Almost two years after putting down roots in Belgravia, French patisserie star Dominique Ansel is trying his hand at the oh-so-British tradition of afternoon tea. And having patented such cult bakes as the Cronut, the Cookie Shot and Frozen S’Mores, it’s no surprise that his teatime selection of goodies are out-of-this-world excellent. Held in the refined conservatory area, rather than the bustling bakery, expect to dine next to a giant wall of flowers, with mini terrariums hanging from the ceiling – a perfect reflection of the concept: the path of a seed growing and blossoming into a full bloom.
Starting off with the ‘Seed’ – a complex but ingenious squid ink choux bun with wild mushrooms, confit garlic and pumpkin seeds, before moving onto savoury bites like the refreshing smoked salmon and yuzu dill cream cheese puff (those classic English countryside flavours are not forgotten) and a brioche bun topped with Cornish crab, apple and celery. There’s an interlude of warm scones with tiny truffles filled with strawberry jam and clotted cream, before moving onto the sweet bites, which is where this tea really comes into its own. Each was exquisite: from a yellow orb filled with vanilla mousse, lemon marmalade and whipped basil ganache to rose petal covered brown butter financier with strawberry jam and rose ganache.
This Cronut king’s tea tastes as beautiful as it looks and is the perfect balance of innovative flavours and classic combinations. Book now for a chic summery sugar hit (£42 pp for tea and patisserie) or go full bloom and get yours with a glass of prosecco, champagne or wine for £55.