There’s a wide range of afternoon teas in London, and it seems like new ones are constantly being added to the mix. Yet one that I hadn’t experienced up to now is the Italian Afternoon Tea at Osteria 60 within The Baglioni Hotel London. As Italians are well known for their sweet treats, this had to be good. Moreover, The Baglioni is one of my favourite London hotels, in a superb location directly opposite Hyde Park. There’s a charming outdoor terrace but it wasn’t quite warm enough to sit outside so we headed in to the cosy bar area.
Decorated in chic tones of gold and black, it has a very welcoming feel. This was reinforced by the staff who were extremely friendly and seated us in a comfortable corner table.
The absence of tablecloths was a refreshing change. Whilst I do enjoy a formal afternoon tea setting, sometimes you just want to relax.
I was here with my good friend Elizabeth, a fan of champagne like me. So kicking off with a glass of Laurent-Perrier Brut NV was a must. It’s normally part of the champagne afternoon tea menu but you can add on a glass for an additional cost.
The delicate bubbles and subtle biscuity flavour were a great start to our afternoon.
We’ve both been to Jersey recently though not together so it was fun to compare our recent experiences. I was also looking forward to my upcoming trip to Venice, staying at the Baglioni Hotel Luna. It’s a sister property of the Baglioni Hotel London and the oldest hotel in Venice.
They had an interesting selection of tea blends by Newby London – I hesitated between the Oriental Sencha and the peach and raspberry, finally choosing the latter on the recommendation of our waiter. It had a lovely flavour and I’d definitely have it again. Elizabeth is an English Breakfast tea fan and found hers to be excellent quality.
The Italian afternoon tea here is presented on a striking Art Deco style tray which both Elizabeth and I admired. It made for an appetizing spread and we wasted no time in tasting the delicacies on offer. Our tea was served on large white dinner plates, an unusual choice. Switching to smaller, decorative Italian plates would showcase the food to better advantage. There were both white and brown bread sandwiches with a mixture of fillings. The smoked salmon with crème fraiche and chives was one of my favourites while Elizabeth was particularly taken with the honey roast ham and cream cheese. We both enjoyed the Italian twist of the tomatoes and Taggiasca olives sandwich, as well as the spicy chicken and rocket pesto.
Having feasted on the sandwiches, we moved on to the freshly baked fruit and plain scones. I would have liked these to have been served warm and wrapped up in a traditional white cloth so that they would remain that way. Hopefully they’ll take this on board as they certainly tasted good. They were as light and fluffy as you’d wish, served with a good homemade strawberry jam and clotted cream. Normally, they’re also served with Nutella spread here too.
The pastries and desserts were the highlight of the Italian afternoon tea for me and a taste of things to come in Venice. There were plenty of chocolate ones – always a plus in my book! Elizabeth loved the lemon and green apple drizzly whilst I fell for the raspberry cheesecake. It had a superb concentration of flavour and just the right level of sweetness without being overpowering. The hazlenut éclairs and Sicilian cannolo chocolate chips brought back fond memories of my stay in Sicily – note to self, I need to return. These Italian delicacies were a wonderful finale to a very enjoyable overall experience. I can’t wait to tell you all about our stay at the Baglioni Hotel Luna Venice!
Are you a fan of afternoon tea? What do you think of this Italian afternoon tea?
The Baglioni Hotel London, 60 Hyde Park Gate, London SW7 5BB