Versatile and visually stunning, the Wellington Lounge boasts uninterrupted views of London's iconic Wellington Arch. Offering an all day tasters sharing menu featuring cuisine from around the world and an ingenious afternoon tea programme featuring the hotel's own bespoke blend from modern tea emporium, The Tea Palace, this is a very desirable location for eating and meeting.
InterContinental London Park Lane, 1 Hamilton Place, Mayfair, London, W1J 7QY
020 7409 3131
Monday - Sunday 13:00 - 17:00
Wellington Lounge Picture Gallery
All In London Review
Afternoon tea, now with perfume
This summer they’ve launched an afternoon tea inspired by perfume, which isn’t quite as odd as it sounds given that tea is one of the most fragrant drinks around. For extra cache they’ve enlisted Britain’s oldest perfume shop, Floris, to help with the menu.
It starts with a palate cleanser of wheatgrass and strawberry pearls; then a tray of brightly coloured pinwheel sandwiches arrives: yellow lemon bread filled with smoked salmon and cream cheese, green spinach bread with honey roast pumpkin and feta, orange tomato bread with peppered chicken, mayonnaise and cucumber, and purple Peruvian bread with cucumber and mascarpone cheese.
Scones are the next round, with lemon curd with pink peppercorn, chunky berry jam, Earl Grey butter and of course clotted cream to spread on them. Lastly the cakes, which arrive on a pretty plate made to look like an edible garden. Peach Melba mousse, macaroons, a jasmine tea cake, rosewater jelly and a strawberry mousse served in a “pot” made from chocolate are very, very saccharine, even for those with the sweetest tooth - it’s little wonder they prefer to serve a dry champagne with the dessert rather than at the start to counteract the overload of sugar.
There’s a huge selection of teas naturally: we try fragrant jasmine, a mythically named black tea called Iron Goddess of Mercy, lemon and ginger, and a fruity berry tea. More exciting (and at £45 a head, better value) than its more famous competitors.
The Scents of Summer Afternoon Tea is available till September 27th.
Reviewed by Leila
Published on Jun 18, 2015
The afternoon tea where spices and herbs take the starring roles
The hotel has quite a brilliant record where food is concerned; they’ve got Theo Randall’s eponymous restaurant and the delightful Cookbook Café, with chef Paul Bates in charge. Bates has also created two of the afternoon tea menus: the traditional Royal Tea, with coronation chicken sandwiches, Victoria sponge and Eton mess shortbread (kicked off with the Queen’s favourite aperitif, a dubonnet), and the Wellington Afternoon Tea, with bolder choices like Spanish ham, fig and Monte Enebro cheese on potato bread, and spiced sardine sandwiches with a sherry vinegar and honey dressing.
However we opt for the Botanical Tea, where spices and fragrant herbs take the starring roles. There’s a smooth champagne cocktail to begin with, with Moet & Chandon Brut, homemade vanilla syrup, apple syrup and a subtle dash of cardamom syrup. Then the food arrives, with a botanical pear drop palate cleanser which is flavoured with refreshing juniper.
The savouries are dainty open sandwiches. There’s free range guinea fowl with crisp fried celeriac, cloaked in rich mayonnaise. Smoked eel is spiced up with a little horseradish, complemented by a fresh cucumber and apple relish. The nettle marinated asparagus is very crunchy, rolled in a thin slice of beef sirloin, this one is more notable for its textures than its flavours. Our favourite is perhaps the smoked trout and artichoke pesto wrapped with Speyside smoked salmon, topped with wasabi caviar, a fantastic mix.
Next two types of scones arrive, made with citrus peel and sultanas as well as standard buttermilk. They come with the obligatory strawberry jam and thick Devon clotted cream, but there’s a lovely quince preserve with cardamom too, which has Middle Eastern notes.
Finally a tray of very pretty, brightly coloured cakes appears. The hazelnut bakewell topped with salted caramel cream, apple and rosemary mousse is not to everyone’s taste apparently due to its somewhat random ingredients, but the sweet apple mousse works in tandem with the rest of it. The sweet-toothed will like the mandarin tart and the pink Victoria plum sponge, and there’s a blueberry macaroon with berry crème brûlée sandwiched in the centre, and a miniature macaroon on top.
We haven’t even got to the teas yet. The vast menu has classics like lapsang souchong, assam and jasmine silver needle, but there are also two in-house blends only available here which we feel obliged to try: the vanilla-infused Number One Park Lane, a slightly sweet, yet still strong black tea, and the aromatic Wellington blend, made with assam, China black tea, Earl Grey and English cornﬂowers.
The Botanical Tea is £38 per person for a minimum of two people.
Reviewed by Leila
Published on Mar 5, 2013