Afternoon tea. Heaven for a cake lover like myself and an experience that allows us to pretend that we’re posh for a few hours. At least, until we’re so full that we have to unbutton our jeans and slouch unattractively in our chairs. Or is that just me?
A few months ago, a new cake shop called L’Eclair Patisserie opened a mere five minute walk from where I live and on my grandma’s birthday we treated her to afternoon tea there. The moment we walked in, my eyes were drawn to the display case filled with the most gorgeous creations so my mouth was instantly watering in anticipation. As absolutely everything is made fresh in the shop, you have to book in advance for afternoon tea but this meant that my grandma had an extra surprise waiting for her at our table.
We were offered a drink and while I opted for water (boring, I know), the tea was served quickly in some lovely pots and the sandwiches were brought straight out to us. Creatively different to the finger sandwiches with stale edges you’re often served at afternoon tea, we had two hunks of homemade bread – one topped with crumbly cheese, the other refreshing cucumber – and a brioche roll filled with egg mayo.
While I do prefer being able to add my own jam and cream – it can get tricky to eat with it being so thickly applied – the scones were absolutely delicious and I wolfed down my portion before turning my attention to the rest of the cakes. We had a selection of macarons in various flavours, a choux pastry in the shape of a swan (so impressive) filled with cream, an indulgent chunk of chocolate brownie and some mini pavlovas. I can’t fault a single thing, although we ended up being so full that we couldn’t finish it off, despite a valiant effort. We ended up taking the leftovers home with us for a post-dinner treat – although how we managed to fit in more, I don’t know!