Looking for luxury afternoon tea in London? Read our review of Dominique Ansel bakery in London for champagne afternoon tea…
Where is the afternoon tea?
Renowned pastry chef and inventor of the Cronut, Dominque Ansel opened his first London bakery in Belgravia back in 2011 and has now launched an afternoon tea, the concept behind which has been a year in the making. The theme follows the path of a seed that blossoms into full bloom, with the ‘shoot’, ‘bud’ and ‘flower’ being eaten along the way.
What’s the vibe like?
Light and airy with a glass ceiling decorated with hanging plants in globe shaped terrariums. Wooden benches line the edge of the bright room while comfy grey deck chairs sit opposite the two person tables topped with pristine white tablecloths. An exposed brick wall with vibrant handmade flowers is a stunning focal point against the otherwise mirrored walls.
What are the afternoon tea options?
Our attentive waiter took us through the bespoke options – signature afternoon tea with a choice of tea (£42pp), sparkling afternoon tea with a glass from the speciality drink selection, Laurent-Perrier La Cuvée (£55pp) or, if you’re feeling hungry, go all out with the splendid afternoon tea with a glass of Laurent-Perrier La Cuvée Rosé and, sevruga caviar and Canadian lobster roll (£80pp). We opted for sparkling afternoon tea with a glass of smooth prosecco which had light creamy notes.
What’s on the tea list?
Small but varied loose-leaf teas from Camellia’s Tea House in London are on offer; including light and citrusy lemon verbena and classic English breakfast. We opt for the Dominique Ansel bespoke blend exclusively curated for the bakery – it was light with subtle floral notes and a slight bitter taste, served in stylish white scandi-style teapots and cups.
What’s the savoury round like?
Our perfectly uniformed savouries kicked off in a recommended order: first up mini squid ink choux buns were airy with a crisp pastry shell; salty-soft earthy mushrooms in choux with punchy garlic was followed by gently whipped fresh avocado with subtle zesty notes and a light feta mousseline. Silky smoked salmon came with a thick and velvety yuzu dill cream cheese and finely sliced delicate cucumber served on a delicate crisp choux bun. Next came a airy mousse-like crab with subtle notes of celery on a crisp and flaky brioche bun. We ended with tender steak tartare, which was delicately pickled and peppered, and came with smooth crème fraiche and thinly sliced red radish.
What are the scones like?
Golden-topped warm scones stood tall with a crumbly soft exterior, fluffy on the inside with a pleasent chew. Jam and cream was delicately presented in a homemade strawberry made with white chocolate, the perfect amount to spread on the moreish scone.
Scone rating: 9/10
And the sweet pastries and desserts?
The sweet pastries began with a delicate floral lavender meringue topped with silky coconut ganache, punchy passion fruit gelée and encased in intricate white chocolate petals. An impressive mascarpone cream mousse, with not-too-sweet cherry jam was elegantly wrapped in a thin layer of soft dark chocolate, topped with mini uniformed meringue kisses. A showstopping nutty brown butter financier topped with velvety rose ganache was moist and filled with sweet strawberry jam, covered in dark chocolate and topped with delicate rose petals.
The star of the show was an airy vanilla mousse with bursts of zesty lemon marmalade, and subtle notes of whipped basil that came on a crumbly, slightly caramelised cookie crumb, and delicate pieces of gold leaf.
Price: Sparkling afternoon tea with a glass from the speciality drink selection £55pp.
Address: 17-21 Elizabeth St, Belgravia, London SW1W 9RP
Words by Amanda James