Tuesday 15 October 2013


Afternoon tea at Paramount in Centre Point

Most Londoners will have walked past the iconic Centre Point positioned above Tottenham Court Road station at one point or another, or at the very least glimpsed the 27th tallest skyscraper in the city from a distance, but how many of us have made it all the way to the top?

The 32nd floor of the concrete and glass-paned building houses the Paramount bar and restaurant, which not only provides guests with a spectacular panoramic view of the city but also gives them the opportunity to enjoy a High Tea - quite literally.

We visited the modern establishment on a typical gloomy British autumn day, yet despite the wealth of clouds obstructing our view we were still able to spot some of the city's most famous landmarks - including the London Eye, the Shard and the infamous Walkie Talkie building - while enjoying our tea.

Afternoon tea at Paramount can be enjoyed with leaves (£28pp) or with bubbles (£42pp), and comes with a wide range of gourmet sandwiches, a mini signature quiche of the day, a selection of confections and of course the traditional scones with clotted cream and jam, as no afternoon tea is complete without them.

We opted for the Jasmine Pearls and Chamomile teas and both looked incredibly enticing in their glass pots as the leaves and flower buds floated freely in the boiled water. We were given decanters as well as tea cups so we could pour in the tea from the pot before it became too strong, though in my case I'd left it just a tad too late.

All edible delights were served at the same time and we opted to start with one of the scones, hoping they'd still be warm from the oven. Unfortunately this wasn't the case and a cold scone - even when enjoyed with rich clotted cream and blackcurrant jam - isn't quite the same, so we moved onto the savoury offerings.

Instead of conventional egg, cucumber and ham sandwiches on white and brown bread, we were presented with a range of unique toppings including smoked salmon and fromage blanc, parma ham and piccalilli, and poached chicken with spring onion mayonnaise. They all came on wafer thin pieces of bread, which included varieties such as multi-grain and rye pumpernickel.

These canapes provided an interesting and welcome change from the normal selection of sandwiches offered at an afternoon tea and we really enjoyed trying them all and being surprised by the interesting flavour combinations.

The pastries ended up being the exact opposite from our expectations, with the salted caramel tart we were looking forward to being a bit too sweet and runny for our liking, yet the carrot cake we initially overlooked actually being a little piece of sticky heaven. We would've happily devoured more of the latter were it not for the fact that our eyes were far larger than our stomachs.

The confections that are included in this afternoon tea do change, so while on our visit we were also treated to a flavoursome and gooey chocolate brownie, two different kinds of macarons and individual tiramisus, the exact cakes and pastries on offer on the day remain a surprise for those visiting the highest afternoon tea in London.

Paramount, 101-103 New Oxford St, London WC1A 1DD

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