What could be more quintessentially British than an afternoon tea? And as we continue to celebrate the Platinum Jubilee year, plenty of destinations are showcasing their national pride by combining the two. Four Seasons at Ten Trinity Square is presenting its own take, albeit in its typical refined and elevated style, with a new offering inspired by the occasion and the incredible floral display of its neighbour the Tower of London.
The hotel itself is a grand destination befitting its unrivalled location in this historic heart of London. The Grade II-listed building was once the home of the Port of London Authority, essential to the capital’s trade. Now its communal spaces offer a serene respite from the bustling tourist landmarks on its doorstep, particularly the elegant Rotunda lounge at its centre, which hosts the afternoon tea. It has the formality and sense of occasion you desire from a special experience but with a relaxed atmosphere, serenaded by a live pianist.
The menu is the work of executive pastry chef Sylvain Goujon, who also looks after the hotel’s other dining options including Mei Ume and the two-Michelin-star La Dame de Pic. This certainly comes through in the creative flavours and inventive use of ingredients, particularly when it comes to the pastries.
The sandwiches don’t stray too far from the familiar classics, albeit with a slight twist that sets them apart from the typical fare. Cucumber and cream cheese is spruced up with just a hint of espelette pepper, and egg mayonnaise given a luxe addition with truffle oil, while the selection wouldn’t be fit for a queen without a coronation chicken option, bursting with freshness. These are followed by some of the most picture-perfect scones we’ve seen, decorated with the hotel’s tree motif. These come with an assortment of spreads including strawberry-jasmine and apricot-lavender jams, while the tea infusions are unusually an important and delicious flavour profile rather than an afterthought.
The crown jewels of the menu, however, are the pastries. Spectacular in decoration without being gimmicky, they nod to both the beautiful flowers of the nearby Superbloom display and the rich heritage of the monarch. The “yellow peony” comes decorated with impossibly thin slivers of fruit, with an intriguing turmeric mousse that is light and fresh. The “camomile” continues this delicate touch, combining apricot and honeycomb, while slightly richer and indulgent notes come through in the “damas rose”, matching dark chocolate with earthy voatsiperifery pepper. The crowning glory comes in the form of a sharing cake flavoured with strawberry, shiso leaves and yuzu, intricately crafted with chocolate decorations to resemble the St Edward’s Crown worn by Queen Elizabeth during her coronation, and a fittingly regal final note to the proceedings.
From £50 per person, £60 with a signature cocktail or £67.50 with a glass of champagne.
The Four Seasons Hotel London at Ten Trinity Square celebrates British tradition at its finest, elevated with intricate and unusual flavours and a sophisticated flair.
Served every Friday to Sunday until 18 September; fourseasons.com