For our last installment of our Gourmet Marylebone Series we wanted to share with you something very special: a vintage English afternoon tea. Inspired by the 40’s and 50 ‘s, the Reform Social grill offers a charming experience that includes delicate mismatched china, the finest fancies, classic finger sandwiches and sophisticated Bellinis.
As soon as we enter the dining room we were transported to another era. The lightning, the china… even the group of ladies sitted next to us were dressed like pin-ups! I loved it immediately. We chose the Mandeville special blend tea, the waiter brought two Bellinis to the table and we felt relaxed and excited at the same time. This was going to be a truly special first English tea for us!
And suddenly that was on our table. A succulent selection of sugary treats and sandwiches. We started with the sandwiches and… well, they disappeared quickly. Our favourite were the Coronation chicken and the Duck egg mayonnaise. But we were also impressed by the Cucumber and cheese sandwich with basil bread and the Smoked salmon and horseradish, served on beetroot bread.
The best was yet to come. The classic scones with Devonshire clotted cream and berry preserves. Oh my God! We seriously thought about ordering an extra plate of scones but we resisted the temptation. They were light, just the right amount of flaky, soft and delicious. Besides, they felt really British and since we are undergoing a in-love-with-everything-British period, they were just what we needed for that last afternoon in London.
Finally we attacked (yep, that´s the right word…) the vintage fancies, wich were prepared following recipes from 40’s and 50’s cookbooks. Surprisingly, our favourite were the Rose Petal Meringues. They were just something our grandmothers would have loved. A decadent, sweet treat. Perfect for the atmosphere of the evening.
We enjoyed the rest of our afternoon in London listening to these two beauties. There was live music! What a surprise! Music from the 40’s and 50’s: elegant and perky. Just like the atmosphere that afternoon.
We sipped our teas, happy to be there but really sad to leave. Some hours later, as we were in the plane flying back home we wondered if that had been real… That’s exactly the feeling you will have after this vintage tea experience. It will feel like something out of Lewis Carrol piece of writing. Surreal, fun and from another era.