It’s fair to say that 90% of my waking thoughts centre around travel in some form and I knew from the moment I heard about the Searcys Art Of Travel afternoon tea in St Pancras Station, that I wanted to pop in and try this iteration of themed afternoon teas in London. The only problem was that I was too busy travelling to book it in for an age…London
Luckily, one of my favourite partners-in-mischief rolled into London fresh from New York, which gave us the perfect excuse to daydream alongside the Eurostar trains rolling themselves to Paris, Brussels & The Netherlands.
My friend and I have explored Christmas markets around the UK, solved innumerable escape rooms together, and have a joint love of festive afternoon teas. So I knew exactly who I wanted to hang out with whilst trying this year’s Christmas afternoon tea with a London view – up on the 31st floor of The Shard. Disclosure: We were guests of Aqua Shard but all festive puns and wayward musings are always my own.
We met over the internet after she moved from Sydney to the land of almost endless drizzle – and we bonded in only the way that two expats, adrift from their home continent can.
Park Lane is a beautiful place to while away an afternoon, especially when a stand filled with Four Seasons Afternoon Tea delicacies has been gently placed before you. Disclosure: we were guests of the Four Seasons Hotel, but all my musings are very much original.
Inspired by the historic halls of the world-famous arcade, Executive Pastry Chef David Oliver has created five bespoke pastries that take you on a sensorial journey, mirroring the visual experience you would have through the jewellery, watch, fragrance, fashion, beauty and housewares boutiques of Burlington Arcade.
In some respects I have a ridiculously long memory: flavours, kindnesses, lyrics to 90s pop songs, houses that have friendly cats. It’s also in respect to restaurants that I fancy visiting. and Galvin at Windows is somewhere that had been on my list for more than an age.
We just hadn’t quite gotten around to booking a table, but luckily my Mr Kiwi has an even longer memory than me (or is just more susceptible to hints) so for my birthday, he treated me to a million dollar view over London – and a Michelin starred dinner to boot.
There’s a special kind of magic when a group of people gather around a table – all the way from a humble cup of tea, through to intricate tasting menus that titillate the palates. Soutine is elegantly in the middle, a Parisien corner of Salon de thé, a St John’s Wood restaurant in a glorious period building. Disclaimer: We were invited guests of the newly opened Soutine but as ever, all dreamy pastel metaphors are very much my own.
We gathered, a group of four expats – talking of life, love and kettles (long hilarious story) over a table filled with delectable dishes.