Afternoon Tea with a twist at The Gentlemen Baristas review
Who doesn’t like partaking in the quintessential British tradition of Afternoon tea especially on a mild Autumnal afternoon? I couldn’t miss the opportunity to grab a friend and head to The Gentlemen Baristas new pop up in the heart of Covent Garden for afternoon tea with a twist.
A Stones throw away from the atmospheric piazza, there’s an abundance of outside seating to people watch and ample light, with very spacious indoor seating. Guests can also take away and enjoy afternoon tea in the piazza square, incentivised to return the hamper for a free drink.
We opted for the calming indoor ambiance. Perched on some very comfortable cushioned bar stools, we ordered an oat latte & cappuccino brewed with sustainably sourced single origin coffee, both of which arrived creatively finished with Latte art courtesy of talented Barista Ernie. Afternoon tea items are handmade onsite using primarily locally sourced produce and freshly prepared on order…but worth the wait!
We received a hamper full of beautifully presented savoury and sweet Petites fours comprising of: Wild mushroom beignet, Mini croissants with smoked salmon and creme fraiche, Carrot and goats cheese tarts, Smoked potato and yoghurt tarts and Cucumber sandwiches. Sweets included Lemon posset with pistachio sponge, Marmalade éclair with caramel and roasted hazelnuts, Matcha and chocolate macarons, and Vanilla panna cotta.
From our first bite, it was clear that a lot of thought had been put into creating a taste experience from flavour though to texture. They even put a refreshing twist on the classic cucumber sandwich; buttery brioche, thinly sliced cucumber paired nicely with sweet crunchy apple slaw, it’s creaminess created using liquid tofu and turmeric to give a hint of contrasting colour.
Neither of us new what to expect with ‘Smoked potato and yoghurt tart’ – An inventive combination of Greek yoghurt, Dijon mustard a dash of horseradish sprinkled with parsley and topped with fried grated potatoes. It was pungent, peppery but overall pleasant, with a distinct flavour profile. However we both felt that some flaked salmon would have complimented and helped to balance out the intensity.
Whilst we enjoyed all the tantalizing savoury treats, the Wild mushroom beignet was a true delight; aromatic truffle and rich earthy flavours balanced with slight garlicky and saltines encased in a crisp light shell. It was indulgent, rich in flavor leaving lingering flavours on the palate. My friend loves mushrooms and could not stop raving about the beignet. My favourite was the Carrot and goat cheese tart it had an abundance of flavour and layers of texture; mild onion notes complimented the slight tang and creaminess of goat cheese, balanced with the sweetness of carrots, light sweet buttery pastry case and topped with nutty almond flakes.
Every single one of the beautifully presented desserts from the light melt in the mouth chocolate macarons to the creamy vanilla pannecota paired with a lightly sweetened buttery sable biscuit were enjoyable. However we were gushing over the imaginative Marmalade éclair, a winning combination of chocolate and orange. Melt in the mouth choux pastry filled with bright aromatic Seville orange marmalade paired harmoniously with bittersweet dark chocolate ganache. With contrasting nuttiness and crunch from roasted hazelnuts it was truly divine, rich and decadent. A close second was the delicious nutty tang of Lemon posset with pistachio sponge. A creamy zesty mound, contrasting with delicate speckled nutty sponge finished with a toasted pistachio brittle topping.
Our taste buds were taken on a continental journey of bold inventive yet complimentary flavours in perfectly sized bites. My friend and I thoroughly enjoyed our relaxing afternoon tea experience enhanced by the friendly and attentive service from Hermes, Anais, Martel and Frederica. A menu developed in collaboration with award-winning chef, Mark Greenaway, this is an Afternoon Tea not to be missed.
Served every day 3pm-5pm £25pp Add a tipple (Seasonal alcoholic punch or Prosecco) £6pp Reservation is essential and you can book here.
When: Residency until Feb 2021
Address: 8-9 James Street, London WC2E 8BH Website: www.thegentlemenbaristas.com
Written by: Eboni Addoh