Last year I was lucky enough to sample a range of fantastic chocolate-themed afternoon teas, so when my friend told me about a newly launched afternoon tea at The Chancery Court Hotel I jumped at the chance to try it.
I took food blogger friend Kavey along to sample the extensive menu and see how it compares.
The Chancery Court Hotel is a beautiful setting for afternoon tea. Located a short walk from Holborn station, it’s a hidden gem in central London. Afternoon tea is served in The Lounge, a comfortable and relaxed setting facing the hotel’s central courtyard. It wasn’t busy when we were there, but there was plenty going on around us and our tea was accompanied by live piano music.
After being given the opportunity to examine the range of teas on offer, we made our choices and a tiered tray of sandwiches and scones arrived. With simple fillings and fresh bread, they were tasty, but not really what we were there for. A hint of what was to come came with the scones, which were perfectly baked, beautiful and light. Served with delicious fresh jam and clotted cream, it was difficult to resist having more than one each, but we knew we had to save space for the rather exceptional ‘chocolate’ part of this tea.
You see, as afternoon teas go, this is a little different. The main part – the patisserie – is served as a buffet – an all you can eat buffet, at that. At just £23.50 per head, that would be enough to recommend it itself, but this was some of the best patisserie I’ve ever had.
The buffet, arranged around tables and the top of the piano in the centre of the lounge was simply stunning. With beautiful cakes, brownies, desserts and even a chocolate fountain to choose from, it was difficult to know where to start. Knowing that we would soon be full, we went straight for the best looking patisserie and were rewarded with amazing flavours and attention to detail.
The range of items to choose from is extensive and it would be impossible to cover it all here, but they’re made using Valrhona chocolate and look exquisite. The Black Forest gateau comes wrapped in a thin cylinder of chocolate and is packed with flavour, as is the delicous Opéra. The blood orange and chocolate tart, topped with tiny macarons was another revelation, with a thick layer of jaffa cake-style orange jelly in the base.
The rapsberry chocolate macaron was another fantastic looking creation. With a base made from the top half of a macaron, decorated with whole raspberries and chocolate ganache and topped by the cutest, lightest mini macaron you could imagine.
There were so many highlights that it feels a little wrong to mention the creations that didn’t quite work as well for me. The Sacher torte was slightly dry and didn’t have lot of flavour and the pistachio torte looked great, but the flavours didn’t really come together. But those are tiny criticisms of what was without doubt the nicest afternoon tea I’ve had.
For chocolate lovers looking for a refuge from the Christmas shoppers or just looking for somewhere to take someone special, I can’t recommend this highly enough. Wonderful patisserie, friendly staff, a great atmosphere and exceptional value make this an unmissable chocolate experience.
Chocolate Afternoon Tea at The Lounge, Chancery Court Hotel
020 7829 7059
Served Wednesdays – Saturdays, 2pm – 6pm
£23.50 Per Person