Head Here If…You want to perk up your day with teatime cocktails
The delightfully English ritual of taking afternoon tea always feels decadent, add a cocktail or two to the equation and we’re talking downright lush. Sandwiches suddenly feel much perkier, scones have a little more zing, in fact everything about the Hendrick’s High Tea has The Cocktail Lovers written all over it…
First Things First
Ah, this is the life – seats in an elegant room decked out with Japanese hand painted wallpaper and luxurious velvet upholstery; consent from ourselves to trough through three tiers of tip-top sugar and carbs, plus a lovely pot of tea – what could be better than that? Er, the addition of a couple of cocktails… As much as we love the subtle nuances of Green Sencha (Ms S) and Earl Grey (Mr G), we’re much more excited about the Hendrick’s Gin Cocktails designed to complement the delicious tidbits on offer.
This new addition to the Hush repertoire is right up our street. Combining the talents of chef director David Rood (previously at The Ivy) and innovative bar manager and award-winning mixologist Pedro Solorzano, every morsel on the menu is inspired by the quintessentially British rose and cucumber essences found in Hendrick’s gin. So as well as a fantastically good rose petal jelly to smother on your scones and bite-sized Bougie macaroons, this adult tea offers two molecular creations, two infused martinis and a tea-based cocktail to choose from. You can stick to the Newby Loose leaf teas served in Hendrick’s branded teapots if you like, but then where would the fun be in that?
The Hendrick’s Spring (Hendrick’s gin infused with lavender and cucumber, garnished with a lavender flower) is a variation on the White Lady, and very nice it is, too. It’s a curious combination that initially doesn’t compute in Ms S’s mind but sure as hell works on the palate. It’s super dry which is no bad thing at all, particularly as it helps to cut through the sweetness of the jam and macaroons.
Sadly this was a teatime visit so unfortunately Mr G wasn’t able to get his itching hands on a Dry Martini. Instead he went with the Hush Wolfsberry (Hendrick’s gin infused with rose petals and goji berries, goji liqueur, edible flower). Very elegantly presented, its gentle appearance belied its taste. Quite a subtle flavour but one with a agreeably long and clean finish.
Ms S goes tea-total (in name only of course) with the Earl Grey with a Flower Twist, a tea infusion combining Hendrick’s gin, Earl Grey tea, violet liqueur, lavender edible fragrance. It’s an intriguing combination, such old-fashioned English flavours given a contemporary spin in a martini glass. It works like a dream.
Mr G hands over his decision to our helpful barman and is rewarded with a bespoke, off-menu creation with no name (Hendrick’s gin infused with goji berries, creme de mure, lemon juice, cinnamon). Served over ice in a rocks glass it looks good and refreshing. Moreover it works well as a post teatime digestive. Creative and satisfying.
And To Eat?
Sometimes the idea of afternoon tea is actually better than the tea itself. While we love sweet stuff as much as the next sugar addict, there’s only so many cakes we can take in one sitting. They’ve got the balance just right here though. Firstly, the sandwiches are much more interesting than the bog standard varieties we’re used to seeing lining the bottom tier – as well as rather tasty cucumber on white, egg mayo and cress on brown and Forman’s smoked salmon on granary, these ones feature a sexy corn-fed chicken and avocado on open Poilane bread, yum. Then there are the scones – plain, simple, warmed just-so and served with the requisite clotted cream and dainty dollops of homemade jams; double yum. The top tier is reserved for a selection of delightful mini macaroons – so pretty, so perfect, so downright tasty, they’re almost too good to eat (almost).
You can take your pick from three varieties: Classic Cream Tea with scones and jam or scones with ham, cheese and fig chutney, served with a choice of loose leaf tea; the Mayfair Tea with scones, sandwiches and macaroons and choice of loose leaf tea. Both of which are good but we recommend the Hendrick’s High Tea as it comes with all of the above but also includes a full-sized gin cocktail and a sample selection of molecular cocktails.
What’s The Damage?
Classic Cream Tea (£8.75/£14.75 with a cocktail); Mayfair Tea (£17); Hendrick’s High Tea (£24.75)
Look Out For
The Hendrick’s curiosities dotted throughout the bar, including a gramophone, mannequins and birdcage. There’s also the wonderful Hendrick’s branded crockery from which the tea is served.
Ms S says:
This is grown up girly heaven: a gorgeous room, piles of cakes and a chance to crook your little finger while holding a teacup. The addition of cocktails, particularly such ingenious ones as these, means it’ll work just as well with your coolest, funkiest friend, through to an afternoon treat for your mum. Failing that, it’s also great for a date. You could also do a civilised hen party here before making merriment elsewhere in town.
Mr G says:
This is a very elegant way to while away the afternoon. Smart surroundings, friendly yet unobtrusive service and some nice drinks. I’ll be back to sample that Dry Martini.
Tea is served Monday-Saturday, Easter and Bank Holidays 3pm-6pm
8 Lancashire Court, Brook Street, W1S 1EY. T: 020 7659 1500. hush.co.uk