A healthy afternoon tea. Wait, don’t laugh, that wasn’t a punchline.

I mean, we all know that when you go for afternoon tea, the last thing on your mind is “healthy”. In fact, the champion of all afternoon teas would probably start with a sugar infused bubbly and finish with heart-attack inducing clotted cream.

Healthy? Say it ain’t so. But shrouded in all its modern and quirky architectural lines, The Metropolitan Hotel seems to be pushing the boundaries of the traditional afternoon tea.

They’ve introduced the “Afternoon De-Light”, a slimmer, lighter version of its old skool cousin, using healthy alternatives including low fat crème fraîche, fresh fruit purées and flour substitutes.

And breadless sandwiches.

Oh vey, they took away the bread.

Luckily, not one to lose sleep over a lack of bread, I was actually crazy excited to check out The Metropolitan Hotel and in this subzero WTFISTHISWEATHERDOING climate, I even wore a dress and we walked all the way to afternoon tea. But it’s ok, one look at the stunning array of deliciousness draped across the tray above defrosted my appetite and we were off!

cucumber mousse topped with salmon, radish and yoghurt

I started by marvelling at the no-bread sandwiches. Mostly at how pretty they all looked. All bottomed out with some sort of jelly or mousse, they were topped with various savoury goodies normally to be found wedged between two slices of perfectly manicured bread.

My favourite was the tomato jelly with marinated artichoke, balsamic vinegar & cheese. The other two seemed a little sweet to me, but this baby oozed savoury goodness, priming me for the myriad of sweetness which lay ahead.

tomato jelly with marinated artichoke, balsamic vinegar & cheese;
apple jelly topped with chicken, cranberries & celeriac cream

On our tower of deliciousness were also two low fat scones, made with potato flour which is apparently a lighter alternative to yee olde regular flour. The scones were physically ridiculously light, like holding onto two scone shaped bits of air and were crumbly though not dry. Personally I enjoyed the scones, covered in jam and cream (extra cream, because it’s light, right?) but those of you who like the heavy, floury texture of a traditional scone probably won’t like these.

But you’ll like the cupcakes.

Three cupcakes and a cranberry muffin, to be precise.

blueberry cupcake

The cupcakes were ALL kinds of delicious. Blueberry, maple & walnut, pear & cinnamon YUM! Spongey and moist, they didn’t feel like light versions of their yummier selves at all, they were their own yummy self! The frosting was also light, somewhat reminiscent of Bea’s of Bloomsbury’s buttercream frosting and though sweet, the cupcakes were remarkably moreish.

maple & walnut cupcake

The chocolate macarons were not so good 🙁 Chewy and far too rich for my liking, the blob of lemon hidden well within the ganache was its only saving grace.

dark chocolate macaron with chocolate & lemon ganache

And I saved the best for last – or so I had thought. Obsessed with anything mango, I kept the mango mousse with almond flakes til the very end because that’s what you do right? Well, I do. Turns out the mango mousse didn’t quite blow my mind like I had hoped it would but then again in retrospect, what was I even thinking?! We live in London people. There aren’t any fresh fat juicy mangoes within a continent of here, so… yeah.

mango mousse with almond flakes

So we enjoyed our afternoon sipping tea in the secure warmth of The Metropolitan Hotel’s lobby (you can have afternoon tea at the bar or in the lobby, which I thought was lighter, brighter and quieter… until a family with shrieking offspring came in) feeling rather chuffed that all that food? It was “healthy”.

At £25 per person, the whole experience is comparable to any other hotel afternoon tea on offer in London, and though it’s interesting and definitely something different, I didn’t feel like I actually had afternoon tea. I blame the lack of little rectangular sandwiches, because aren’t they the cornerstone of this thing we call “afternoon tea”? Well, them and the tea of course.

But if this post has piqued your curiosity, definitely go check it out. It’ll be a new experience.

The Metropolitan Hotel
19 Old Park Lane
Mayfair, W1K 1LB
0207 447 1000

Met Bar on Urbanspoon

18 Thoughts on ““Afternoon De-Light” – healthy afternoon tea (and breadless sandwiches!) @ The Metropolitan Hotel

  1. Love their take on the sandwiches bet they arnt so filling maybe? So did it let you eat more and more cake :D:D

    Hoping my Hilton Afternoon Tea next week will be as nice, well the cakes anyway!

  2. Aah….I had afternoon tea there a year ago…quite like it but I agree. Didn’t quite feel like afternoon tea without the bread! =)

  3. Really? They called it Afternoon Delight? Really?

    I’m getting Arrested Development flashbacks.

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  5. Matthew: They didn’t seem as filling but I definitely filled up on cupcakes! Was stuffed by the end 🙂

    sarynkay: Yeah, as much as I don’t normally love bread, it doesn’t feel quite right does it?

    meemalee: Haha yes they do! I haven’t watched Arrested Development but sounds vaguely interesting now…

  6. Gotta love summat that light without TASTING light. And everything so pretty! My mum’s taking me for afternoon tea for my birthday but I’ll be a heffalump after probably ;P

  7. wow that’s one beautiful looking high tea! i would definitely give it a go even tho it’s ‘healthy’ hehe

  8. It looks so colourful and gorgeous, although I must admit the last thing I’m thinking about when I go for afternoon tea is whether it’s healthy!

  9. I still haven’t done any kind of high tea, but this looks like a perfect one for me! The cupcakes look so pretty and delicious!!

  10. Wow, what an interesting afternoon, and what a different kind of afternoon tea indeed. Definitely makes up for an experience. How funny, that we both had Afternoon Tea on the same day! I had mine at the Barn Hotel in Ruislip Middlesex. Mine wasn’t a diet one mind, it was just filled with the regular yummy triangle sandwiches, scones and some cinnamon looking cake with cream inside. Yum! Happy week 🙂 P.S-I’ve given my matcha away to a friend. (Which goes to show it’s too good as he has it with his oats in the morning, and it makes the oats taste a lot better seeing as he found the oats horrendous before)

  11. This is a GREAT idea! I love afternoon tea but it is really waistline unfriendly lol

  12. I went to the Met Bar for a Halloween Day of the Dead afternoon tea, quite liked it I have to say. Thought the scones were really good and they had some amazing moist coffin shaped chocolate cake… and I felt so healthy that I ate twice as much 🙂

  13. Sasa: Ooooh fun! I would love to take my mum for afternoon tea. In fact I think you’ve given me the inspiration to do it 🙂

    chocolatesuze: LOL yeah, you’ll give it time of day, even though it’s disgusting and HEALTHY *eww* 😀

    Greedy Diva: no kidding! I’m usually wondering how much sugar I can cram into my body!

    Maria: you SO should come by London and I’ll take you for proper high tea with champagne and all! Or hey, let’s go to the Victoria Room in Sydney!

    Ana: OH so good of you to share your matcha! I NEVER SHARE MINE! Lol.. no actually I do, cos I love spreading the matcha love. As for afternoon tea, well at least you had bread with your sandwiches 🙂

    Lorraine: Indeed! But this one is marginally friendlier… 😉

    Ute: Damn, no chocolate cake for me! All the cupcakes were great though!

  14. Afternoon tea with no clotted cream – HERESY. There, now I’ve got that off my chest I feel a little better. The mousses do look tasty, although taking away the joy of bread, even in a ‘healthy’ tea seems like such a shame… On the other hand at least you don;t have the issue of rapidly drying out triangles of premade dross that so many place serve instead of good bread.

    Y’know, I always like to save the best till last, only sometimes my parents, thinking i didn’t like the roast lamb (or whatever) would swipe it and scoff it down before I had the chance to protest. It still brings tears to my eyes. So maybe it’s not the best idea.

    • I know lots of people who have the best FIRST. Not a bad idea like you said, in case someone swipes it from beneath your nose. OR it doesn’t live up to expectations! 🙂

  15. I was gonna say hey you cheated! And then I saw those fat pneumatic muffins and cupcakes. Those breadless sandwiches are interesting…I love my bread! It’s a shame they took it away but hey, if this afternoon tea takes away a bit of the guilt I don’t mind trying it. Looks yum!

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  17. That looks really good!
    If you are looking for healthy Afternoon Tea options, check The Magazine restaurant in Hyde Park.
    Our Wellness Afternoon Tea consist of a selection of healthy savoury and sweets, as well as lots of options of caffeine free teas, available in the beautiful contemporary architecture building by Zaha Hadid:

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