There are times when words don’t do justice to what the eyes see and the tongue tastes, and that could not be more true of the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory afternoon tea at One Aldwych. It is beautifully creative with unique twists you just don’t expect.
The hotel has partnered with the West End musical and, in their words, created this “scrumdiddlyumptious afternoon tea” where each item reflects the “wit and wonder of Roald Dahl’s classic tale”. And what a job they did.
I have a major sweet tooth and love everything and anything with sugar and butter as ingredients, but my favourite part of the afternoon tea was actually the savoury treats. That’s how good they were. Along with the sandwiches came nibbles similar to finger food you’d get at a party but a hundred times nicer and much more flavoursome.
One sign of a quality property and five star service is the option to have extra sandwiches without being charged for them and the staff at One Aldwych make sure you don’t go hungry by happily offering more. It was an option we took with open arms because everything was just so, so delicious.
The afternoon tea is £34.50 per person or £45 if you include a glass of champagne or a smoking Cocktail Charlie. A Cocktail Charlie consists of Dalmore whisky mixed with Grand Marnier Cherry, chocolate bitters, grapefruit juice and cherry syrup topped with champagne, and arrives at the table looking like this –
This afternoon tea isn’t for the faint of heart and is a serious sugar overload with enough food to last a lifetime. In fact it should feature on Man v Food because you’d need to be a competitive eater or a serious lover of food with a massive appetite to finish it. But I like it that way. Who wants an afternoon tea which leaves you wanting more? Not me.
Every time something new was placed on the table it really made me realise that afternoon tea can come in a huge manner of varieties and doesn’t necessarily need to be the usual classic set up with cucumber sandwiches and English breakfast tea to sell. And what’s really superb about this afternoon tea and very different to others you sometimes get is that you really marvel at everything put down in front of you. From the golden egg with vanilla cheesecake and mango purée to the homemade candyfloss and Cocktail Charlie, it’s all achingly original and presented in a creative and mature way despite being based on a children’s book.
Well done to the chefs and minds behind this beauty. I could stare at it all day and I can’t wait to see what they come up with next.