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Three Afternoon Teas, London

limster Apr 19, 2009 01:52 PM

• Chesterfield Hotel, Mayfair
An airy atrium, the room in whites and greens. An acceptable darjeeling, fairly robust and pleasant. Nice sandwiches, with good flavour: creamy egg, salmon with good depth, a sharp cheddar (I think) with tomato, good strong mustard with ham. Solid chocolate tart, fairly dense choc ganache/mousse topped with a malt ball. Beautifully crisp crust in the berry tart, snapping brilliantly into little crunchy crumbs. An ok lemon cupcake. The raisin scones are some of the lightest ones I've had in a while, warm and almost feathery on the inside; served with strawberry jam and clotted cream. Not bad on the whole, the scones were excellent and the highlight for me. ~£20 iirc.

• Southwark Cathedral, Southwark
Self service cafeteria style, with Twinings tea bags. Loved the big egg sandwich - almost creamy filling of eggs without excessive mayo; I did wish for a touch more watercress. Scones were average, nothing grand but nothing bad; accompanied by apricot and strawberry jams and a little scoop of clotted cream. Very good carrot cake - moist with a lovely tangy and sweet frosting. A lot of food (I picked them individually) that added up to ~£10.

• Chor Bizarre, Mayfair
The tea set here (£8.50) consists of any tea plus a number of Indian savouries and sweets. A clovey masala chai, quite pleasant. OK pakoras, some containing cauliflower, others may have just been chickpea flour. The samosa was also fine but nothing out of the ordinary. I did like the fried okra, very dry and fairly crispy. The puffy curds in the ras malai was probably my favourite items of the afternoon. A fairly good gulab jamun, without any trace of greasiness. Nothing out of this world, but not bad considering the price for a pretty location in Mayfair.

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