Tel: 020 7222 7888
All words and pictures by Neil Hennessy-Vass
The beauty of St. Ermin’s Hotel is that is constantly evolves. I have been many times and every time there they are offering something new to entice. My last visit was to enjoy a superb meal by MasterChef Finalist Adam Handling this time I wanted to try our his take on a traditional afternoon tea.
During the month of March St. Ermin’s are holding Tea-Torials which is a fun way to enjoy afternoon tea and discuss the evolution and customs of this most British of past times with tea historian Caroline Hope. Caroline has been in the world of tea for a long time and there is nothing she doesn’t know about its culture and past. You can compare and sample different teas from Newby’s award winning range. Find out the background to all sorts of habits and customs through her extensive knowledge.
In addition to a talk and afternoon tea you will also have the chance to enjoy peach or strawberry Bellini as well. Tea is now served up the wonderful Baroque staircase in reception and if the weather is kind you can also sit out on the terrace.
Tea will be served every afternoon between 12 noon and 6pm in The Tea Lounge. The talks with Caroline Hope will be on 16th, 23rd and 30th March. Booking is advisable. The tea is supplied by Newby Teas of London, an excellent imported and blender Newby is a family owned company that only picks in the prime season and are packed, sealed and distributed from their state of the art facility in Kolkata in India.
I was lucky enough to have a preview of Adam’s afternoon tea and has all the makings of a must do London wish list. The pastries and sandwiches are divine. My favourite was probably the rum and lime chocolate truffle although the peanut butter cake with salted peanuts came a close second. Adam’s approach to savory is no less commanding either. The sandwiches, which include chicken and mango and smoked salmon and caviar are made fresh to order really hit the spot. So why not spoil your mother to her ‘special day’ at St. Ermin’s for a tea to remember? At £34 per person it really is a treat not to be missed.
Here are a just a few of Caroline’s pearls of wisdom, you will learn a lot more when you attend:
1. When making black tea use boiling water but when making green tea use just off the boil.
2. Black tea is better made with hard water, green tea better with soft water.
3. You don’t need a teaspoon per person and one for the pot, it will be too strong and stew quickly.
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