Baglioni Afternoon Tea
To finish off Easter Weekend, Molly and I went for tea at the Baglioni, a nice hotel right at the bottom of Kensington gardens.
They have the option of a traditional afternoon tea, or one with an Italian twist, and we both went Italian. We also chose the Earl Grey Darjeeling, which was lovely to not have to choose between the two, and it was paired with our glasses of Bellavista.
The sandwiches were absolutely delicious. We both went for the warm focaccia bread first, which was filled with grilled vegetables, like peppers and mushrooms. There was a small panini with parmesan, rocket and bresaola (a crispy italian meat), then 3 finger sandwiches: tomato bread with ricotta cheese and sun dried tomatoes, spinach bread with egg salad and tuna, then a brown bread with salmon and sour cream. They were definitely interesting. I do very much prefer cream cheese to sour cream, but the tuna and egg combination was not as weird as I was expecting it to be, and was actually kind of nice, giving the traditional sandwich a kick.
We asked for our scones next, but they make them when you order them, so they didn’t come until we finished dessert. I also forgot to take a picture, which clearly makes me a terrible blogger, since they were not your traditional scones. They were much denser, kind of a very heavy bread, and sort of dry, but I think that’s because of the kind of bread it was. I was very excited that it came with nutella, clotted cream and 2 jams, with a berry in each. I especially enjoyed the clotted cream melting on top of the nutella, but I have to admit that I did not finish the scones, which was probably a first for me.
The desserts were clearly Italian, and excellent. I am not a fan of tiramisu, but theirs was pieces of cake between two layers of a creamy substance, which was nothing like the soggy cake I don’t normally go for. The lemon tart had the marshmallow topping thing that I adore and the beignet was filled with hazelnut cream. The sfogliatella napoletana was heavenly, the vanilla bean tartlet had a weird texture but tasted really good, and I even enjoyed the soggy white cake, which seemed to be dripping with syrup rather than alcohol or coffee. The cannoli filled with ricotta and chocolate chips was not my favorite, but I think that’s because it might have been dark chocolate.
The atmosphere was lovely and the staff was very nice, getting us a refill on desserts so we could each try everything, even when they weren’t supposed to, but I will have to give this place a 7. The sandwiches and desserts deserve a higher score, but we were disappointed in the scones, which is really a pivotal part of the meal.