Monday 22 July 2013


Hendrick's Gin Afternoon Tea at St Ermin's Hotel

St Ermin's Hotel in London's Westminster area serves afternoon tea in the library or on the Caxton Terrace between 1pm and 5pm daily, and we had the pleasure to visit the beautiful location to review their Hendrick’s High Tea.

The restaurant offers guests a choice of Jing teas to accompany the food as well as two Hendrick's gin cocktail teapots (one tea pot provides two cocktails for two people). We opted for the "Marvellous Marteani", which is made of Hendrick’s gin, elderflower, white cranberry juice and comes with a separate beaker of cucumber caviar pearls, which can be added to the drink as desired. Surprisingly light and fresh in flavour this cocktail is a great addition to the tea on a warm summer's day and the green pearls offset the bright pink drink beautifully, adding a dash of fun to the teacup it is served in.

To start off the afternoon of delights we were offered the choice of three types of scones - plain, cranberry and cheese - and we both opted for one each of the unique flavours next to a plain one. The cranberry scone was slightly tart and provided an excellent alternative to the often too sweet raisins found in a regular fruit scone. And the savoury scone worked very well with the full flavour of the homemade strawberry jam, which was filled with whole strawberries.

The savoury treats were largely fish based, with a lobster quiche and dressed crab with avocado on offer. The highlight of the maritime delights though was a twist on the smoked salmon finger sandwich, which had a very generous amount of good-quality salmon on a beautifully crunchy base. The other savoury options included a cucumber, mint and crème fraiche, a crunchy tomato tart encased in delicious pastry, and a duck liver mousse that proved to be one of the high points of the meal.

Moving on to the sweets selection, one favourite was the lemon tart as it was suitably sour to clean the pallet after the rich-flavoured savoury bites. The cucumber and mint syllabub, which was both heavy and refreshing at the same time, was a surprising experience and the crunchy cucumber on the top added for an interesting sensation. The menu was finished off by two bright purple desserts, a juniper and violet macaroon and a soft and creamy profiterole with an equally eye-catching purple filling.

Once you have satisfied your taste buds be sure to take a leisurely stroll on your way out so you get a chance to admire the beautiful foyer of the hotel. While set in the heart of London and just minutes away from St James's Park station, the interior makes it seem like you've wandered straight into a grand mansion far away from the bustling city.

St. Ermin's Hotel, Caxton St, London SW1H 0QW

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