I do love a good themed tea, and as I was a bit of a rocker in my earlier years I was doubly excited to find out there’s a rock ‘n’ roll afternoon tea in London.
Two of my favourite things brought together – it was just too good to ignore! So I gave my friend a shout and headed to a rather upmarket hotel in South Kensington, London, to experience it for myself.
The Gore Hotel is in a rather lovely area of the city, close to the Albert Hall and High Street Kensington. It’s on a leafy, tree-lined street, neighbouring townhouses with pretty flower boxes. The property and the restaurant itself are more posh than punk, but we took our seats in the corner and waited to rock out.
Although the décor of the 190 Queen’s Gate restaurant didn’t really bring to mind a decadent rock star lifestyle, the tone was set well by the music playing in the restaurant. Classic rock music played throughout our stay – we had everything from Rod Stewart and the Eagles through to Elvis Costello and I have to say it did add to the themed vibe very well.
A themed afternoon tea in London
On being seated we were given our special rock ‘n’ roll afternoon tea menus and asked what drink we’d like. I was actually surprised by how small our choice was – the options were only English breakfast, afternoon tea, earl grey or chamomile.
Our glasses were filled with ice water and our server went off to brew our teas – which we discovered were served in mismatched silverware. This I loved, but even more so it was the size of the pots – we got between four and five cups out of each one!
A short time later our rock ‘n’ roll themed afternoon tea was served and I was in awe. So much effort had gone into the presentation that it was (almost) too good to eat!
Designed in partnership with luxury event planners La Fête, the items on the menu are all inspired by rock superstars including Guns N’ Roses, Queen, David Bowie and the Rolling Stones. Fun fact – the ‘Stones actually held the launch party for their Beggars Banquet album at The Gore!
Let it rock!
The food was brought out on a tray designed to look like a DJ deck, and in the centre was this miniature drum kit, complete with tiny working cymbal. That’s it, they had me. I did a little happy clap and then started exploring the other touches they’d added – for example the ‘Lizard King’, a mango and chocolate mousse, is served in a miniature pint glass, and the ‘Whiskey a go go’ mini madeleine lay on a guitar shaped teaspoon. Epic!
We oohed and ahhed for a good few minutes before delving in, torn between admiring the work that had gone into the decoration and wanting to see if everything tasted as good as it looked.
First up I went for The Woodstock, a mini hot-dog, as I wasn’t sure if it was served hot or cold. The answer’s cold. Still this little cocktail sausage in a roll was tasty and came topped with ketchup and mustard.
Next up were the sandwiches. As my friend requested a vegetarian afternoon tea she was given a few extra sarnies, including the classic cucumber, but the usual menu comes with the Queen of Noise, which is basically a smoked salmon sandwich and a chili and avocado sandwich.
The salmon was delicious I have to say, but I passed on the avocado as that millennial trend seemed to pass me by. Ania, on the other hand loved these sandwiches, telling me that the filling was chunky and the avocado perfectly ripe.
When it comes to popcorn I’m usually a sweet girl, so I wasn’t sure if the paprika popcorn would be to my liking. How wrong I was – it was addictive! Served in a cute little carton like you’d get in the cinema, the popcorn tasted smoky, but without being overpowering. We both gave this a big thumbs up.
Sweet ‘cakes’ o’ mine…
Next week moved onto the sweets, starting with the ‘Under Pressure’ sultana and vanilla scones. We were served one of each kind, along with decidedly generous scoops of clotted cream and a selection of Wilkin & Sons jams. These were fresh out of the oven – still warm, which is my favourite way to have them, and they tasted delicious.
By this point we were both feeling rather full, but still we struggled on, determined to at least try a little of the desserts we had left and well, we’d left the best ‘till last. The ‘Sweet ‘Choux‘ o’ Mine’ pastry looked amazing dressed up to look like GnR guitarist Slash and the ‘Goodbye Ziggy’ was a lightning bolt chocolate cake. Inspired by David Bowie, this final sweet was soft, gooey perfection.
What we thought
This has to be one of my favourite themed teas in London – a lot of work has gone into the design of the tea and those little touches really pay off. Not only did the afternoon tea look amazing when it was brought out, everything was really tasty and I loved some of the quirky twists to the tea, like the little hot dog and the paprika popcorn.
As I said, it was almost too good to eat, but when you do, you won’t regret it. I left feeling like I was climbing a stairway to heaven… (sorry, not sorry – I had to get a cheeky rock pun in the there somewhere!)
The Rock ‘n’ Roll afternoon tea is served at The Gore Mon-Sun from 12.30pm-4.00 pm. It costs £35 per person.
Like a good themed afternoon tea? Then you might want to check out Sandersen Hotel’s Mad Hatter’s Tea Party, Science afternoon tea at the Ampersan and London Hilton Park Lane’s many themed afternoon teas.
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Our afternoon tea was complimentary for the purposes of this review. However, as always, all views are my own.