The Parlour is exquisite – the perfect setting for an extravagant yet delicate afternoon tea.
The Great Scotland Yard Hotel itself is scattered with reminders that you are at what was once the great whodunnit focus of many an intriguing novel and the centre of the Metropolitan Police from 1829 until 2016. The building has now been adopted as part of the Unbound Collection by Hyatt, which are all one-of-a-kind hotels with stories at the heart of them.
Fortunately, no detective work is required to enjoy a magnificent afternoon tea at the Parlour – an experience steeped in history, with subtle flavours and delightful pastry work. For this particular tea, the hotel has teamed up with Floris, the oldest English retailer of fragrances and perfumery to the Queen. Floris – established in 1730 – has been making London smell fragrant for longer than the Metropolitan police have existed.
The Parlour is an eccentric yet elegant space in the hotel, with chess-board flooring, wallpaper depicting exotic sepia-toned scenes and a unique, recessed grandfather clock. A fitting space for this seasonal tea, which reflects specifically chosen scents and brings to life the multi-sensory experience. The chosen fragrance for this season's afternoon tea menu is inspired by Bouquet de la Reine, the perfume created for Queen Victoria's wedding.
It all starts with some fizz, Ruinart champagne, to be specific, a delicious way to start any venture that taps into all the senses and much better than starting with tea which would have been a scandal worthy of investigation. The choice of teas ranges from green to herbal to the more traditional Earl Grey and English breakfast options. I'd thoroughly recommend the green tea, a light fragrant brew.
The highlight, for me personally, was the exquisite cakes that pastry chef Verónica Garrido Martínez has created. Verónica is a creative with a sweet-tooth clearly, further evidenced by the flavours that have been incorporated into the delightful treats that keep arriving at the table. These morsels include rose-and-pistachio drizzle cake and delicate violet-leaf madeleines alongside the more traditional fare of scones paired with strawberry-and-elderflower jam and lashings of cream. In this place of law, Verónica's only crime is the fact that she's added to my ever expanding waistline and for that she must be banished back to the kitchen to whip up more cakes.
Afternoon Tea at the Parlour from £50
Words by Sarah Moran