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Signature Afternoon Tea at Bulgari Hotel

November 25, 2014

EventsHotels & SpasLifestyle | by Vicky Ilankovan

Bulgari Hotel www.jamesbedford.comThis Festive season sees the ultra luxurious setting of the Bulgari Hotel & Residencies London launch a Signature Afternoon Tea crafted by Executive Pastry Chef Alexandre Talpaert, protégé of internationally-renowned chef Alain Ducasse, comprising a carefully chosen selection of delights which showcase the best of traditional French patissierie.

On passing through the main part of the hotel, guests are led to a small room just off from the main bar, where you are greeted and sat down in plush cosy settings designed to satisfy London’s appetite for sleek and sexy design, complete with polished chestnut interior and flickering fireplace – the perfect winter setting for such a luxurious treat. Guests can begin by choosing from a selection of loose-leaf teas from the Grand Bulgari Tea list, a glass of champagne or – exclusively available in the UK to Bulgari Hotel, London – a must-have handcrafted hot chocolate made with chocolate from Alain Ducasse’s ‘bean-to-bar’ Paris based ‘Manufacture de Chocolat’. This is so far the best hot chocolate we have come across in London: rich, smooth, creamy and full of a diversity of flavours which come from the Ducasse’s chosen bean. The savoury choices on offer range from iconic British finger sandwiches such as Scottish smoked salmon and cucumber, alongside French favourites including toasted sourdough ‘tartines’ topped with foie gras and fig, and feta cheese and tomato tartlets.

The handcrafted selection of pastries are comprised of well-known French delicacies interpreted by Chef Alexandre that will change with the season and which are all displayed on the traditional high tea cake stack. The lower tiers include such treats as the ‘dark chocolate bar,’ a take on the iconic Le Louis XV, the intense dark chocolate dessert served at the restaurant of the same name in Monaco. The bar layers a chocolate sponge base with crispy praline, topped with a dark chocolate mousse and enrobed in dark chocolate, topped with gold leaf for added decadence. The chocolate is exquisite and this was certainly our favourite sweet. Further up, you have the tarte tatin, a traditional French favourite fills a sweet flaky pastry base with caramelised Golden Delicious apples, served with crème fraiche, as well as heavenly light mini vanilla choux pastries which are lovingly dotted around. The top tier boasts the ultimate of Parisienne delicacies, madeleines, as a replacement to the traditional scones and which are served with a side of clotted cream and homemade jam as another nod to British eating. One is encouraged to dunk liberally and enjoy.

The desserts will change according to the season. The afternoon tea is available from September 2014, with prices set at £42 or £52 including a glass of Champagne. With all these choices of afternoon teas around London, this stunningly curated menu set in the sleek opulence of the Bulgari Hotel is definitely near the top of the list.


Chris Ilankovan