Why, yes, it does…
Let’s face it, whether you are a local or a tourist, London is one of the most expensive cities in the world to visit. I mean, it is one of my favourite cities everrrrr, but a day out here to see all of the wonderful sights and landmarks, and to soak in all of its glorious history and buzzing modernity, and to eat and drink – well, it ain’t cheap! BUT, we recently stumbled upon a hidden gem of an afternoon tea in the midst of the crazy crowds in Covent Garden – for £25 for two. Yes, £12.50 per person, and it was soooooooo good!
If you haven’t noticed, the afternoon tea scene has literally exploded in London (and in other places around the world!). It’s a lovely treat; a bit of peace and relaxation, a bit of pampering and indulgence in an otherwise hectic world, and some afternoon teas can even inspire you with new flavours, textures, and presentation ideas for you to try at home. Sometimes though, afternoon teas can be expensive, and sometimes even overpriced.
To be honest, we weren’t expecting anything too amazing for “only £25”, so we were pleasantly surprised by the quality of the afternoon tea offering at Paul’s. If you have been to a Paul’s Bakery, you know that they make the most delicious and beautiful cakes, tarts, and pastries, along with fantastic freshly-baked artisan breads. Some Paul’s locations also include Le Restaurant de PAUL – as does the Paul’s smack dab in the middle of Covent Garden.
Their afternoon tea combines the best of their savoury and sweet offerings, and is beautifully presented on a three-tier cake stand, including:
– Artisan bread sandwiches (chicken, camembert, and Scottish smoked salmon or mozzarella pesto, camembert, and artichoke, tomato and egg (V))
– Daily selection of individual cakes and two mini macarons
– Brioches served with PAUL jam and homemade whipped cream
We opted for the chicken and camembert sandwich options, which were generously sized mini-versions of their highly praised full-sized sandwiches. The brioches were next, and what a fabulous surprise they were! So light and slightly sweet and buttery. Last but not least were the individual cakes and macarons. Again, visually stunning and utterly scrumptious! Our favourite was the layered chocolate/hazelnut cake. The portions were just right for us, and perhaps for the first time in a long time, we left feeling full, but not stuffed. All of this was washed down with Paul’s English breakfast tea blend, but you can optfor Crémant or Champagne afternoon tea for just £30/£35 for two people. What a bargain!
A lovely couple seated next to us eyed up our cake stand and promptly ordered one for themselves once wetold them the price. That’s the other thing about our afternoon tea experience at Paul’s: it was FUN! The place was jam-packed between 3-5 on the Saturday afternoon we visited, and there was a queue for seating; a testament to the popularity of this long-established bakery chain, and to the quality of their products. If you’re in the Covent Garden area, I would totally recommend this afternoon tea experience! Otherwise, check out Paul’s website to see if there are any Paul’s that serve afternoon teas near you! Did I mention it was only £12.50 per person!? Still in gleeful and replete shock at the price.
Le Restaurant de PAUL
29 Bedford Street, London WC2E 9ED