So I did it in style at "Lost Society" in South London, a little gem of a place that I annoyingly never knew about when I lived down that way.
For everyone who thinks that you can only find decent places to eat, drink and be merry North of the river then think again: South London has some brilliant places which aren't as full of hipsters and aren't as expensive so it's well worth taking a trip to the deep, dark South...
The decor at Lost Society is really luxurious and vintage with a theme that relies heavily on Prohibition. Cocktails are served in teapots and there are lists of pre- and post-prohibition drinks on the menu, and the music I'm happy to say was also of the right era.
The food itself was amazing! One of the best teas I've ever had. To begin with we were given a complimentary Bellini which was beautiful and felt considerably naughty at 3pm on a Sunday...
Then the sandwiches came and they were to die for. As the meat-eater to my vegetarian companion, it was left to me to devour the little open sandwiches with Coronation chicken, salmon and cream cheese and gorgeous beef and horseradish that was just the right shade of pink in the middle. My friend had the cheese and the egg ones which I'm told were delicious. We both washed them down with the Bellinis while our English Breakfast tea was brewing beside us. (I always go for English Breakfast as that is a staple I can compare across the board. But this tea menu was really interesting and provided by Tea Pigs - it even included a 'popcorn' tea which I'd love to try next time.)
After a short break, the cakes came separately which is a good idea during afternoon tea - Sometimes they all come together and you can't concentrate on the sandwiches while eyeing up the patisserie... The cakes were so delicious: banana bread which was topped with cream and caramelised bananas, the softest scone I've ever had with tasty jam and cream, the most gooey chocolate brownie that had pistachios in to give it that little bit of uniqueness, and a really interesting cupcake. It had custard in the middle and the topping was meringue, not frosting. It was uncooked meringue which had been lightly blowtorched so it was moist and sweet but not cloying and sickly...definitely one I'm going to recreate at home! (I'm gonna get myself a blowtorch and give Heston a run for his money)
Our original plan was to head up to Clapham Common to do a bit of vintage shopping but in the end the cocktail menu got the better of us and my friend had another Bellini while I opted for a Black Cherry Manhattan which definitely had a bite to it! All the cocktails are on happy hour prices on a Sunday so it's stupid to say no to them at £4.50 a pop.
I highly recommend this tea - it was a fantastic price and it was gorgeous, and Clapham is a great place to while away the afternoon if you don't want to drink yours away like we did... Our lovely waitress told us they are having a thoroughly English tea for St george's Day so I'll keep my eye out for that and will definitely be returning.
"Sip"-Tease Rating: *****
Pa"Tease"erie Rating: ****
Boudoir or Boring? rating: *****
Service with a Smile Rating: *****
Cheap or Chic? Rating: *****
http://www.teapigs.co.uk/ (ethical, organic tea providers)
http://www.blindtigerlondon.co.uk (for details)