An inventive pop-up afternoon tea hosted by Cuisson and Laurent-Perrier in the old-school surroundings of Burlington Arcade is just the tonic after a day’s antiques jewellery shopping in London’s Mayfair.
Opened in 1819, London’s Burlington Arcade is the oldest and longest covered shopping arcade in the whole of England – its carpeted aisle is flanked by antique jewellery shops and upmarket boutiques.
Since its opening it has been protected by liveried guards known as ‘Beadles’ who dress in Edwardian frock coats and top hats, who still man either end. The shopping arcade has long been popular with royalty, Hollywood stars and statesmen – James Drew at Number 3 was the first retailer in the arcade to be given the Royal Warrant and it is attributed with having designed the high collars popularised by British Prime Minister William Gladstone.
With all this heritage in mind, it’s rather fitting that when exclusive caterer Cuisson and partner Laurent-Perrier were asked to set up a pop-up afternoon tea in the arcade this summer, that they set up shop in a former antiques shop.
The quirky setting could not be better for this unusual take on the British staple of afternoon tea. The former shop provides an intimate atmosphere and what were once jewellery cases now act very nicely as display cases for cakes and Champagne.
Each afternoon tea comes with a choice of Jing Teas served in delicate bone china teaware from Wedgwood, with the option of a glass or two of Laurent-Perrier Cuvée Rosé, which is lovely and light – the perfect spring accompaniment to pastry chef Hideko Kawa’s tantalising menu.
Having paid her dues at Heston Blumenthal’s Fat Duck restaurant in Bray, Berkshire, Kawa knows a thing or to about preparing an adventurous menu, which play with your perceptions. The ‘sweet burger’, for instance, which looks like a mini cheeseburger, is actually made up of milk and white chocolate and each bite both confuses and delights.
On the savoury side, our favourite was the coronation chicken terrine, with curry mayo on toasted sourdough, while for sweet fancies, the Wedgwood blueberry macaroon cameo (pictured on the top tier above) was a real treat.
Afternoon tea with two glasses of Laurent-Perrier Cuvée Rosé Champagne costs £65 per person. Other options available but tickets must be booked in advance.
You can indulge yourself at Laurent-Perrier at the Arcade until Friday 26 June.
See our top 10 places to take afternoon tea.
‘Guiltless’ afternoon tea at the InterContinental
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