|Afternoon tea at Barbecoa Piccadilly|
It’s no secret that I love English afternoon tea. I’ve had it quite a few times over the years. It had been quite a long time since my last one, and after all my trips in the last months, I finally made it to Barbecoa Piccadilly to sample their fare. That’s the thing about proper English afternoon tea: It is not something to be had every week. It’s a very indulgent meal that is worth every calorie.
Traditional English afternoon tea consists of a platter of finger sandwiches, scones served with strawberry jam and clotted cream, a selection of tea cakes and pastries, and, of course, a fabulous selection of tea.
Afternoon tea originated in England, and it was a ritual for the upper classes back in the day. The tea was light, and it was served between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. To this date, many people around Britain cherish this old tradition with a twist. The difference is that nowadays, people have afternoon tea in hotels and restaurants and at home whereas it used to be served only in palaces and castles.
My ideal time is mid-late afternoon, which is the perfect time for an afternoon tea. After a busy Saturday in London, we stopped at Barbacoa in Piccadilly. This venue is conveniently located in the heart of London and is a beautiful space in which to relax and enjoy this very British tradition.
An afternoon tea ceremony should embrace style, and Barbecoa’s afternoon tea has a nice feel to it. The very classy decor, gorgeous teapots, cups, saucers, cake forks and knives, sandwiches platter, elegant cakes, and tiered pastry stands make it an exquisite treat. Barbecoa offers both classic afternoon tea and Barbecoa afternoon tea. What is the difference? For Barbecoa afternoon tea, instead of the traditional sandwich platter, the staff members provide a sample of some of their savoury dishes. We ordered one of each for research purposes, obviously! They were nicely presented and very tasty.
|Barbecoa Afternoon tea platter|
The Barbecoa delightful savoury platter was filled with a Wagyu beef slider (miniature burger), a light and snappily crusted crab tart, Goat’s Curd & Honeyed Almonds, and delicious croquette (love them!) served with kimchi mayo.
|Afternoon Tea sandwich platter|
The traditional sandwich platter, we had egg and cress with smoked salmon, cream cheese, fresh cucumber, the very delicious coronation chicken, pastrami, and American mustard, which is always a winner in my books. The sandwiches were nice but not exceptional. The scones were served with the sandwiches, cakes, and pastries, so by the time we ate them, they were cold, which was a shame. Nevertheless, they were light and well-risen and had a golden-brown top. The jam had a soft consistency, bright colour, real fruit flavour and a light, spreadable texture. The clotted cream was thick, rich and fresh.
The cakes and pastries were delectable! We had carrot cakes with walnut, canneles bordelais, Rhubbard custard tart, chocolate brownies, lemon meringue pie with a twist (brown butter and yuzu), vanilla creme fraiche, pana cotta with orange jelly, chocolate and salted caramel macaroon, and choux pastry filled pastry cream and apple. Quite a large spread!
The service was polite. Our waiter was Grace, who was very kind and helpful. Our teapots were replenished when we asked.
The location is excellent, and the menu is reasonably priced. We had the sparkling afternoon tea (J. Laurens Cremant du Limoux ‘Les Graimenous’) at £38 per person (September 2017). I didn’t need to eat dinner that evening!
London W1J 9EX
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Disclosure: I was invited to review Barbecoa Piccadilly and was a guest at the restaurant. The views I present here are my own.