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Lift the lockdown blues by enjoying The Rosebery’s renowned afternoon tea at home, says Helena Lang
Where is it?
The Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park is one of London’s most glamorous and gorgeous hotels. Home to Heston Blumenthal’s award-winning restaurant Dinner, it also has a beautiful lounge restaurant, The Rosebery, where (in normal circumstances) guests can enjoy snacks, drinks and an impressive afternoon tea, which is traditionally served on a birdcage tea stand. While the restaurant is closed, the team are putting all the special ingredients of the afternoon tea into a hamper and delivering them within the London area, or you can pick one up and take it on your park picnic instead.
What’s all the fuss about?
This tea hamper will please both traditionalists – there are teeny, tiny sandwiches, divine scones, and little pots of clotted cream – and trend-lovers; the flavours used are a unique blend of Asian and British and even the sandwiches scored full marks on taste. What’s more, the hotel can adapt the hamper accordingly if you need gluten-free, vegetarian or vegan options.
What do you get?
Packed inside the large wicker basket hamper is a large box of sandwiches, many of which are rolled sushi style by head chef Francisco and his team. Highlights were the finest Cotswold egg and truffle on white bread (the team’s signature sandwich and the one that has hotel guests in raptures), the little lemon brioche buns stuffed with crayfish and avocado mayonnaise, and a smoked and nori poached salmon triple-decker.
There’s also a large box of patisserie, which includes an exotic cube cake made with mango and lychee rice pudding, an irresistible chocolate and tonka gateaux, and an elegant caramel poached pear tart. Each one is like a work of art (and some of them take three days to make). Then there are dainty scones that come packed with the aforementioned clotted cream and a selection of preserves, including the hotel’s famous rose petal jelly. There’s also a lovely bottle of Moet & Chandon champagne included.
What a way to treat someone special! There is heaps of food – we enjoyed leftovers for lunch the following day. At £140 this isn’t a cheap option, but for the quality of items it’s a most memorable feast. To book your hamper visit mandarinoriental.com.