Sunday, 27 September 2020

Neverland Comes to Aqua Shard with a Peter Pan Afternoon Tea.

I adore whimsical afternoon teas that take a theme and go wild with it, drawing you into that little quirky world for a couple of hours and giving you an escape from the real world. After a stressful few weeks of house hunting, this week I escaped the everyday and was whisked away to Neverland when I tried out Aqua Shard's Peter Pan afternoon tea offering, and was blown away by the impressive presentation and tasty on-theme treats! Additionally, J.M Barrie gifted the Peter Pan copyright to Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) in 1929, so for every Peter Pan afternoon tea bought at Aqua Shard, £2 will be donated to GOSH's children’s charity.

Dining in the era of Coronavirus is always a bit of an unusual and nervous experience when you're not sure what the situation will be like at the restaurant and how well they'll be following guidelines. Thankfully both The Shard and Aqua Shard are doing everything they can to minimise contact, with every staff member wearing staffs and/or visors and each table set at least 1m apart. It was a very different experience to the festive afternoon tea last year, but the staff did everything they could to make it a lovely and enjoyable afternoon.

Shev (who you may remember from my Slovakia posts) and I were so excited for our afternoon tea, and after choosing our special teas (I chose the Adventure Tea while Shev chose the Darling Tea) and admiring the cute on-theme crockery, the pirate ship arrived! As dry ice streams from the ship, you can't help but be wowed by the breathtaking views over the city behind. The views of London were portrayed in the Peter Pan movie when they fly to Neverland, and it's without a doubt one of my favourite scenes of the whole film! Being on the 31st floor of The Shard, on an overcast day you can even enjoy your Peter Pan tea surrounded by clouds imagining that you're floating through the sky over London...

We began with the savoury selection, which included a deliciously moreish pork sausage and caramelised onion puff pastry, a mushroom pastry 'chimney', and the "codfish" captain hook which was a deep fried cod brandade. We then moved on to the little sandwiches, which were the "Lost Boys", aka roasted chicken and crispy bacon with mayonnaise and mustard, and the Little Bird which was egg mayonnaise with cucumber, chives and truffle. I absolutely loved the sandwiches and wish there were more provided as you only got one little sandwich per person of each flavour.

As if by magic, our lovely waiter appeared with a special treasure chest which was opened to reveal four perfect little scones. I'm not a huge scone fan usually so I was THRILLED that these were smaller than your average scone...but then I ate them and they were probably the best scones I've ever had, so for the first time in my entire life I wished they were bigger haha. I didn't think it would be possible, but the jam that accompanied the scones was actually even better than the scones - my favourite was the mammee-apple jam, which I loved so much I ate a teaspoon of it by itself once the scones were in my belly!

The sweet treats that followed were so adorable - the Tinker Bell iced shortbread sprinkled in gold dust was my favourite, but the Tick Tock Crocodile (jelly with a crocodile gummy sweet), Hook's Perish Cake (Lime green victoria cake - basically a lime-flavoured Australian lamington), and the Peter's Secret Never Tree Entrance (Dark chocolate mousse with raspberry jam and chocolate sponge) were also delicious and so moreish! We struggled to finish them all as we were so full by this point, but after a little break we just about managed it. 

We had the loveliest afternoon at Aqua Shard and I'm really enjoying being back in restaurants regularly (albeit in a socially distanced way), it just feels so nice to be a bit normal again.

*Our afternoon tea experience was complimentary, but as always this does not influence my love for cake.

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