3 March 2014

Cocktails & Claridges


Cocktails and cakes; two things a girl should never be without.

Lucky for this girl, I had an exciting evening afoot involving both. First off, afternoon tea at the luxurious Claridges; the ultimate in genteel refinement. 


The popularity of Claridge's award-winning fayre means that you need to make your reservation two or three months in advance and even then it's not easy to get the time you want. So if you like what you're about to see, get booking for summer!

Afternoon tea is held in the hotel's magnificent foyer and not long after Laura, Lou and I had been seated we were presented with two big plates of finger sandwiches. Live piano music played in the background as we chinked our glasses of Laurent Perrier and tucked in.


It was a classic line-up: smoked salmon, cucumber, ham, egg mayonnaise and chicken. They were nice but nothing to go mad about. It's not a surprise that Claridge's choose to stick with tradition when it comes to their fillings but I was a little disappointed not to have a Coronation chicken option in there! I did love the little cream-cheese filled pastry ball though.


Our savoury tastebuds satisfied, we moved on to something sweeter. I sipped on my lapsang souchong as I admired the beautifully presented cakes that were being placed before me by our attentive waiter.

My favourite bit? The wonderful scones served with Cornish clotted cream and Marco Polo jam. 


Overall, a very classic and opulent experience. Not the most exciting or delicious afternoon tea I've had in London but you can't help but be wowed by the grandness of it all. Cakes at Claridges has been something all three of us have wanted to do for quite some time and I'm really glad we did it together.


Soon it was time for us ladies to hoover up the last crumbs and hop in a taxi; our cocktail tasting skills were required.


The Grand Union bars are rebranding and have just launched a new food and cocktail menu. They wanted it to have a more specialist feel to reflect London's growing love of independent underground bars (think Bart's and Discount Suit Company).


We paid a visit to the Chancery Lane site. The menu, which is designed to recreate a novel, is titled 'The Trilogy: Cocktails, Burgers, Dancing'. We were still full to the brim from cakes and sandwichs so we sadly passed on the delicious sounding food (apparently they do some mean sliders) and instead went headlong into the cocktails chapter.

And it turns out the Grand Union writes them very well indeed!


The outright winner of the evening was the incredible Cherry Thyme Fizz; prosecco infused with thyme and cherry puree. I adore the use of herbs by mixologists and this was one of the nicest and most refreshing cocktails I've had in quite some time.


It seems Grand Union could be onto a winning formula and it's fantastic they're doing something exciting rather than being another run-of-the-mill chain. The atmosphere in this downstairs bar was awesome, largely thanks to the fantastic tunes the DJ was spinning. Return Of The Mack, anyone?

We didn't make it to the Dancing chapter on this occasion - I had a fluffy dog who was home alone - but us ladies had great fun with some seriously sassy cocktails.


Claridges
49 Brook Street
London W1K 4HR

Grand Union
Rolls Passage (off Chancery Lane)
London EC4A 1HL

There are also venues in Kennington, Farringdon, Camden, Paddington, Camberwell, Wandsworth and Brixton

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15 comments:

  1. The afternoon tea looks like an amazing experience! I am soon going to try the one at The Ritz and I'll be curious to see if it measures up to Claridges'...

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    1. Ooh exciting! I hope you have a great time - I've yet to visit the Ritz! x

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  2. Wow this looks like a day straight from heaven :) I've not tried the afternoon tea at Claridges, it looks absolutely amazing! x

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  3. Oh wow, that afternoon tea looks right up my street! Love your blog, great pics! Little London Girl xx
    www.littlelondongirl.co.uk

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  4. I absolutely adore the glamour of Claridges! The public areas are just beautiful and the bar is fabulous! Those little cakes look so pretty, especially the chocolate one with the gold leaf. I've been to a couple of the Grand Union bars, its good to know that they are trying to invidualise themselves a bit more as they are fun.
    Lots of love,
    Angie
    SilverSpoon London

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  5. This sounds like a perfect afternoon to evening ladies I have to say! Quite a few chains are going through re-brandings at the moment and actually becoming pretty awesome places! I was taken for breakfast at Claridges on a whim once and it was amazing!

    Katie <3

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  6. What a stunning venue, it looks like you had a great time :)

    Sophie
    http://what-sophie-said.blogspot.co.uk/
    xxx

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  7. Back in London with a bang! Hope you're not missing the incredible weather too much now that you're back... at least there are cocktails and lots of delicious tea cakes to make it easier!

    {Teffy's Perks} X

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  8. Your Afternoon Tea looks amazing! I'm going to the one at the Hilton on Park Lane in just under two weeks, hope it's as nice as that!

    Sophie - www.followyourarrow.co.uk

    x

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  9. I've always wanted to go to Claridges, especially after their TV aired on the BBC. Seriously taking classy to a new level here Caroline! What a splendid afternoon tea, those tiny cakes are just exquisite!
    Emily xx
    My Ginger Bread Journey

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  10. Stunning venue. I havent been inside Claridges although I had worked pretty much next to it for years...Perhaps this year after seeing these pictures.
    KÖLNER DOM | COLOGNE CATHERDRAL

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  11. I've told my parents I want to get married at Claridges, right now I think they've never been more grateful I'm single!

    Victoria
    FlorenceandMary.com

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  12. Oh gosh - those little desserts look so good!

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  13. I just love love love the Claridge's crockery - that pastel green is so calming and homey :)
    The food looks so dainty too - I'd feel guilty eating it haha
    Hurrah for more adventures and I love your words
    x x x
    {The Lobster & Me}

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