Afternoon Tea on the Mayfair Mews
Served in the traditional three-tiered way on the al fresco courtyard, the quintessentially British tradition of Afternoon Tea is well suited to the historic mews (of Mayfair).
Located not far from New Bond Street, Mews of Mayfair provides a haven of tranquility away from the hubbub of the West End and a place to recharge and refuel. The converted mews house which serves as the restaurant dates back to the 18th century, with links to the tailors of Savile Row.
Whilst the main menu speaks of fine food, Afternoon Tea is all about luxe simplicity, served in the ground-floor bar of Mews of Mayfair and the adjoining Art Gallery. Created by executive chef Michael Lecouteur, the tea includes seed-studded bagels with Lambton & Jackson smoked salmon, sandwiches of cream cheese with cucumber, caramelized onion bread chicken Caesar salad and a wrap of Burford Brown egg mayonnaise. We particularly like the variation when it comes to the breads, and the sundried tomato bread is far and away a favourite.
Once the finger sandwiches have been polished off (with the option of refills), then come the scones. Mews of Mayfair scones are creamy delights with egg-sheened tops, and both the plain ones and the fruity varieties are pleasing. Slather these with generous swathes of clotted cream and jam, as fiercely red as a cut ruby. Chomping down on these nub-like emblems of quintessential Britishness will somehow never get old, and although refills are also available I’d recommend saving a little room for dessert.
The last, gorgeous tier of this afternoon tea contains a few very good homespun pastries with cream and a little cup of berry-packed trifle. Throughout the afternoon tea you can also pick from a concise menu of loose leaf teas which include Rare Earl Grey from the Satemwa Estate, Second Flush Muscatel Darjeeling from the Makaibari Estate, and Silver Tip Jasmine from the Fujian Province of China, or a tisane of Colombian whole leaf fresh mint and Egyptian whole Chamomile flowers from the Nile Valley.
Then there is the glorious Lost Malawi English Breakfast from thee Satemwa Estate in the Shire Highlands of Malawi. This hand-crafted black tea has a wealth of sparkling flavour which engages the deepest senses. Wade through the deep notes of burnt sugar on a back drop of savoury tea, and perhaps add a splash of whole milk to turn the flavour profile from caramely to chocolatey. Yum.
On the list to try next is the Sri Lankan Lemongrass tea from the Amba Estate, situated on the remote mountain tea gardens above Ravanna Falls in Sri Lanka. This cup is described as being full of the lighter notes of cut hay and lemon drops, which I imagine would cut through the richness of clotted cream and baked goodies superbly well. As well as this delightful number is a rich Rooibos harvested completely wild in its indigenous habitat in the Cederberg Mountains of South Africa , which I can imagine only deepen it’s natural tones of earthen red berries and cedar. For those with a rooibos at home, try enhancing your next cup with a slurp of maple syrup and squeeze of fresh lemon zest.
Mews of Mayfair is the perfect little spot to indulge in a little decadence, and the afternoon tea is good. An afternoon tea is available for the price of £45 pp.