Saturday, 19 November 2016

Paul A Young Chocolate Afternoon Tea at Intercontinental Park Lane

Last Sunday, I went to the Intercontinental Park Lane with my friend Sabrina  where we had the most indulgent chocolate afternoon tea courtesy of Paul A Young. The Afternoon tea was the perfect setting at the Wellington Lounge, Intercontinental Park Lane. This luxury 5-star hotel is perfectly situated in between Knightsbridge and Mayfair and boasts amazing views of Buckingham Palace. The hotel is chic and a well-designed establishment, with bespoke interior, gorgeous flower artistry by the lovely Moyses Stevens team, they’ve done a fabulous job penning the arrangements around the hotel. I was very impressed!

The Wellington Lounge gets its name from the Wellington Arch - Which offers stunning views from every seat in the room.

The Chocolate Afternoon tea is a collaboration between world-renowned chocolatier Paul A Young & Intercontinental Park Lane Executive Chef Ashley Wells. This limited edition afternoon tea ends on 20th Nov. So be quick if you want to devour.

The Chocolate Afternoon tea experience combines classic autumnal ingredients, reminiscent flavours and Paul’s mastery whizzes you to a place where you are walking in an indulgent chocolate forest, tasting earthy notes and chocolate surprises. 

We were seated by our Waiter Stefan, who was really knowledgeable and his service was second to none! Every tea he recommended was spot on, don’t shy away from recommendations from the staff. 

Stefan began by serving us Moet Champagne in skinny flute glasses. The first part of the Afternoon tea was the savoury flatbreads, not sandwiches, as you know them, the toasted base worked wonderfully with the mixture of ingredients. There were some incredible combinations such as Smoked salmon and cream cheese, Honey roasted ham and English mustard, roast beef and white chocolate horseradish cream and honey roasted pumpkin with red pepper and goats cheese.

My favourites were the roast beef and white chocolate horseradish cream and honey roasted pumpkin. Sabrina loved the smoked salmon and creme cheese pairing, The tea that Stefan recommended to try for this experience was the deliciously black Darjeeling tea. This tea was a lightly coloured infusion with a sweet floral aroma, it changed from a light orange to a dark orange, this was to signify the change of autumn leaves. This blend really worked well with bringing the flavours from the tea.

The second part of the experience was the scones. They were light, freshly baked and soft. Scones are wonderfully British and delicious, the scones came in 3 variations. I am not the biggest fan of raisins and sultanas (but I ate these scones with no complaint) The scones were served with classics such as Devonshire clotted cream, strawberry jam and a salted caramel clotted cream. 

We were advised by Stefan to apply the strawberry jam first then the cream on top to fully experience the taste. As opposed to the traditional way of adding the cream on first then the jam. I tried both ways but the cream on top with the jam second was a full embodied rich taste. How do you like your scones? Cream First or Strawberry Jam?

Stefan also recommended the Park Lane tea paired with the scones, particularly with the cream and jam. And how right he was! It was dreamy and a melt in your mouth moment. The salted caramel clotted cream was a divine taste, to say the least. It was everything you wanted it to be sweet, buttery and kicking all the senses in your mouth. 

Lastly, the main show was served in a spectacular acrylic clear box, nestled inside was edible soil and twigs which were masked as chocolate decorated with leaves, raspberries and stones. Everything was edible aside from the leaves. The box also had a fragrant aroma which was alluring. 

Inside the Autumn chocolate sphere was a shell of 72% Venezuelan chocolate on the outside, With a whipped, creamy and salted caramelised hazelnuts topped with a blackberry. This was very rich tasting. Surely couldn’t be eaten all in one go (I packed it away for feasting with at home) 

Soon followed by the corn which consisted of chipotle chilli and sugar ganache, sandalwood, cedar wood chocolate twigs cocoa nibs. This was an explosion of flavour in the mouth.

Last but not least the chocolate pod which was simply my personal favourite. It consisted of  65% Grenadian Kalingo dark chocolate. Chocolate water ganache, The chocolate had a certain flakey/crumbliness to it, but it worked, then paired with a creamy white chocolate centre and green cardamom ganache. It was just perfect. The tea which was paired to this was a Red Berries Tea by Northern Tea Merchants.

The Paul A Young Chocolate Afternoon Tea is a dining experience which needs to be explored, it truly plays an experience to all five senses. The service by Stefan was exceptional, he made us feel at ease. His attention to detail was spot on and it was just the kind of experience you would expect in a 5-star establishment. The Chocolate Afternoon tea ends this Sunday! Booking is advised.

* I was a guest at the InterContinental as always all opinions/thoughts are my own. 

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