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The best floral afternoon teas for Chelsea Flower Show 2016.

by Laura on May 16, 2016


London’s hotels love a good excuse to create a special afternoon tea menu. Some events, like the Queen’s 90th birthday, are one-offs. Others, such as the Chelsea Flower Show, come around every year.

Traditional afternoon teas are sometimes seen as a bit flowery and feminine, featuring dainty cakes and tiny sandwiches. There’s been a move towards offering “gentleman’s afternoon tea” menus, which tend to be heavier on the hearty, savory offerings than the sweets. Although, if you ask this lady blogger, I would rather have the supposedly manly tea, thank you.

Still, if you’re a lover of traditional afternoon teas, whether you’re male or female, you shouldn’t feel ashamed of loving the more flowery things in life.

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And what better excuse to get flowery than the RHS Chelsea Flower Show? This year’s Flower Show inspired afternoon teas might be floral, but they’re not afraid to be inventive…

All in the Game at St James’s Hotel and Club

St James’s Hotel and Club has recently launched a new afternoon tea menu inspired by board games. ‘It’s All in the Game’ is taking on a floral twist for the Chelsea Flower Show, in partnership with florists Hayford and Rhodes.

Check rates at St James’s Hotel and Club

st james flowers

The hotel will have a giant chess-piece installation and other game-themed features throughout the hotel and restaurant. They will feature seasonal flowers in a rainbow of colours. The outside installation will have three-dimensional king and queen chess pieces framing the entrance.

Of course, you’ll want to know about the afternoon tea too. You can enjoy a floral Violent Pearl Bloom cocktail with your tea, or buy it on its own as an aperitif. It mixes vodka, jasmine pearl tea, violet infused liquor, and lillet blanc.

The menu features bespoke botanical sweet treats, teas and cocktails. And, of course, there’s the board game part of the experience – you can play classics ranging from Snakes and Ladders to Monopoly while you eat.

Champagne Tea at the Flower Show with The Dorchester

The Dorchester is taking afternoon tea to the Flower Show this year. As well as serving a themed afternoon tea at the hotel, they will also have a pop-up at the show, in partnership with Laurent Perrier.

Check rates at The Dorchester

dorchester flower tea

If you have tickets to the show, you won’t need to leave to have afternoon tea. Take a break from admiring the gardens to go to the special dining room set up for The Dorchester. Head to Ranelagh Gardens to find it, where you can enjoy a floral menu created by Head Pastry Chef David Girrard and florist Phillip Hammond. You can also try the afternoon tea at the hotel.

Floral Tea at The Ampersand Hotel

The Chelsea Flower Show inspired tea at The Ampersand is a colourful affair. Admire the pinks, purples and greens of the pastries, with flower and butterfly decorations for an added spring touch.

Check rates at The Ampersand Hotel

ampersand chelsea tea

The menu, created by Pastry Chef Mi Kyung Jeong, features a green tea and jasmine blossom mousse in a gingerbread garden, violet macaroons, and raspberry and rose layered cake. Enjoy the menu in The Drawing Rooms, with or without a glass of champagne.

Every year brings new floral delights to London’s afternoon tea menus when May rolls around. Whether or not you’re going to the Chelsea Flower Show, it would be wrong to miss out on a special spring treat.

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Photo credits: Karen Roe, Karen Roe, St James’s Hotel and Club, The Dorchester, The Ampersand Hotel.

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