salt and caramel tart was a big hit with me, really strong flavours with a splendid tsunami wave of salt at the end. The Victoria sponge we all agreed was one of the best we had tasted. It had a multitude of layers, soft sponge just about held together with butter icing and jam, I say ‘just’ as it was so generously filled that it wanted to topple over. This had to be eaten with a fork, not a criticism but a useful tip if you have some. I was pleased to see they still have a variation of the goat’s cheese with honey from their own rooftop bees. The children’s InfiniTea is £12 with £3 for a ‘super vision’ cocktail and an adult afternoon tea £29.
So we came to the end of an extremely pleasant afternoon, the seven year old felt very special and was almost sorry for us, as we hadn’t had the super-hero treatment. So after a long days shop pop in over the Easter holidays, your children will love it and for those needing a quick change of clothes I think there’s a public phone box around the corner.