Pretty plates await. Sophie Ritchie enjoys an afternoon of layer cakes and pristine interiors when she tries The Lanesborough’s new Peggy Porschen afternoon tea
The Lanesborough has recently launched a brand new afternoon tea experience with world-famous bakery Peggy Porschen, available from now until early June.
Peggy (you’ll most likely know her name from the Instagram frenzy-provoking bakery in Belgravia) and her iconic baking skills have returned to the five-star hotel.
It’s here that she held her very first prestigious pastry chef position in 1999 after graduating from Le Cordon Bleu’s ‘The Grand Diploma of Cuisine & Patisserie’ – before working in a number of other impressive roles, eventually fulfilling her ambition of launching her own bespoke cake company in 2003.
Now a household name, she’s designed the stunning afternoon tea selection in collaboration with the hotel’s Head Pastry Chef Kevin Miller. Together, they’ve created an edible pink paradise for guests to devour.
I visit Michelin-starred Céleste to try the fairytale experience for myself, stepping into the room adorned with a flower crown entrance and gorgeous Peggy Porschen trolly to welcome guests into the restaurant.
Céleste is as eloquent as they come, a huge space filled with regality and splendour. There’s a number of pristine tables dotted about, whilst glittering crown-like chandeliers hang statuesquely in the centre, where the domed glass roof filters fresh daylight into the space.
We settle in with Champagne and before our glasses are drained of golden bubbles, the table is soon filled with food and our tea selections before us.
Presented on a three-tier golden stand, the spread is divided into three layers; scones at the top, cakes beneath and at the bottom, a neatly cut selection of sandwiches.
Savoury first – the sandwiches are served Goldilocks style (not too hefty, but more than just mere slivers of bread). I don’t eat meat, which means it’s a mix of thick hummus, roasted pepper and intriguing aubergine caviar and coriander on the menu.
But of course, this experience is all about the sweet – and Peggy’s beautifully-presented cakes far more disappoint.
Topped with berries, edible flowers and sugar-crafted petals, the different pastel-coloured treats are a feast for the eyes as much as the stomach. This is food that makes you feel like a princess – and even in my Doc Marten boots, I love it.
As a dairy-free diner, this unusually means that my afternoon tea is a mediocre take on the original creations – but my swirl-topped cupcakes look just as good as my dining companion’s, with no compromise on flavour either.
The butter-free scones sadly, are less divine, sticking to the napkin like crumb-filled glue. My guest, however, devours both of her traditional scones with ease.
As part of the dreamy fun, guests (for those with room) can also choose a slice of one Peggy Porschen’s signature layer cakes of the day. Whether you take it home or shovel it down in Céleste, the generous slab merely adds to the indulgence of the experience.
The Wordrobe Verdict
Pretty plates await. The Lanesborough’s new afternoon tea is a fairytale selection of pastel pastries and delicate creations. But far more than a sugary gimmick, this is still quality dining – the ingredients are fresh, the cakes have finesse and there’s detail in everything down to the pristine table setting.
Wallet: £53 per person, or £72 per person including a glass of Champagne. Early reservation is strongly recommended.
How: Visit oetkercollection.com to find out more and make a booking.
Where: Hyde Park Corner, London SW1X 7TA