London EDITION launches Scandal Water afternoon tea in the Punch RoomCultureFood & Drinks
Reinventing a classic can be a risky business, but appears fortune favours the bold, as London EDITION does a good job of setting itself apart from the crowd with its new afternoon tea offering, Scandal Water.
Attention to detail was evident everywhere, from the multiple kettles, set to heat water to different temperatures, to the specially designed crockery showing off the hotel’s façade. The menu comprises five options, of which the diner selects three, each containing a tea, an alcoholic punch made with the tea and a small bite.
We began with an excellent chamomile tea served with a Lincolnshire Poacher Cheese Shortbread and Cream Cheese Topping. Although the biscuit had a good strong flavour, it lacked some of the crispness expected. Miso Glazed Salmon with Caviar was a refined and elegant canape on its own; once coupled with Japanese Sencha tea, the dish was further elevated.
A meltingly soft Jasmine-infused Chocolate Tart was the food high point, managing to be rich whilst avoiding becoming cloying. The Jasmine tea and sweet cocktail served alongside it brilliantly cut through the richness of the tart with fruity floral notes.
With three separate elements to each dish, balance was occasionally an issue. A case in point was the Davide Special Brew Tea, where the three components were excellent individually but the light tea failed to stand up against the richly-spiced currants and candied peel packed into the Eccles cake. Similarly, the Enotria Punch, although it was the drink of the day, seemed to be mismatched.
To finish, a beautiful earl grey, light and with none of the bitterness of its teabag-based cousin, played well against a complex martini-based cocktail. However, the shortbread and buttercream that accompanied it, whilst light and crisp, was pleasant rather than exciting.
Developed in close conjunction with the Rare Tea Company, it is unsurprising that the strength of Scandal Water lies in the beverages, meaning that the quality of the drinks overshadows the food which, whilst good, sometimes lacks the wow factor.
Poorly executed novelty afternoon teas are common, so this offering from London EDITION is certainly brave but, by reaching to the past for inspiration rather than simply trying to follow current trends, they have created something that stands out for the right reasons and, for the most part, in great style.
Photos: Minghui Reece
★★★★★Food ▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮Drinks ▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮Service ▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮
To book a table at Scandal Water, London EDITION, 10 Berners Street London W1T 3NP, call 020 7781 0000 or visit here.