I’ve always thought of the Rosewood as one of London’s prettiest hotels. Based on High Holborn it’s mega grand and inside, whether it’s the Holborn Dining Room, Scarfe’s Bar or the copper corridor that apparently cost them over a million quid, it’s all rather gorgeous.
In a bid to make the lesser known Mirror Room a more prominent feature of the hotel, they’ve introduced a new afternoon tea inspired by five famous artists: Yayoi Kusama, Alexander Calder, Mark Rothko, Damien Hirst and Banksy.
The seats and tables are quite small (why do afternoon teas always take place on such tiny furniture?) but everything just about fits on. We start with sandwiches; Maldon smoked salmon with cream cheese and lemon is my favourite. There’s just something about that flavour combination. Ham and Comté is a pungently lovely thing while coronation chicken is a solid version of the classic. Avocado and tomato and egg mayonnaise aren’t world altering flavour combos but ones we enjoy eating two rounds of.
The cakes, creations of executive pastry chef Mark Perkins, are where things get exciting. The two most recognisable to me are a chocolate cube filled with vanilla cream choux and salted caramel with a girl holding a balloon on the outside by Banksy. And a Damien Hirst polka dot Cassis jelly with yuzu curd.
A milk chocolate mousse with chocolate set on chocolate is lighter than expected. A layered coconut sponge with raspberry is a little taste of the Caribbean and a pistachio bavarois (isn’t that a lovely word to say?) with pistachio sponge is sprayed with red chocolate. These really are works of art.
Scones, both plain and raisin, come with thick clotted cream and strawberry jam. The scones are light and crumbly. In terms of tea, we wash it all down with camomile flowers, however I would have preferred it in a pot as opposed to a glass jug. But I’m an old fashioned gal me.
Priced at £50 per person, or £65 with a glass of “R” de Ruinart Champagne, the surroundings, attentive service and really impressive cakes make it one for your afternoon tea tick list. They plan to change the artists who inspire the cakes every now and then too which sounds quite exciting.
Would we go back? Yes
We dined as guests of the hotel