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.
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