I am a huge fan of afternoon tea, particularly when it is served alongside a nice glass of bubbles and in a beautiful setting. Well, fortunately for us, upon arrival at the five star Baglioni Hotel in South Kensington, my husband and I were greeted with a refreshing glass of Ferrari Maximum Brut and there was a gentleman playing a variety of well-chosen songs on the piano throughout the afternoon.
This afternoon tea is not your usual, it is specially created in collaboration with luxury fragrance brand Acqua di Parma to celebrate the forthcoming Chelsea Flower Show which this year is from 22nd to 26th May 2018. The inspiration for the afternoon tea are the citrusy, fresh and sophisticated scents of Colonia, an iconic fragrance from Acqua di Parma.
To start, we were offered elegant menus full of mouth-watering descriptions of delicate cakes and sweets, all offering an Italian twist. The teas themselves appealed to multiple senses and we chose the "Calabrian Bergamot and Mint" as well as the "Mint and Freshness" tea. The "Rose and Dried Lime" sounded really delicious too.
A very impressive cake stand arrived at our table, complete with the distinguished yellow and black branding of Acqua di Parma.
Each level was full of delightful goodies both savoury and sweet. The sandwiches were filled with Scottish smoked salmon, fresh cream and chives, classic egg mayonnaise with rocket and turkey with fresh lettuce and mayonnaise.
All of the sandwiches were gorgeously tasty but there was something extra special about the fresh cream and chives that paired perfectly with the sumptuous smoked salmon.
Once finished with the sandwiches we savoured each and every sweet treat. Lavender meringues filled with bergamot cream were a dreamy combination.
The Sicilian cannoli with candied orange were decadent and wonderfully presented, with a gorgeous zesty and creamy filling, these were very exciting and my absolute favourite treat overall. They went well with the exceptional Colonia lemon tarts and their excellent pastry and filling.
Impeccable pistachio tuiles had a gorgeous crunch and were incredibly moreish alongside some very sweet violets of parma edible flowers. There were some little lemon brioches which had a great texture but got a little lost in the array of unbelievable sweet treats.
In cute little dessert pots on the top row were floral verbena and lime zest panna cotta with rose coulis and classic tiramisu. Both faultless in their flavour and presentation, classic Italian desserts executed to perfection.
If that were not enough to eat, our very lovely waiter offered us some time until he brought us the next course, which would be the freshly baked fruit and plain scones.
When they arrived they came with Sicilian blood orange jam, Cornish clotted cream and famous chocolate spread, Nutella.
I have to say, at this point I was feeling a little full but smelling the freshly baked scones, I couldn’t resist diving in to try the combination of the blood orange jam and cream having all my life eaten strawberry jam and cream.
Although the blood orange jam was delicious, it will probably take me a while to change a habit of a lifetime. The Nutella and cream worked exceptionally well, especially as it melted onto a warm scone.
It was a magical afternoon with very impressive savoury and sweet treats. I would go as far as to say this was the best afternoon tea I have ever eaten and I’ve definitely had a few! The setting, the ambience with the piano playing and beautifully crafted pastries all contributed to an exceptional experience at the Baglioni Hotel. This special Acqua di Parma afternoon tea is available until the end of July 2018 and priced at £47 per person including a glass of bubbles and lovely Colonia perfume samples.
60 Hyde Park Gate,
For bookings Tel. +44 207 368 5900