“Patisserie perfection indeed!”
In my last post, I expressed my love for afternoon tea, especially afternoon tea with something different to offer.
Inspired by fellow Instagrammer, queen of dessert @FelicitySpector ‘s photos of impressive looking cakes, I did further “research” on Sarah Barber and her creations, as all good foodies do. Sarah is the talented Head Pastry Chef behind The Corinthia’s impressive dessert and afternoon tea offering. As it turns out, The Corinthia was running a limited time afternoon tea themed Patisserie Perfection, to showcase some of the brilliant recipes in Sarah’s new book – Sarah Barber Patisserie Perfection
What attracted me to this afternoon tea instead of the other hundred dotted around London is the menu. It contains flavour combination and ingredients that I (and many other dessert lovers) know and love. Chocolate + salted caramel + peanut, coconut + passionfruit + mango, ganache, meringue etc. I found myself getting excited as I read down the list. Can’t go wrong with that!
The fact that The Corinthia Hotel is one of London’s luxurious, 5-stars, famous for its afternoon tea experience, was an added bonus.
At first glance, the price (£60 per person for Traditional Afternoon Tea) is definitely on the higher end of the range. Of course, you don’t just pay for the treats, you pay for the surroundings, the service and the experience as a whole. For me, Sarah’s menu and her reputation speak volume and I was happy to indulge myself, all in the name of patisserie perfection! 🙂
The Corinthia Hotel
Elegant, contemporary are the two words that sprung to mind as I enter The Corinthia. We were led to our table in a quieter corner of The Lobby Lounge, where Afternoon Tea is served. It resembles a great hall with a high ceiling to give a sense of “grandness”, modern yet classy furnishing and a dazzling Baccarat Chandelier which drew the eyes. What captured my attention most, however, was the long table with very inviting cakes and patisseries, all delicately displayed in clear glass domes… I cannot wait!
The Afternoon Tea
Our server attentively explained the concept of afternoon tea while I impatiently anticipate the food’s arrival, having carefully studied the menu beforehand.
The Corinthia has a good selection of tea blends. My guest and I were both pleased with our respective selection of The Corinthian Breakfast Tea and The Prince Alexander Blend. The finger sandwiches followed swiftly after tea was served. They were what can only be described as traditionally English. A thought-through portion size, didn’t take up too much space, leaving room for the main event.
- Dry Cured Ham with Tomato and English Mustard
- Prawns in Marie Rose Sauce, Shredded Gem Lettuce
- Organic Egg and Mustard Cress
- Mrs Kirkham’s Cheddar Cheese and Pickle
- Roast Cumbrian Beef and Horseradish
- Severn and Wye Smoked Salmon and Cream Cheese
The sweets were the highlight of the afternoon, which goes without saying. As the place got busier, our patience was mildly tested as we waited for the patisseries. Finally, a tower of beautiful, delicate cakes and tarts was presented next to us. They were ALMOST too beautiful to be eaten…but, it’d be rude not to.
I’ve put together this little gallery below, documenting all of the patisseries and the ingredients in each.
(Note: The Woodland Forest Chocolate Sacher, which contains blackcurrant and violet, lemon thyme mousseline, was unfortunately left out. This was a mistake made in a moment of weakness where my appetite took over, ignoring my rule of “snap before scoff”. Apologies for that.)
I hope my photos do Sarah’s patisseries justice. It was Patisserie Perfection indeed! I was utterly impressed by not only the detailed and flawless presentation, but also how the flavours of each ingredient in each little slice complemented one another and worked gloriously together. I can taste the different flavours and texture in each layer! The citrusy mandarin jam cut through the silky bitterness of the dark chocolate in the Jaffa Cake , the toasted coconut added texture to the delicate sponge in the Bounty Bar, the olive oil biscuit added depth to the mousse and spongy texture of the Chocolate Passion Ginger…
Every slice of cake was another Wow moment!
Definitely the Peanut Caramel Aztec! I just love everything about it. The fact that it has the mighty trinity of chocolate + salted caramel + peanut aside, it is not overly sweet, the crunchiness of the crushed nuts and biscuit base go ever so well with mousse and a slightly denser layer of yumminess! I’m salivating as I type 😦
I took the liberty (and a lot of self-control to pause eating) to take these cut through shots to demonstrate Sarah’s top notch skills. Just look at the texture, colour of each visible layer. That is talent, passion and years of experience coming through.
Sarah Barber is officially one of my baking heroes! She said that she wants to produce unique patisseries that her customers will remember. I think she is doing a splendid job! The Corinthia Hotel is definitely one of my recommendation for afternoon tea in London.
To book an afternoon tea experience at the Corinthia Hotel and sample some of Sarah Barber’s patisserie, simply book online.
Whitehall Place, London SW1A 2BD UNITED KINGDOM
+44 (0) 20 7930 8181