London Larder was devised in 2012 to bring you the ultimate eating and drinking guide to London. It was borne out of a need for up-to-date, quantitative and whole-heartedly recommended places to eat and drink.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Rock Tea at the W Hotel

Afternoon Tea

What's the most rock n roll type of food? Bread Zeppelin? Chris De Burger? The Meatles? No, it's the W Rock afternoon tea at the W Hotel in Leicester Square. Made up of eight elements each inspired by a different musical legend, it aims to bring traditional afternoon tea into the 21st century. Served on three vinyl LPs, it brings the attitude of rock n roll together with the sophistication of a traditional tea with wonderful results.

Kicking off with a selection of sandwiches known on the menu as 'Dark Side of the Moon', we sampled ham with wholegrain mustard and caramelised onions, smoked salmon with cream cheese and dill, curried chicken and cucumber with herbed butter. Each sandwich was a delicate finger of soft bread with delicious fillings.

'it brings the attitude of rock n roll together with the sophistication of a traditional tea with wonderful results'

The sandwiches were followed by traditional English scones, as every good afternoon tea should. Described on the menu as 'Rule Britannia', they really couldn't be any more English if they came served by the Queen herself. Speckled with fruit and with a soft fluffy inside, they were evolved as quickly as we could pile on heaps of clotted cream and homemade jam. Alongside the scones were six pairs of dainty patisseries, each named after a classic song; inspired by The Runaways, the 'Cherry Bomb' is a brandy-soaked cherry on a chocolate sponge base encased in mascarpone; while 'Sticky Fingers' is a pink and white vanilla meringue styled to look like the classic Rolling Stones lips-and-tongue logo.

Then there are two tiny sponge cupcakes with a rose petal jam centre entitled 'Every Rose Has A Thorn' in homage to 80's hair-metalers Poison, while the Aerosmith inspired 'Sweet Emotion' is a particularly sweet combination of passion fruit purée and jelly encased inside a chocolate shell. A particular favourite was the 'Purple Haze'; a blackcurrant flavoured battenburg with psychedelic marzipan that Jimi Hendrix would surely have approved of. Finally, the tea is concluded with a 'London's Burning' dessert; a toasted marshmallow atop a gooey chocolate and hazelnut centre and a base of devil's food cake. Taking its name from that most quintessential of British bands The Clash, it put the icing on the cake of a wonderful tea.

The hotel itself is beautifully appointed, part trendy bar, part designer modernist lounge. Housed in the flashy new glass building in Leicester Square, the W Hotel gives a modern and youthful twist to the traditional English tea. Adding the rock n roll element is more than a gimmick, it brings the whole tea to life and injects personality into the whole event. In the words of Led Zeppelin, we've certainly got a whole lotta love for the W Hotel!

10 Wardour Street, W1D 6QF
Afternoon tea: £25 per person
Food/drink: 4/5
Service: 4/5
Value: 4/4

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