Emma Blunt spills the tea on Devonshire Club’s new afternoon tea offering with a spice-inspired edge
Moments from Liverpool Street Station, Devonshire Club is a sleek members club and boutique hotel, bringing a West End edge to the East End of the City.
Filled with ’50s-inspired glamour alongside mid-century style furnishings, the luxurious bar lounge and elegant open spaces blend with the myriad of modern artwork and colourful Art Deco inspirations.
Formally an 18th-Century East India Company warehouse and Georgian townhouse, it seems only right for the Devonshire Club to team up with the very same company responsible for first bringing tea to England.
Thus, they’ve created a tempting new afternoon tea menu to pay homage to this historic past.
On a summer’s day, there’s no better place to indulge than the greenhouse-esque Garden Room lounge – which is flooded with natural light and therefore perfect for both dining and photo opps.
When it gets a little too hot, there’s also an outdoor secret garden oasis, offering peaceful tranquillity in amongst the hustle and bustle of the City.
The Food & Drink
Following the traditional elements of the British pastime, this afternoon tea serves subtle modern twists with decadent delights inspired by the archaic tea and spice trade.
To start, there’s a selection of modern style ‘finger sandwiches’. Honey and clove roast ham sits atop a classic toasted English muffin, whilst ribbons of fresh cucumber and peaks of piped caraway yoghurt are intricately laid on top of a bite-size rye bread.
Both fresh and utterly delicious, the real star of the savoury show was the Atlantic prawn and spiced Marie rose sauce packed inside a sweet brioche style bun. It’s the perfect balance between sweet and spice.
Plain and fruit scones are served fresh out of the oven. Still warm, make haste and waste no time in layering up lashings of the delicious rose petal infused preserve and classic clotted cream (jam before cream, just as the Queen herself would advise).
However, if you’re looking for Instagram-worthy photos then hold off until you see the sweet offerings and make sure you find some room to try it all.
Indulge in an Oolong tea infused crème brûlée – carefully created to infuse a light fragrant oolong tea flavour into the rich and silky dessert and served with a ginger spiced biscuit for an added crunch of welcome spice.
Another subtly spicy offering comes in the form of a teapot shaped biscuit which has been skilfully embellished with the E.I.C logo.
The dark and white chocolate, pink peppercorn and nutmeg delice offers a blend of different flavours that come together perfectly.
Not scrimping on size or flavour, the “first romance” soft Victoria sponge cake is filled with East India Company’s speciality first romance tea infused into the buttercream and topped with a bright pink delicate spun-sugar sphere to add a sweet crunch.
These bites are accompanied by an exclusive selection of loose leaf teas, all of which have been carefully chosen to complement the food on offer.
Supplied by the East India Company, you’ll find everything from the traditional Breakfast tea blend, to the more exotic and striking colour and aroma of the tropical punch white tea.
I loved the speciality rare tea ‘First Romance with additional rose petal’ – a wonderfully smooth black tea with a touch of fruity and creamy sweet exotic flavours that will delight your senses (no milk needed).
If you’re after something slightly stronger, Devonshire Club’s friendly staff will be more than happy to serve you up a refreshing glass of bubbles too.
The Wordrobe Verdict
The exclusivity of Devonshire Club’s new afternoon tea will leave you feeling suitable satiated and unashamedly glamorous, without the ‘guil-tea’ price tag.
The attention to detail and subtle flavour twists on this classic British pastime is anything but boring.
But be warned – the portions are plentiful, so make sure you’re ready to settle in for a few hours of pure indulgence before parking your plate.
Where: 5 Devonshire Square, London, EC2M 4YD
Wallet: Priced at £45 pp including tea; £65 pp including tea and half a bottle of bubbly
How: Please visit devonshireclub.com; email: firstname.lastname@example.org; call: 020 3750 4545 to make a booking.
Reviewed by Emma Blunt