Sometimes, you visit a familiar place to surround yourself with familiar things. Other times, you want to go somewhere new to experience new ‘things’. And sometimes, there are places that continuously strive to reinvent themselves so they’re always offering something new but with a familiar feel. The Langham Hotel in London does just that with its new afternoon tea with Wedgwood.
The beautiful Palm Court restaurant in the Langham is famous as the place where afternoon tea (AT) was born over 150 years ago, and it still serves fantastic ATs to this day. Cake Masters have been enjoying ATs at Palm Court for a couple of years now and the team there have served consistently delicious and decadent ATs each time we have visited. This time, we sampled the new Langham Afternoon Tea with Wedgwood, with the tea service served in tailor-made Langham Rose Wedgwood porcelain.
Palm Court’s new AT offering was created by Andrew Gravett, the new Executive Pastry Chef at the Langham. The theme of this AT promised a return to traditional classics with lighter offerings. That description did not disappoint as the course of traditional finger sandwiches, although dainty, packed full-on flavour. My faves were the prawn cocktail in the potato bun and the beef and sauce Albert sandwiches, of which I requested seconds shamelessly.
My favourite course arrived next, and as ever, presented on a gorgeous silver cake stand. Part of the grandeur of AT should be its presentation and the Palm Court ensures the sweets and pâtisserie are presented so beautifully. I always go for the chocolate option first and the Babalicious was so visually appealing that I couldn’t believe how amazing it tastedtoo. This mini mousse-looking dessert contained blackcurrant and star anise soaked baba and whipped ganache. It was so light but again, packed so much flavour. The Paris-Brest was also a welcome surprise; other versions I have tried of his were very ‘meh’ but the choux pastry here was light and crispy and the praline cream light and fluffy. If you were to tell me then that I would enjoy puff pastry with vanilla mascarpone… well, I’m glad the ‘one in a million’ proved me wrong. The puff pastry was caramalised and crunchy, perfectly complementing the lighter-than-air mascarpone and white chocolate crisp.
There’s a reason why we keep returning to Palm Court at the Langham, and why it’s so easy to while away an afternoon with superb afternoon tea in beautiful gilded surroundings.