The Ampersand Hotel, London, is well known for innovative afternoon tea ideas, so when we heard about its amazing-sounding science afternoon tea, we had to go and check it out for ourselves.
Located in South Kensington, just a few minutes walk from the capital’s most well known museums, it’s the perfect venue for something involving dinosaurs, dry ice and pipettes!
Afternoon tea takes place in The Drawing Rooms: a lovely area at the front of the hotel that has its own entrance and allows you to watch the bustle of London pass you by as you lounge in one of their low period-piece chairs and sofas.
The mismatched furniture and quirky decor – including paintings of ostriches sitting in teacups – seems to work, but what really stands out is the gorgeous table of vintage-style cake stands brimming with sugar-filled goodies. After seeing what was on offer we just couldn’t wait for our tea to arrive.
Once we were seated we were brought our glasses of champagne and waited for our teas to be brought out. When they came, we watched with glee as our waiter activated our dry ice volcano – such fun!
Health and safety was clearly important, so after we’d had a good chuckle and taken some pictures, off the waiter went with the smoking bowl and left us to enjoy a great selection of sweet and savoury delicacies.
Our science afternoon tea
Of course we tucked into the savoury dishes first, which were a selection of freshly made gougeres: baked savoury choux pastry made of choux dough mixed with cheese – savoury, cream-free profiteroles if you will.
These mini-rolls were delicious and we were given one of each type: Gloucester old spot ham with sauce gribiche; cheese with fruit chutney; smoked salmon, dill and cream cheese and coronation chicken.
As a picky eater I particularly liked the fact that the Ampersand was more than happy for me to request some of the sandwiches to be plain, as I’ve come across several venues in the past that refused to do so, stating that they are made in bulk and no personalisations are allowed.
Delicious scones with a twist
My highlight of the science afternoon tea had to be the freshly baked scones, which served warm, had delicious white chocolate chips throughout. A lovely twist on the classic scone recipe they were an absolute joy to eat and I’ll now have to have a go at making something similar at home.
The science theme really comes into its own when you reach the top plate, filled with unique pastries and sweets that we were actually sad to eat!
These were made up of a hazelnut, walnut and chocolate cake with mango mousse volcano, a pistachio macaroon with cherry sauce pipette, a raspberry cake planet, a sugary sweet citrus cocktail and some white and dark chocolate dinosaurs.
Although we were sad to destroy their lovely work we made sure these cakes and sweets were thoroughly enjoyed, and we really did love the flavours and textures completely.
What we thought
The only negative thing I’d have to say about the afternoon tea experience at the Ampersand was that we didn’t have tea brought to us when we ordered, and we actually had to request it a way through our meal. That was a little bit odd, but definitely not a deal breaker (plus we did have the champagne to see us through until our tea arrived).
If you want a new afternoon tea experience but don’t want to lose substance for style then I can definitely recommend the Ampersand – wonderful food delivered in a fun way!
Afternoon tea at The Ampersand Hotel is served in the Drawing Rooms between 2.30 and 5.30pm. It costs between £27.50-£44.50 depending on your choice of afternoon tea and whether or not you’d like champagne. Do check out their website for special deals, however!