There’s a certain buzz around the regal 4* St Ermin’s Hotel new Honey Afternoon Tea.
St Ermin’s is the home of London’s only “Bee & Bee” hotel, housing over 350,000 Buckfast honey bees on the third floor terrace. The bees have been working their magic this summer and their honey has now been harvested to be used as a core ingredient in the Honey Afternoon Tea.
The entrance of St Ermin’s is rather opulent, adorned with glittering chandeliers and an ornate faux-baroque lobby. Afternoon tea is served in the lounge on the first floor.
Tea began with a glass of delicious Bianca Vigna Prosecco Frizzante, just to whet the appetite while mulling over which of the 13 teas to choose. These range from traditional English Breakfast to a selection of fruit teas.
We decided to be daring and opted for the spicy Masala Chai and Darjeeling teas, served in charming tea cups adorned with birds and flowers.
Our food arrived soon after on a tiered serving plates, and it was truly a feast for the eyes. For the savoury options, we tucked into such delights as goat’s cheese rolls with apricot chutney, almond flakes & bee pollen and Honey & mustard chicken with coleslaw.
The sweet treats comprised a gorgeous honey cheesecake with lemon & sesame praline, indulgent chocolate espresso cup and a light-as-air orange yoghurt mousse and honey sponge.
The burnt honey jelly with lavender panna cotta looked the business but was a little sweet for my taste. One highlight was the matcha sponge with yuzu & honey crème mousseline and blackberry jelly, complete with a gold-dusted blackberry.
As if five sandwiches and five sweet treats weren’t enough, we were also served a bowl of warm mini scones accompanied by clotted cream and jam. The scones were light and tasty but by this point we were both running out of room.
Incidentally: as well as the Honey Afternoon Tea, you can also purchase a selection of four honey cocktails, all served in special bee glasses. The cocktails are available to order at the hotel’s Caxton Bar and are priced at £12 each.
Verdict: the service was exceptional, the tea was delicious and almost every morsel tasted as good as it looked. Make sure you arrive hungry and allow several hours to enjoy the food. My only niggle was that from our cosy corner, there wasn’t much to look at and people watching opportunities were scarce.
Good to know that for every tea sold, £1 will be donated to the British Beekeeping Association throughout September.
The St. Ermin’s’ Honey Afternoon Tea is served daily between 12pm and 6pm until the 31st of October in the Tea Lounge, Library and Terrace.
The Honey Afternoon Tea costs £29pp or £35pp with unlimited Prosecco. There is also a children’s Buzzy Bees option which is available at £15 per child.
Nearest Tube Station: St James’ Park – District & Circle Lines. St Ermin’s is less than a 2-minute walk from the station.