12 August 2017

A Midsummer Night's Dream Afternoon Tea


I'm weary of defining any activity on my blog as 'masculine' or 'feminine', suitable for men or suitable for women. So I won't. But what I will say is that The Swan at The Globe's Midsummer Night's Dream Afternoon Tea (bit of a mouthful in more ways than one) is unashamedly pink, sweet, sugary and beautiful. 

My Mum and I were booked into 'Alice's Adventures Underground' at The Vaults in Waterloo, so we were looking for an afternoon tea spot which was reasonably priced and nearby.


I stumbled upon this absolute gem... a 10 minute walk from the venue and situated right on the Thames, which meant incredible views of London...


I mean...


And, even better, the afternoon tea was competitively priced at £26.50 per person which - for any non-Londoners out there - is unheard of.

Of course, being attributed to The Globe Theatre, it's right next door...


But let's discuss the restaurant.


You ascend up a flight of stairs to an open, brasserie style floor. It's all very plush, with lots of wood, leather and velvet details, with a side room with beautiful chairs.


We ordered an aperitif cocktail - they don't have a cocktail menu on the site, boo - but it was Prosecco-based with a hint of lemon (hence the cloudiness...) which was delicious.


You have afternoon tea in the restaurant, which is another flight of stairs up - good exercise pre-gorging, I guess, which again offers *those* views


Although if you don't happen to sit facing the window, you're still in for a treat.


Think muted tones with rustic touches, off-set with metallics. It was dining room goals.


So it's worth saying that the design of the menu and crockery is all by illustrator Annika Wester and is quite stunning. We loved her charming take on all the Midsummer Night's Dream characters.

 "Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind. And therefore winged Cupid is painted blind."

Back in the day (year 6), I played Titania in my school production, so I was all over this teacup. It's so cute! Basically, we were won over even before the tea (Organic Darjeeling for me; Citrus Chamomile for my Mum) came out.

And then there was the food...


Ooohhh, you wanted to see actual food. Okay then. Here it is...


And a close up.


All served on the stunning illustrated crockery (which I would quite like for my house).

The bottom layer was a salmon roly-poly type thing (very technical, I know), a truffled mushroom tart - SO GOOD - a duck egg mayo sandwich and a lemon chicken brioche roll. 100% would devour again.


The scones were good: two plain, two with raisins, still warm. BUT, The Swan provided butter and blackcurrant coulis as accompaniments (possibly meant to be blackcurrant jam, but it was very runny)*.

Devastating.

Where was the clotted cream? And the thick strawberry jam? When it comes to afternoon tea I'm all for pushing boundaries, but when it comes to the sacred scones, there's no point trying to reinvent the wheel.


The top layer was delightful. The glass contained an hibiscus and apricot pot; a lemon cake topped with a sugared rose petal; a chocolate and violette choquette; and a strawberry delice.

The latter blew my little mind.


A soft, sugary strawberry outer, filled with strawberry mouse and sponge, topped with an elderflower meringue. Mmmmmm.

Apart from the coulis pot, nothing else blew my mind. My mum thought the choquette was a bit overcooked (mine was fine, she was just unlucky), but we were very much full and satisfied by the end.


The bill came in a Shakespearean play - King John - which was a lovely touch, and my Mum demanded I document it, so I did.

And we left 'away, fairies, away!' style, off to venture down the rabbit hole.


*According to the menu, the scones ARE served with clotted cream. But it did not taste, look nor resemble any clotted cream I have encountered.
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