December 2, 2019
The Nutcracker Afternoon Tea – A Christmas Dream in the heart of London
Afternoon Tea is a staple of British Tradition and so is the Opera, with an endless choice of beautiful and entertaining shows to attend to in the Capital and around the country.
What if I could tell you that you could have both? JW Marriot Grosvenor House has, in fact, partnered with Birmingham Royal Ballet for a limited-edition Nutcracker Afternoon Tea and I was invited to try out the special menu on their launch date.
This collaboration comes ahead of Birmingham Royal Ballet’s performances of famous ballet at the Royal Albert Hall this December, and it’s a match made in heaven.
The afternoon tea is hosted in the famous Park Room which overlooks the bustling Park Lane, just a few minutes from Hyde Park and Mayfair.
Stepping into the room is like walking into a magical fairytale, with needle pine garlands, fairy lights and white and red decorations giving it a warm yet elegant atmosphere accompanied by the themed music coming from the distinguished pianist next door.
On my arrival, I was asked for my choice of drink and recommended to start with a glass of Rose’ Perrier Jouët Champagne.
Along with the champagne I was served the first course of this experience which was a delicious Amuse-Bouche made with blood orange and peach coulis and topped with cloudy cotton candy, an exciting and original way of starting the meal.
Then the main protagonist arrived in all its glory, this exquisite Nutcracker Afternoon Tea from Executive Chef Paul Bates, in fact, comprises three Acts and is inspired by characters from the ballet, festive flavours and seasonal ingredients.
The first act of the ballet set in the home is represented by a traditional choice of finger sandwiches, including cucumber with garden mint butter, smoked Oakham chicken with tarragon and crème fraîche, Coleman’s English mustard North Atlantic cold-water prawn, classic Marie Rose sauce and more.
Sandwiches were complemented by delicate open brioche buns topped with fresh prawn and salmon as well as quails egg, both delicious.
The second act of the ballet is set in the pine forest and is brought to life with warm and perfectly baked buttermilk scones accompanied with your choice of jams (I picked rose petals and raspberry, and they were both delicious) and clotted cream, of course.
The third and final act is set in a land of sweet decadence and was presented with a beautiful selection of patisserie, each representing a character from the Nutcracker: The Nutcracker, The Sugar Plum Fairy, The Angels, The Spanish Dancers and the Arabian and The Danish Shepherdess.
The first one was made of a Hazelnut chocolate chip tart with a rich Devon cream ganache and a chocolate nutcracker.
A light preserved plum cheesecake with a raspberry gel on a shortbread biscuit constituted The Sugar Plum Fairy.
The Angels were made of William pear cream, delicately coated in glistening white chocolate.
The Spanish Dancers and the Arabian consisted of flourless chocolate cake topped with Spanish honey chocolate mousse and coffee-infused chocolate twigs from the forest.
And last, but not least, the Danish Shepherdess with a Mandarin and almond sponge, topped with almond cream and Danish redcurrant gel.
Along with those lavish desserts, there was also a beautiful selection of cakes waiting for me at the counter, and I got to try a slice of the magnificent chocolate and cherry cake that my waitress recommended.
I enjoyed this last act with a cup of the Grosvenor House Tea Blend, which was perfect for accentuating all the different flavours.
This experience was truly a Christmas dream and is the perfect gift for all Afternoon Tea lovers out there. Vegan options are available, and vouchers can also be bought online. What more could you ask?
Thank you JW Marriot Grosvenor House for having me once more, I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect afternoon, and I was glad I could come back once more to enjoy the fabulous service, food and entertainment.
W: Nutcracker afternoon Tea at JW Marriot Grosvenor House
Written by Marta Fabiani for Luxuria Lifestyle London and International