What’s not to love about Chelsea Flower Show? Actually I think quite a bit. All those flowers are lovely, sure, but the crowds and the weather and my aching feet can take the lustre off a tad. Let’s wave our trowels in welcome, then, to Sofitel St James’ floral-themed Le Tea En Rose, their afternoon-tea homage to Chelsea Flower Show. It means that a little slice of that can be enjoyed alongside a rather bigger slice of white chocolate ganache tart with caramelised rose cream.
Or maybe you’d prefer a white chocolate and blueberry ‘Napoleon’ with a violet macaron wafer? Or elderflower jelly, lemon cheesecake and almond crumble with italian meringue? Every single one a bite of heaven served in the oasis of deliciousness and refinement that is Sofitel’s ‘Rose Lounge’. Surely one of London’s best spots for escaping the madding crowd. It’s a salon, really. Quite intimate, beautifully decorated, with its own harp-player (whose over-fondness for playing La Vie En Rose didn’t even spoil the tranquil atmosphere on the day I was there).
Le Tea en Rose is running only for the rest of May. After that The Rose Lounge will still be my new top recommendation for a smart afternoon tea away from the tourist attraction offerings of too many of the swish hotels. For Le Tea en Rose their usual scone etc menu is being supplemented by floral pastries, teas (the Mediterranean rose was especially lovely) and – for those who really want a few moments of life in the pink – there’s a special cocktail of Tanqueray gin and elderflower topped with rose champagne and finished with rose petals. This is the way to enjoy Chelsea Flower Show.