10 August 2017

The Luxury Brunch Afternoon Tea at Le Meridien Hotel (warning: this is not a typo)

Brunch is somewhat of a religion in New Zealand, and Afternoon Tea is rather a genteel worship of tinkling tea cups in England. They are both altars that I spend an inordinate amount of time at, both in London and away, and more than once I've declaimed them to be my favourite meals.

Luxury Afternoon Tea Brunch Le Meridian Picadilly Adventures of a London Kiwi
Disclaimer: We were invited guests of Le Meridien but all thoughts, 
flavour sentiments and brunch chants are entirely original.

Somehow, the stars aligned to not only find an afternoon that both Becca (of Runaway Kiwi infamy) and I had free, and coincide with an invite to try out the Brunch Afternoon Tea at Le Meridien Hotel in Piccadilly. Living our best lives indeed.

Hidden high above the tourist bustle of Picadilly, signature teal flags are draped from stone columns declaiming the luxurious 5-star Starwood hotel.


Luxury Afternoon Tea Brunch Le Meridian Picadilly Adventures of a London Kiwi

The Terrace Grill & Bar, on the second floor of the hotel, is a beautifully bright space which used to house a swimming pool in the 1920s. Fast forward a century or so, and the rain poured outside, but we were cozily ensconced watching the droplets run down the length of the beautiful atrium, cocktail in hand.

Luxury Afternoon Tea Brunch Le Meridian Picadilly Adventures of a London Kiwi

We loved our B ‘N T: Brunch Afternoon Tea, it was the perfect combination of two wonderful worlds. We started with a cocktail each - the 'Berries and Tea' for my corkscrew-tressed gin-monster - an Earl Grey tea infusion with gin, crushed sage and raspberries - and I sipped an Elderflower Fizz, a shimmering concoction of Gin, Cointreau and elderflower, sparkling wine.

Luxury Afternoon Tea Brunch Le Meridian Picadilly Adventures of a London Kiwi
Luxury Afternoon Tea Brunch Le Meridian Picadilly Adventures of a London Kiwi

Instead of the usual sandwich fare, savouries were mini-Yorkshire puddings stuffed with a Full English - a cocktail sausage, streaky bacon, cherry tomato, baked beans, black pudding and quail egg - light, delectable and moreish, Eggs Piccadilly - an English muffin basket, stuffed with smoked salmon, poached quail egg & truffle spinach hollandaise - also scrumptious, and an open sandwich with a twist - a duo of Rosary Ash and pickled asparagus on charcoal bread.

They were so, so good. So good. In fact my mouth is watering all over again.


Luxury Afternoon Tea Brunch Le Meridian Picadilly Adventures of a London Kiwi
Luxury Afternoon Tea Brunch Le Meridian Picadilly Adventures of a London Kiwi

Even scones get a mini-makeover; we enjoyed the savoury scone scattered with red pepper, chilli, cheese and avocado, served with relish & sweet chilli clotted cream; and the sweet scone is refreshed by studding chocolate and raspberry into the light dough.

The sweet course was even more playful (some might draw parallels to Bacchus, the god of enjoyment and mischeif - and I think he and his nymphs would thoroughly enjoy this tea).

Luxury Afternoon Tea Brunch Le Meridian Picadilly Adventures of a London Kiwi

We loved our chocolate egg soldiers - dark chocolate mousse with mango coulis piped in white chocolate egg shell & cinnamon sugar roll - I adored the bite-sized fruit tart...

Luxury Afternoon Tea Brunch Le Meridian Picadilly Adventures of a London Kiwi
Luxury Afternoon Tea Brunch Le Meridian Picadilly Adventures of a London Kiwi

...and we plotted all kinds of shenanigans over the gold shimmered brownie.

This tea feels like the Seraphim level of afternoon teas - having progressed through the ranks of tea tasting hierarchies - it is fit for true connoisseurs who are in search of something a little avaunt guard.

Luxury Afternoon Tea Brunch Le Meridian Picadilly Adventures of a London Kiwi

Whilst not a dainty tea, it perfectly balanced the two meals with vim and verve.

Luxury Afternoon Tea Brunch Le Meridian Picadilly Adventures of a London Kiwi

And once finished, there is always the beautiful bar to linger in.

Luxury Afternoon Tea Brunch Le Meridian Picadilly Adventures of a London Kiwi

(Also, I realised how much of a London geek I was when I saw this print and exclaimed 'but, he isn't Eros!' - see here for the real story.)

Luxury Afternoon Tea Brunch Le Meridian Picadilly Adventures of a London Kiwi

As the press team say, you can have your afternoon tea cake and eat it too at Le Meridien. And, if you book Monday 14th – Sunday 20th August aka Afternoon Tea Week, you'll be able to enjoy the version of the tea paired with cocktails for a discounted price of £35.

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