Two afternoon teas in a row, there really are no limits for me these days.
Even though I just had afternoon tea the day before, this was actually going to be Celine's very first afternoon tea experience (!), so of course I could not decline - that's what friends are for after all...
As it was going to be Celine's last few weeks in the UK (sad times...), I let her decide on the venue, and she picked the iconic St Pancras Renaissance Hotel, which was indeed a rather grand and beautiful location.
The afternoon tea was served in the Hansom Lounge, which is the hotel lobby area, and once home to the taxi rank of St Pancras station. The space is vast and airy, with arched ceilings and plenty of natural light flowing in.
There were ten different teas available - Celine went for the Earl Grey, whilst I chose the Muscatel Darjeeling.
We were first served the savoury sandwiches which consisted of the following:
Roasted corn fed chicken on a brioche bun
Honey roast ham, wholegrain mustard mayonnaise on Pan con Noci bread
Cucumber, mint, lemon and curd cheese on beetroot bread
Oak smoked Scottish salmon, dill creme fraiche in a brioche bun
Rare roast beef, horseradish cream in a brioche bun
Egg mayonnaise, mustard cress on cranberry bread
There was a nice selection of breads and fillings, but I wasn't quite as impressed with the fact that they had been sitting in the fridge prior to being served as opposed to being freshly prepared and cut. It wasn't just the temperature of the food that gave it away, as the waitress also apologized for the piece of film stuck to the bottom of the plate and mentioned that they had indeed been kept in the fridge...
The chicken and roast beef were quite dry, but the other sandwich fillings were not too bad. I just personally don't fancy cold sandwiches, especially when served during afternoon tea...
Despite the slight disappointment with the savouries, I must say that I did enjoy the scones which were really light and fluffy, and thankfully warm. They were plain and fruit scones, served with Devonshire clotted cream and strawberry jam.
Saving the sweet treats for last as usual (after multiple photo snaps from every angle), we started with the Earl Grey and chocolate mousse - the texture was light and fluffy, and I could get a very slight hint of the Earl Grey, but the flavour was mostly overpowered by the chocolate which could have been a bit less sweet. The yoghurt cheesecake was creamy and a nice, biscuit base, topped with a fresh strawberry and little gold leaf.
The appricot and vanilla panacotta was served in a small glass, and was very fruity and summery. Celine's favourite was the pistachio and blackberry layer cake which had pretty shades of purple and maroon colours. My favourite was the raspberry and rose tart which had a buttery and crumbly crust and a fruity and floral flavours in the filling.
The building is undoubtedly stunning, but I would expect that it can get quite busy at certain times with guests checking in and out of the hotel. The service started off brilliantly but then kind of went downhill towards the end - our friendly waitress who seated us at the beginning and brought out our sandwiches and said that she would follow up later with the scones seemed to have 'abandoned' us after, and it was quite difficult to get the attention of staff even though it was not very busy on a Monday afternoon. Apart from the things mentioned above, it was still quite an enjoyable afternoon tea, and I would be interested to return and try the other sumptuous looking cakes and pastries on display in the lounge.
The Classic Afternoon Tea that we had was priced at £35 per person, or there is also the option to have it with champagne which is priced at £45.
The Cheekster, signing out x