Having had a bit of a break from afternoon tea, I booked ourselves in to try the Autumn Bramble menu at Conrad London St. James as it looked and sounded rather attractive.
The afternoon tea is served daily at Emmeline's Lounge, with a live harpist that performs classical interpretations of popular contemporary songs.
Our table was unfortunately not ready on time and we had to wait a good 15-20 minutes, which was quite strange considering that it did not look fully booked that afternoon.
Nonetheless we were soon shown to our table - the first table was situated in quite a dark and dimly lit corner, but my request for a different one was politely attended to.
We went for the free-flowing champagne option, for obvious reasons, which was promptly topped up once we were seated.
We started with small mouthfuls of goat's cheese bulb and marinated beetroot, and a selection of finger sandwiches.
There was a bit of a confusion and delay with our tea order, but we eventually received our pot of Darjeeling tea.
The freshly baked scones had a pleasant texture, which came in plain and raisin, and was served with Devonshire clotted cream, homemade strawberry jam and mixed berries curd - I am quite satisfied with the traditional cream and jam, but I do like it when there is that additional third option.
The tray of sweets was an attractive sight to behold, a transparent rectangular box laden with vibrantly coloured cakes and pastries. Our waiter mentioned that everything on it was edible, with the exception of the box itself and the patch of grass enclosed within it, just as an extra precautionary measure.
There were pieces of chocolate bark with pine nuts and walnuts, served with scattered chocolate soil, with more leaf and pine nut shaped chocolate attached to the tonka bean white chocolate mousse cake which was gave the impression of being covered in bright green moss. The dainty pumpkin cheesecake was coloured a nice shade of orange, with a light and creamy filling. I am not usually partial towards liquorice, but the flavour combined with blackcurrant in the macaron was subtle enough for me to enjoy it - mind you that it does leave a tinge of grey upon the lips and teeth, so I would do a check in the mirror before flashing those Colgate smiles. The tart had a good crust with a fruity filling of apple and blackberry.
The presentation and food was overall pleasant and satisfying. Service was not quite as en pointe as I have experienced at other establishments, but I'm hoping that this was just a one-off occasion.
Conrad serves different themed afternoon teas throughout the year, and the current Autumn Bramble menu is served until 23rd November 2015, after which will be followed on by the Snow Queen Afternoon Tea - the sound of snowstorms and magic mirrors may just be enough to tempt me back for a second visit.
The Cheekster, signing out x