Art-Inspired Afternoon Tea at The Rosewood
While looking at Banksy’s latest artwork or a Rothko painting, did you ever think to yourself and wonder what it must taste like? The Rosewood’s Executive Pastry Chef Mark Perkins had just this thought, as he carefully selected five modern artists and their works to represent his afternoon tea desserts.
The Rosewood launched a new concept for their afternoon tea this February. I saw the photos from their press event and it looked like nothing I’d seen before while trolling afternoon tea circles and instagrams.
Each dessert is a work of art, literally! Executive chef Mark Perkins was inspired by London’s vibrant art scene. Selecting five of the most iconic contemporary artists whose works are currently displayed in London, he created the incredible new tea offering at the Rosewood.
The five artists are Yayoi Kusama, Banksy, Damien Hirst, Mark Rothko and Alexander Calder. As our waiter presented us with the works of art, I mean the desserts, he asked if we could guess which is which. Three out of five isn’t too bad.
I didn’t know what to expect, putting something so beautiful and so carefully created into my mouth. I had read that Mark Perkins’ worked on the concept for over three years.
The Banksy ‘Girl with a Balloon’ cake is a white chocolate cube, filled with vanilla cream choux, salted caramel and chocolate cream. Once you crack the cube casing, the caramel and chocolate oozes into your mouth, creamy, salty and sweet.
Kusama’s cake is milk chocolate mousse bursting with passion fruit and Calder’s red cake is a combination of coconut mousse and raspberry sponge.
While places like the Ritz and the Savoy may do a more classical interpretation of afternoon tea, the Rosewood surely deserves a spot within the Top Three for afternoon tea in London. My expert tea co-drinker, between numerous oooh’s and aaah’s, told me so.
We took a glass of rosé Ruinart champagne, later ordering a second and regretting not having gone for a bottle. They also have an excellent selection of teas. Scones are served with the pastries, accompanied by clotted cream, lemon curd and jam.
Sandwiches are served before the desserts and they were also quite incredible. This is where my expertise comes in, as I’ve been eating sandwiches since I was a pup. Each sandwich finger was in a different type of bread with five different fillings. I’m going to comment on them individually because they were so good.
Ham and Cheese. The cheese was distinctive, strong but not overwhelming. Of the hundreds of ham and cheese sandwiches we eat on a regular basis, with limited variance between them, this one made me raise my eyebrows. It was ham and cheese, yes, but it was different. The quality of the Le Madru ham and choice of Comté cheese made it stand out.
Coronation Chicken. A little trivia, coronation chicken got its name as it was prepared for the banquet of the coronation of Queen Elizabeth in 1953. It’s a sandwich filler using cold chicken, creme fraiche and curry, and sometimes contains raisins or almonds. It didn’t disappoint neither. Succulent and very tasty.
Smoked Salmon and Cream Cheese. Prepared in a flat bread with a twist of lemon, this was my godmother’s favourite. Classic and faultless.
Egg Mayonnaise. I never eat egg mayonnaise. I ate this one. If I recall correctly, which is a challenge after the champagne, it had baby sprouts or spring onions, something like an onion but lighter and subtler. The sandwich was delicate, tasty and delicious.
Tomato and Basil Pesto. This was one of my favourites. It was just so fresh, the pesto just salty enough to bring out the flavour of the tomato. Bellissimo!
The Rosewood Hotel
The hotel itself is absolutely stunning. Take a look.