2013 marks the 100th Anniversary of the Chelsea Flower Show at London's Royal Hospital and it is always a big to do. This year it took place from May 21st through May 25th.
According to London's tourism site: "Every year the grounds of the Royal Hospital are transformed into show gardens, inspirational small gardens and vibrant horticultural displays for the world's most famous flower show. The Chelsea Flower Show is attended by 157,000 visitors each year. The number is limited by the capacity of the 11-acre ground. Tickets must be purchased in advance. The show has become an important venue for watching emerging gardening trends. New plants are launched and the popularity of older varieties revived. It's the garden design equivalent of Paris Fashion Week."
Given the traditional nature of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, it’s no wonder that so many places are celebrating by serving special floral inspired afternoon teas during the week. Although I can't be there in person, I chose a few of my favorites to highlight. All the photos are taken from their respective sites.
Radisson Blu Edwardian, Vanderbilt Hotel in Kensington
(Photo credit: Radisson web site)
Radisson Blu Edwardian, Vanderbilt Hotel in Kensington is serving a Floral Afternoon Tea throughout May. The menu includes orange blossom and lavender scones with clotted cream and jam, delicate finger sandwiches, mini-cakes including vanilla meringue, rose fruit jelly and elderflower crème brulée. Complete with a selection of rich, aromatic teas and a glass of Champagne.
Royal Garden Hotel Park Terrace Restaurant
The Royal Gardens Park Terrace Restaurant is serving a limited edition ‘Chelsea Flower Show Afternoon Tea’ available from Monday 20th to Sunday May 26th from 2pm to 5.30pm and is priced at £24 per person or £34 with champagne. In honor of the Chelsea Flower Show they are offering delicate flower-themed desserts that include Orange Blossom Honey Cheesecake and Elderflower Posset. The menu also includes assorted finger sandwiches, raisin and cinnamon scones served with Devonshire clotted cream and homemade preserves, Jasmine Opera, Raspberry and Chocolate Roulade, Rose Marshmallow, Sunflower Seed and Honey Cake, freshly brewed fine loose leaf organic tea, and additional option of strawberries with vintage balsamic drizzle. There is also a resident pianist that plays live music Tuesday to Saturday from 3.30pm to 6.30pm and on Sunday from 2.30pm to 5.30pm.
Chelsea Flower Show Afternoon Tea at the Connaught
The Park Lane Hotel in London has created a very special Flowering Afternoon Tea. Available from Tuesday, May 14th to Sunday, June 9th, the Flowering Afternoon Tea will include a delightful array of horticulturally-inspired teatime treats. The hotel’s award-winning Pastry Chef, Sarah Hartnett, has created an edible garden gnome as a charming centerpiece for the tea in recognition of the Royal Horticultural Society’s decision to allow the beloved bearded figurines at this year’s Chelsea Flower Show following a long-term ban. Seriously?!
To begin the Flowering Afternoon Tea experience, guests will be greeted with a Wild Blossom Champagne Cocktail – Champagne topped off with an edible hibiscus flower soaked in syrup. Doesn't this sound divine? Then a selection of five sandwiches and savories are served, including Poached Scottish salmon, cucumber and fennel crème fraiche served on a mini muffin with cucumber flowers; Orange blossom honey, wholegrain mustard roast ham, candied tomatoes and watercress on white bread; and Goats cheese, asparagus and lemon verbena tartlet with a soft boiled quails egg.
Warm, homemade plain and apple and raisin scones will follow, served with lemon verbena curd, clotted cream and seasonal preserves. Finally, guests will be presented with a selection of floral pastries, including a Chocolate hanging basket with spiced Chai tea mousse and chocolate soil; a Honey orange blossom pain de gene with mango compote and edible honey bees; a Rosewater and raspberry mousse with crystallised rose petals on a rose macaroon and Pistachio and hazelnut chocolate financier “garden patch” with chocolate ladybird. The pastries will be presented on a marzipan gardening patch edged with a chocolate rockery and will be complete with the edible garden gnome centrepiece perched on a white chocolate toadstool.
To accompany their Flowering Afternoon Tea, guests can choose from a selection of traditional British, Oriental, herbal and fruit-infused teas, including Whole Rose Bud and Whole Camomile Flower teas, Flowering Osmanthus and Flowering Jasmine Peach, while they relax to live music from the Palm Court’s resident harpist. Doesn't this sound absolutely divine???!
Floral Afternoon Tea at InterContinental London Westminster
(Photo credit: Kate and Chelsie)
Floral themed delicacies including edible chocolate butterflies, an elaborate top tier of lavender and strawberry tart, violet éclairs, a jasmine and jivara mille feuille and a chocolate and orange blossom shot which has been carefully paired with rosebud and Ceylon tea blend for a distinctly refreshing finish. The center piece is a glass tea pot sprouting mini lemon mousse chocolate lollipops.
As well as traditional cakes, classic English mini scones and elegant finger sandwiches with a summer twist, guests can enjoy free flowing Laurent Perrier Rose Champagne. Yes, please : )
Here's the wonderful botanical inspired dessert menu:
The Wild Meadow Garden (Victoria sponge with crystallized wild flowers), The Chinese Garden (Chocolate bamboo cane embellished with oriental butterflies), English Rose Garden (Rose and wild strawberry financier rose water and wild strawberry liquor), Herb Garden (Lemon balm éclair finished with lemon fondant), Potting Shed (miniature flower pot built from fro chocolate fudge cake), The Summer Garden (White chocolate ball encompassed in elderflower mousse), Spring Blossom (cherry and almond savarin), Late Summer Harvest (Raspberry mousse shot accompanied by a violet macaroon).
The Dorchester has worked with the team behind Laurent-Perrier’s 2013 show garden to create a menu that includes delights such as a ‘lavender basket’; a dark chocolate tartlet infused with lavender scent and decorated with a spun sugar handle. This afternoon tea menu is available between May 20th and May 26th for £56.
(Photo from The Dorchester web site)
Wishing you all a wonderful and productive (short) week! I'll be dreaming of tea time in London.