15 June 2017

Hitting the high notes - A limited edition jazz afternoon tea at the Sheraton Grand Hotel Park Lane Hotel

Our evening started as the sun set over the Hyde Park tree canopy. Shaking off my long day at a desk and having sat for a reflective half an hour, I was more than ready to slip into the Sheraton Grand Park Lane hotel, to try out the limited edition Jazz Afternoon Tea with Binny & Aftab.

Luxury Afternoon Tea Sheraton Grand Hotel Park Lane Adventures of a London Kiwi
Disclaimer: We were invited guests of the Sheraton Grand Park Lane Hotel
but my verbose words are all mine.


As I sank into the luscious carpet, the harpist gently strummed the final chords of a catchy pop tune (the song escapes me now) and I looked up to see the mischievous grin of Binny float through the door, Cheshire Cat style.

We were shortly joined by Aftab, all smartly suited and booted, and we sank gratefully into our seats in the centre of the beautiful Palm Court. Twittering away as we caught up IRL, our waiter Paulo popped over to introduce himself and started the champagne flowing and charmingly checked our dietary requirements.

Luxury Afternoon Tea Sheraton Grand Hotel Park Lane Adventures of a London Kiwi

Presented with menus and a selection of teas - we were taken on a journey reaching back nearly a century, inspired by the golden era of Jazz during which the hotel first opened its doors in a glorious heyday of music and glamour.

Advised by Paulo to choose a lighter tea from the 27 options (we loved him and his honest advice) Binny and Aftab were both enchanted with the spicy notes of the Zanzibar chai whilst I enjoyed the lovely Apple and Elderflower Green Tea.

Luxury Afternoon Tea Sheraton Grand Hotel Park Lane Adventures of a London Kiwi

“So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.” 
― F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

Luxury Afternoon Tea Sheraton Grand Hotel Park Lane Adventures of a London Kiwi

The unique birdcage shaped tea tier was inspired by Sir Richard Bracewell Smith whom built the Park Lane hotel in the 1920’s and oversaw the placement of the groundbreaking internal steel structure, nicknamed “the birdcage”.

#bloglife

Luxury Afternoon Tea Sheraton Grand Hotel Park Lane Adventures of a London Kiwi

The finger sandwich array included honey roasted ham with celeriac & mustard rémoulade on beetroot bread (which we loved), smoked trout with pickled cucumber, horseradish mayonnaise, chicken curried mayonnaise on basil bread, free range egg served with mayonnaise and watercress, not to mention a gorgeous John Ross Smoked Salmon, Caper Cream, Dill & Seaweed Scone. Aftab and Binny asked for a couple of substitutions which were met without hesitation.

Luxury Afternoon Tea Sheraton Grand Hotel Park Lane Adventures of a London Kiwi
Luxury Afternoon Tea Sheraton Grand Hotel Park Lane Adventures of a London Kiwi

Then, the scones. Light, heavenly and accompanied by one of my favourite homemade jam selections ever - raspberry, lemon curd and peach, plus clotted cream just waiting to be slathered.

“And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees, just as things grow in fast movies, I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer.” 
― F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

Luxury Afternoon Tea Sheraton Grand Hotel Park Lane Adventures of a London Kiwi
Luxury Afternoon Tea Sheraton Grand Hotel Park Lane Adventures of a London Kiwi


As welcome as a flute lifted in delight after a thunderous brass run, the top tier was a delicate symphony of musically decorated sweet bites. I'll stop labouring on the theme in a moment. (Spot the orchestra geek...)

I couldn't pick a favourite - none of them fell flat. A Sable Breton biscuit base topped with a light honey mousse and blackberry gêlée with a chocolate music sheet was both delicate and sharp, a coconut dacquoise with piña colada crème and tropical compote was a high note, the rich red velvet cake with orange butter reminded me of a cello trill and the chocolate tart with basil lime ganache and topped with an edible saxophone was perfect in cadence.

Luxury Afternoon Tea Sheraton Grand Hotel Park Lane Adventures of a London Kiwi

(9 music references in there if you happened to keep count.)

Nattering long enough for the sun to dip below the horizon and the lights to dim for cocktails, we regretfully laid our eating instruments (10) and gathered our coats to go into the cold, cold night and many adventures.

Luxury Afternoon Tea Sheraton Grand Hotel Park Lane Adventures of a London Kiwi
Luxury Afternoon Tea Sheraton Grand Hotel Park Lane Adventures of a London Kiwi

I will definitely be returning.

“Can’t repeat the past?…Why of course you can!” 
― F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

Luxury Afternoon Tea Sheraton Grand Hotel Park Lane Adventures of a London Kiwi

Psst. The limited edition Jazz afternoon tea at the Sheraton Grand is available Monday to Sunday 12:00pm – 7.30pm until 30 July 2017. Also worth noting are the times that a Harpist or Guitarist, Pianist or Jazz Band accompany the tea - a schedule is available on their website.

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