Tuesday, 24 June 2008

Afternoon teas with a difference




















Afternoon Tea is taking on a new twist with this latest range of new fabulous afternoon tea experiences available to try ...

The first cup out of the pot is the SEX AND THE CITY TEA so put on your best vintage dress and high heels and get down to The Berkeley Hotel, where the Sex and The City afternoon tea promises to make Carrie Bradshaws of us all. The hotel is serving up iced cupcakes (à la Magnolia Bakery) and Manolo Blahnikinspired high-heeled shoe cookies that look almost too good to eat. Wash them down with a Cosmopolitan cocktail while a therapist freshens up your manicure. Tea costs £45 per person, with each guest taking home a limited-edition Jimmy Choo mirror.The Berkeley, Wilton Place, SW1 (020 7235 6000)

Men if you are feeling left out Now you blokes can enjoy a cuppa as well because tea is no longer the preserve of the ladies. The Mandeville Hotel near Oxford Street has redesigned the concept of tea with the metrosexual firmly in mind with THE MAN TEA. Roast sirloin focaccia with red onion and thyme jam or chicken satay replaces the usual delicate finger sandwiches, while double chocolate brownies and fruit cake with bourbon are a hearty alternative to the fairy cake. And if it's not too early in the day for you, you can even choose from a selection of whiskies instead of tea. £22.50 or £30 with whisky. The Mandeville Hotel, Mandeville Place, W1 (020 7935 5599)

If you like a little music with your Earl Grey you might remember that tea dances were all the rage in the Twenties. Waldorf Hilton Hotel does and it is celebrating its centenary this year with the return of the monthly TANGO TEA. Enjoy a glass of fizz, a selection of sandwiches and scones while listening to the hotel band. Watch professional dancers or take to the floor yourself. But if your moves are more tango-tragic than tango-tastic then you can take a lesson before the event begins.Monthly events on Sunday from 2pm, £55pp. Waldorf Hilton, Aldwych, WC2 (020 7836 2400)

Indian chai is all the rage thanks to Chaiwalla, London's first Indian tea house. Chai or masala tea is brewed to an ancient recipe of tea leaves, cardamom, cinnamon and ginger and is served in traditional little clay cups. Low-level seating, chill-out music and Bollywood movies make it a perfect place to while away a lazy afternoon with a CHAI TEA at Chaiwalla, 4a-5a Perrins Court, NW3 (020 7435 2151)

The dedicated pastry team at Rocco Forte's Brown's Hotel prides itself on accommodating all your flights of fancy for special occasions and a wide range of special dietary requirements to boot at this bespoke tea. With the TAILOR-MADE TEA order traditional afternoon tea (£35) or even the rosé champagne version (£48), and your cucumber sarnies can be ordered wheat-free or gluten-free — as can a delicious assortment or macaroons, meringue nest and Victoria sponge cakes. Just give the team 24 hours' notice and they'll even whip up a cake of your own devising. Brown's Hotel, 1 Albemarle Street, W1 (020 7493 6020)

Afternoon tea is a decadent past-time in its own right, but throw in some burlesque cabaret and it takes on a whole new dimension. Afternoon Tease a glamorous BURLESQUE TEA happens on the first and third Saturday of the month at a range of venues including Volupté, one of London's premier burlesque lounges. The afternoon combines cabaret acts, such as Trixee Sparkle, with all the goodies you would expect to find on your cake stand (£35).Volupté, 9 Norwich St, EC4 (020 7831 1677, timefortease.co.uk)

The Dormouse Team would like to try all of them but dont get to London as much as we like... what's happening in your area? We would love to hear...