I’m English so afternoon tea always has to be on the cards when one is searching for a way to get into the wife’s good books, especially when the wedding anniversary is looming. What better way can there be to impress the wife than lounging in the lobby of a smart hotel sipping English breakfast tea, and nibbling on a scone? All to the accompaniment of a plinkety plonk piano with some cool laid back vocals in the background.
Not much I can tell you. The afternoon tea at the Grand Hyatt was FAB. A disappointing afternoon tea at Gordon Ramsay’s pub, the York and Albany in Camden, London, had put us on our guard, but the reception at the Grand Hyatt soon put us at our ease. The staff were attentive and friendly and we soon had our choice of tea in front of us. For me the English Breakfast of course, leaf tea no less, served in a traditional silver style tea pot with a tea strainer on the side. For my wife, the local green oolong tea.
When the three tier cake stand arrived it was a delight. Bright colourful sweetmeats on the top tier, dainty savoury sandwiches on the middle tier set off by two small fruit scones and a colourful crescendo of fruit on the lower plate.
Where to start? The savoury, of course. The prawn went down a treat and was swiftly followed by the delicious smoked salmon sandwiches. Then it had to be the scone while the tea was still hot and tasty. The scones came with the tradition thick cream and jam. I am certain this was homemade quince jam but I might be wrong. Nevertheless, it was delicious as were the scones.
The real star of the show were the sweetmeats on the top tier. We are avid viewers of the Australian Master Chef competition on TV and these delightful mouthfuls of custard, jellies, and tempered chocolate were of a similar standard. Each mouthful was sweet bliss on the tongue. It was difficult to choose which one to eat next and as there were only six of them that was a difficult choice to make. Of course, as a loving husband, I deferred to my wife’s choices.
Then we could sit back and savour the fruit as we sipped the last of our tea and listen to the relaxing music. Our teapots had been regularly filled by the attentive staff so we were lacking nothing and both agreed we were feeling rather full given the yummy morsels we had been sampling.
The afternoon tea is served in the lobby of the Grand Hyatt between 2pm and 5pm. It cost 295 rmb plus a service charge and 15% surcharge. The total for the two of us was 342.70 rmb – money well spent. We rounded off the afternoon with a stroll along West Lake which is just outside the front door of the Grand Hyatt, thinking Gordon Ramsay, eat your heart out!