Jumeirah Carlton Towers hits the perfect note with their Opera-themed Afternoon Tea
Don't miss out on this deliciously harmonious treat, available until 19 November
Afternoon tea in London is always a favourite among the city's visitors, and while trendy brunch spots have lured locals away from old-fashioned finger sandwiches, clever hotels are revolutionising this most quintessential of English traditions with fun new concepts and delicious themes. One such hotel hitting the high note is the Jumeirah Carlton Tower in Kensington.
The hotel's Chinoserie restaurant decided to celebrated the nearby Victoria and Albert Museum's autumn headline exhibition Opera: Passion, Power and Politics, with a very special opera-themed afternoon tea. Inspired by elements of the global homes of opera – such as Paris, Milan and St Petersburg – Chinoserie's chefs have managed to lend an international flavour to this British staple.
Starting with a delicious Don Giovanni cocktail (Mozart Original Chocolate Liqueur, Amaretto almond liqueur and fresh cream – delicious), we we're then presented with an elegant – and bottomless – array of sandwiches, scones and pastries. Mini croissants filled with Brie de Meaux and grape chutney represented Paris, a bruschetta of fontina cheese, tomatoes and basil epitomised Milan, while beetroot cured salmon on pumpernickel with quail eggs stood for St Petersburg.
Then the scones. Currents or plain, served with thick clotted cream and preserves. Traditional? Yes. But like the saying goes, if it ain't broke – don't fix it. Finally, the sweets – mascarpone panna cotta and limoncello jelly (Venice), medovik hone cake (St Petersburg again), Earl Grey tea and prune crumble tart (London) and a chocolate and praline gateau (Paris). Each beautiful decorated with images from operatic masterpieces.
Chinoserie's crowning glory is, of course, its tea selection. A seemingly limitless menu to choose from, make use of your waiter's expert knowledge – I was recommended the Winter Rose tea and enjoyed it so much I ended up leaving with arrangements to purchase the blend. Book a late afternoon tea and enjoy the restaurant's Gin O' Clock celebration – a complimentary gin cocktail for all guests.
The Jumeirah Carlton Tower's excellent mix of tradition and modernity doesn't end with your meal however – you will also be presented with a ticket to the V&A's exhibition and a mini MP3 player preloaded with some favourite arias. Talk about reinventing a classic.
Opera Afternoon Tea at Chinoserie, Jumeirah Carlton Tower is available to book until 19 November