To honour Wimbledon, the oldest and most prestigious tennis tournament in the world, one of London’s most famed afternoon tea venues, The Dorchester on Park Lane is ‘serving’ guests an unforgettable taste of the 2018 Championships. Combining two very special British institutions with fun and creative flair, this July The Promenade is decked out with tennis balls and vibrant purple flower arrangements in tribute to the All England Lawn Tennis Club colours.
In true celebratory style, a choice of Laurent-Perrier Champagne, Dom Pérignon Vintage Champagne, Pimms Royale, a classic Pimms with lemonade or ‘Net’, a non-alcoholic fruit cocktail accompanies The Dorchester’s popular annual Wimbledon Afternoon Tea. Immaculate finger sandwiches highlight the best of British produce; organic free-range egg, Isle of Mull cheddar and English baby watercress on malted grain bread, 21-day aged slow-cooked beef with Lincolnshire onion chutney and wholegrain mustard mayonnaise on wholemeal bread, Norfolk Black chicken on sage and onion bread, oak-smoked salmon with English wasabi and lemon butter on caraway bread and my personal favorite, baby cucumber with truffle cream on the softest white bread – an inspired pairing.
As always with The Dorchester Collection hotels, it’s the atmosphere and service that makes for a memorable experience. A live pianist plays in The Promenande each afternoon, everything is served on their very own eau de nil and white china, while the front of house delight in creating an easy, yet refined ambiance; always observing if your tea cup is empty, if you’d like to try a different tea variety or if you might care for some more sandwiches. I can understand why both people visiting London for the first time and Londoners wouldn’t dream of making an afternoon tea reservation anywhere but here. It’s a remarkable space no matter how familiar.
A second round of sandwiches (how can you say no to the best sandwiches in the world?) before a darling whipped concoction of strawberries and cream, an essential during balmy summer days in England, was presented alongside a shot glass of palate cleansing tea, in addition to the selection husband and I had made from The Dorchester’s impressive list of fine and rare teas. Of course he went for Early Grey, but assured me it was unlike any other. The traditional warm fruit and plain scones served with Cornish clotted cream, homemade strawberry preserve and Butterfly and the Bee seasonal rhubarb jam is the ultimate ‘help yourself’ decadence and has a way of making you feel utterly cosy and at home even in the most sublime and ostentatious environment.
Finally, the exquisitely crafted top-tier Wimbledon-inspired French pastries are sure to make you smile, not least when you taste them; from the Wimbledon Tennis Sponge – made with Lemon verbena, strawberry, white chocolate and cream ganache to the coconut and mango bubble finished with a white chocolate bee and a grass-coloured but lime flavoured mini macaron. Each delicious morsel was the perfect partner to The Dorchester’s Seasonal Flower Blend tea I opted for, prepared by the in-house tea master to both complement and draw inspiration from The Promenade’s beautiful flower arrangements. A delicate flower-scented tea that worked particularly well with the tropical notes in the pastries. Game, set and match to Executive chef Henry Brosi and his award-winning pastry team.
Dorchester Collection’s iconic London hotel The Dorchester will serve its annual Wimbledon Afternoon Tea at The Promenade for the duration of the tournament, from July 2 – July 15. £70 per person with Laurent-Perrier La Cuvée Champagne NV £77 per person with Laurent-Perrier Cuvée Rosé Champagne £90 per person with Dom Pérignon Vintage Champagne. To make a booking please contact restaurants.TDL@dorchestercollection.com +44 (0)20 7629 8888. For more information please visit the website.