Sunday, 12 August 2018

Dukes Hotel MarTEAni Afternoon Tea.

It had been a while since my last afternoon tea. They don't really do them well in Australia (hello, no clotted cream!), and so I avoided them while I was living out there. So on my return to England I was desperate for tiny sandwiches with the crusts cut off, beautiful cakes, and lashing of clotted cream on top of jam-coated scones. Thankfully right on cue, Dukes Hotel invited me along to test out their new MarTEAni afternoon tea, which is based on their famous Martini cocktail. Yes, yes you do get a martini with your afternoon tea...three in fact. 

Dukes is said to be the place where Ian Fleming was inspired to create James Bond's signature drink, the Martini. The hotel bar is famous for them, and use a staggering five shots of alcohol in each glass, meaning they have to impose a two-Martini limit. The MarTEAni afternoon tea serves three 'mini' Martini's per person that supposedly amount to just one normal-sized Martini, however they were so potent I stumbled out of the bar and happily twirled around a lamppost on my way out.

Anywho, the tea itself is actually in partnership with The East India Company Gin, and was undoubtedly one of the best afternoon teas I've had in London. It was a beautiful sunny day and we were sat in the adorable Drawing Room with the sunlight streaming in through the big windows. The afternoon tea towers were brought out to us, followed by the Martini trolley, where each of the three Martini's were made in-front of us.

The idea is you have one Martini per tier, so the Ginger Mini Martini was to be sipped with the sandwiches, the Orange Marmalade Mini Martini with the scones, and the First Romance Tea Mini Martini with the sweet treats. My personal favourite was the First Romance Tea Mini Martini, which was an infused Vermouth using The East India Company’s First Romance tea, a black tea with fruits and flower petals to pair with the pastries/sweets.

Food-wise the sandwiches were traditional; cucumber and cream cheese, egg mayo, smoked salmon, and coronation chicken (I'm still getting used to saying 'chicken' instead of 'chook'). We then had plain and fruit scones with the most incredible homemade lemon curd, followed by handmade pastries. The pastries were all Wimbledon themed due to tennis tournament being on when we visited, and I fell in love with the cute little strawberry pastry and the green batten-burg cake!

Clare and I really did have the loveliest afternoon sipping on Martini's and nibbling the most delectable treats. It just reminded me why I moved back to London, because you certainly don't get this sort of experience in Australia!

The Dukes MarTEAni Afternoon Tea is £42.50pp, and well worth the price in my opinion! It's much more intimate and personable than many of the famous afternoon teas in London, and the building and drawing room is just beautiful.

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