Foodie review: Snow Queen afternoon tea in London
Date Posted: 05/11/2015
Pictured: Snow Queen afternoon tea at Conrad London St. James.
Alyssa Lim got the chance to indulge in a Snow Queen inspired afternoon tea at Conrad London St. James hotel. Here’s what she thought.
I’d never read the Snow Queen as a child, but I was aware of the basic plot. So when I found out that a Westminster hotel had started serving afternoon tea inspired by the story, I was excited to see how it was going to be recreated.
If you’re not familiar with the Hans Christian Anderson story, the fairy-tale looks at the struggle between good and evil. At its centre is the magic mirror, which shatters into pieces and blows into people’s hearts and eyes meaning they see only the bad and ugly.
Fortunately – and this sentence comes with a spoiler alert – good and the power of love eventually prevail as the sweetheart couple Gerda and Kai end up back together, meaning that, like all fairy-tales, it ends happily ever after.
Menu-wise, the Snow Queen Afternoon Tea comes with finger sandwiches, smoked salmon blinis, freshly baked scones with homemade strawberry jam and Devonshire clotted cream, mini tartlets of stilton, poached pear and walnuts, and a prawn cocktail; and all that’s before you even reach the Snow Queen inspired sweet treats.
These fairy-tale inspired treats include sugar shards, which represent the shattered pieces of the magic mirror, a mixture of chocolate and pearl sponge with praline ganache that stand in for the Snow Queen’s sceptre, and a snowstorm, created with coconut cream and candy floss.
On the whole, it’s full of glitter and so many treats that it’s difficult to refuse no matter how full you start to feel.
I also have to give a special mention to the miniature mint macaron, which was possibly the best macaron I’ve ever had. It was light, the ganache in the centre was smooth and, for me, it was the perfect amount of mint-iness. You could say an After Eight in a macaron.
The location is equally as elegant and, as a major tick for GTOs, the Emmeline’s Lounge where afternoon tea is held can cater for up to 100 people. Moreover if you’re as lucky as me, you’ll also have a harp player treating you to some impressive playing.
Making a day of the afternoon tea
For those wanting to make afternoon tea part of a day or weekend visit to London, you needn’t look far for plenty to do with your group. Conrad London St. James is found in Westminster, which means those must-see buildings including, of course, Buckingham Palace, are just a stone’s throw away from you.
For those looking to visit the official London residence of Britain's sovereigns, The Queen’s Gallery hosts a programme of changing exhibitions form the Royal Collection. Moreover, a tour of the Royal Mews, situated alongside Buckingham Palace, will give your group the chance to see a number of historic coaches and carriages, including the Diamond Jubilee State Coach and the Gold State Coach, which has been used at every coronation since George IV was made king in 1821.
Groups of 15 or more receive reduced admission prices on standard day visits.
Then there’s the Houses of Parliament. You can explore the amazing Palace of Westminster, the history and politics, as well as the art and architecture with a Blue Badge guide who will take you around the House of Lords and House of Commons.
The tour, which is 90 minutes long, includes seeing the Lords Chamber, the Commons Chamber and the Queen’s Robing Room.
Discounts are available for advanced group bookings of ten or more people.
So, a trip for afternoon tea to Conrad St James is definitely something I’d recommend to try and include in your group’s itinerary and making it a day out in London would certainly be worthwhile with the capital having been voted Best UK Destination at last month’s Group Leisure Awards.
The Snow Queen afternoon tea is available from 23rd November to 11th February 2016 at £55 per person with Champagne or £39 per person without.
If your group’s schedule is already booked up until then though don’t worry as Conrad London St. James offers themed seasonal afternoon teas throughout the year, which means the next one won’t be far away.
For more information call 020-3301 8080 or visit www.conradhotels.com/London.