Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Science Afternoon Tea at The Ampersand Hotel .... a gorgeous birthday treat!!

Did I mention that its my birthday this week?? Well, if I hadn't brought it to your attention before then let me tell you now!! This week I am 50 years old!! In fact yesterday I was 50 years old!! And by way of celebration my week is filled to the brim with treats!!

I began my self indulgent week with a bloggers Afternoon Tea. The lovely Selena had been invited to the Ampersand Hotel for a bloggers afternoon Science Tea and she kindly asked me along too!

The Science Tea was at The Ampersand Hotel in South Kensington, London - within shouting distance of the Science Museum and about 100 metres from the Tube Station so very easy to get to! I made my way into The Drawing Rooms to find gorgeous mirror tables laid for 16 of us, complete with retro milk bottles for flower vases, linen napkins and sumptuous turquoise leather armchairs!!

Each place was set with white china cups and saucers, complete with silver tea strainers. All rather lovely as befits a birthday girl!!
As you can see we indulged in a glass of champagne and then chose our tea of the day. I chose fresh mint, but I could have had anything from English Breakfast to Earl Grey, from Jasmine to Lapsang Souchong and many more inbetween.

The service was friendly, but discreet and we were all made to feel that nothing was too much to ask. My coat was whisked away to the cloakroom so I didn't have to feel loaded down by it. The Drawing Rooms themselves were quirky, but light and chic, with fascinating objects placed in cabinets like scientific exhibits.

Tea arrived with a touch of theatre!! Dry ice turned stuffy English Afternoon Tea into a delicious and fun version of a Science Lab and the food itself was hugely imaginative!!

Science Afternoon tea
Served from 2.30pm – 5.30pm
£32.50 per person £44.50 with a glass of Champagne

Savoury Gougères
Gloucester old spot ham, sauce gribiche
H. Forman & Son London smoked salmon, dill & cream cheese
Coronation chicken
Cheese with fruit chutney

Homemade white chocolate scones served with
Devonshire clotted cream and homemade strawberry preserve

Hazelnut, walnut and chocolate cake with mango mousse volcano and
Chocolate dinosaur
Pistachio macaroon with cherry sauce pipette
Raspberry cake planet
Citrus cocktail in a beaker

Cream tea
Homemade scones served with
Devonshire clotted cream and homemade strawberry preserve
With your choice of tea £7.50

Head Pastry Chef Ji Sun Shin

I have recently been on a bit of a bread free health kick so the arrival of savoury gougeres - choux pastry buns filled with the most delicious tasting combinations - made me feel rather virtuous! They were so light, but packed with flavour. I think I am in love with whoever invented them!! 

I headed next for the white chocolate scones ... served with clotted cream and homemade strawberry preserve ... Do you put cream on first? Or jam? Or do any of us really care when they taste so darn good??

I have to say that at this point there wasn't a whole lot of talking going on!! It was a case of concentrating on the scrumptiousness and savouring every mouthful!!

At this point the chef, Ji Sun Shin, came out to see us. The Science Tea is her creation and she advised us of the best way to apply the cherry sauce. This may seem silly, but have you ever seen a pipette filled with cherry sauce before??

The top layer of the tea was the piece de resistance. Chef Ji Sun Shin has created a tea the likes of which I certainly have not come across before! She presented citrus cocktails in mini glass science beakers, pistachio macaroons with blood-like cherry sauce ( don't worry - it tasted yummy!) and chocolate dinosaurs climbing a chocolate cake with mango volcano!!

I loved having Afternoon Tea here and would definitely go back. The Ampersand very kindly gave us this tea as a complimentary treat so that we could review it, but it started my birthday week off brilliantly and I genuinely thought it was the best tea I've had for a long time. I loved the setting, but most of all I loved the imagination used to create a fun and delicious meal. 

If you are going to be in London over the next few weeks, perhaps visiting the museums or shopping, then I would recommend this as a special treat. The Science Tea is available up until the 21st March, but I am certainly going to keep an eye out for future menus and plan to take my husband there for Tea for Two!! He is partial to a little bit of yumminess!!


Stella Branch said...

That looks amazing! I shall be looking into going there myself!

sarah at secret housewife said...

It really was lovely Stella. I have been craving the savoury gougeres particularly!! x

joy said...

What a great start to your birthday celebrations, it certainly looks different. Hope you enjoy being 50,
Joy x x x

sarah at secret housewife said...

Thank you Joy!It was a fun afternoon & they made us all feel very special! And yes - I am enjoying being 50 !! x

Sarah Shumate said...

Happy birthday, Sarah!! This was a great way to celebrate!

I had the fresh mint, too. Wasn't it lovely? And those white chocolate scones, what I'd give for another one of those!

Jess-On-Thames said...

Cream on first! :) So happy to have met you during your birthday week - hope the rest of your week was simply lovely.

sarah at secret housewife said...

Thank you Sarah! Those scones were yummy weren't they?! x

Hi Jess! Nice to meet you too - maybe see you again at the next one?!