Review: Balthazar’s High Five Afternoon Tea

Balthazar Option 4

Courtney Magg-Jones tries the opulent afternoon tea offering at Balthazar in Covent Garden

Balthazar is a very grand, Americanesque restaurant. When we arrived, it was noticeably busy and had every table full. That said, the atmosphere could have been called ‘Grand Central Station’ bustling… but in a very nice and charming way.

From the front desk through to our friendly waiter, you’re made to feel welcome and in good hands from the moment you step over the entrance. The staff are very knowledgeable and equally proud of the history of the restaurant and the wares they serve – including the fact that they’ve celebrated each birthday of the Covent Garden branch with a special afternoon tea.

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To celebrate the fifth year of Balthazar Covent Garden, guests can try the ‘High Five’ afternoon tea. Head pastry chef Regis Beauregard has looked back through the plethora of cakes which have been passed through its ovens in the past half-decade, and picked out the five best to display. We couldn’t wait.

Once you decide upon your tea choice, a round of Champagne immediately follows and the feasting can begin. The tower of tea is served on a dramatic and fun dry ice base, which includes some incredible sandwiches. Typical smoked salmon and pickled cucumber sandwiches are nudged to one side by Coronation chicken which is to die for and incredible brioche lobster rolls. We even asked for extras!

Scones are light buttermilk and served with Balthazar homemade jams and clotted cream, and swiftly followed by the five cake champions – which are utterly moreish.

1 The Balthazar icon…

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Think a crispy dark chocolate pipe with a raspberry base and chocolate mousse-like centre.

2 The Queen Of Tarts…
A delicate strawberry tart that melts in the mouth

3 The Macaroon…
Is Balthazar’s take on a Union Jack, with cream and blueberries melting away.

4 The Gooseberry O’Clock…

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Features a choux sponge roulade infused with elderflower.

5 The Golden Bombe

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The centrepiece of all these ‘high fives’ is the melt-in-the-middle chocolate and hazelnut bomb pudding.

Also available at the High Five tea is the High Five Fizz, which is a Veuve Cliquot Rosé champagne, Pinky vodka, Cocchi Rosa Aperituvo Americano, crystalised rose petals and a citrus twist.  What we were really surprised by is the reasonable price of this afternoon tea – just £29.50 per person for the tea, or £39.50 including a glass of fizz or the special cocktail.

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Just when you think you’ve had about enough of the high five cakes, you notice a little box hiding away amongst the debris of the tower. Inside is a a lovely rum and vanilla Canelé Bordelais, which guests can take home and give to someone special – or simply snaffle at a later date.

We weren’t brave enough to try it, but also available is a 30g tin of Imperial Caviar with blinis and crème fraiche. Indulgence indeed.

Make it happen
When: The Balthazar High Five Afternoon Tea is served from 3pm-5.30pm Monday-Friday, 3pm-5pm Saturday and 3pm to 6.30pm on Sundays (though as we creep into December, that’ll all change to 3pm-5pm Monday-Sunday).
Reservations: To book, call the team on 020 3301 1155 or email reservations@balthazarlondon.com

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