Valentine’s Day Ideas: Sparkling Hotel Chocolat Afternoon Tea
Struggling for Valentine’s Day ideas that weren’t *too* mushy, we scoured the internet for experiences that allowed for a fun celebration without giving in to the hoopla.
We landed on a Champagne afternoon tea at Hotel Chocolat’s classy Rabot 1745, overlooking historic Borough Market. Browsing through Buyagift.com, this looked like a decadent stop off – its balcony overlooks the buzzing stalls selling artisan cheeses, meats, seafood and brownies. Great for taking a breather when the crowds prove too much.
Bedecked with heaters, the terrace is ideal for people-watching on a crisp Saturday afternoon – and as the treats begin arriving, it seems like a brilliant secret someone’s kindly let you in on.
Remixing the traditional British pastime to create an Anglo-West Indian experience, the tea pulls together cacao-infused drinks and a selection of luxurious treats – starting with a glass of Champagne. Ten years ago the founders of Hotel Chocolat bought an old 1745 cacao estate in the Caribbean called Rabot, which birthed the inspiration for this cacao-focused menu.
To that end, finger sandwiches might be Cacao Gin cured salmon & avocado or Classic chicken club with chocolate aioli, followed by homemade banana bread or chocolate orange scones served with chocolate spread, cocoa nib butter and strawberry jam.
Sweets (yep, those last ones were classified as ‘savouries’ – we know) include caramelised white chocolate cheesecake and dark 70% chocolate mousse with brittany shortbread. To finish, an assortment of fine, deconstructed chocolates – including a cocoa bean to try nibbling on.
Have a small savoury snack before you go, so hunger doesn’t stop you focusing on the chocolate – treat this tea as a giant dessert for hungry people (with a real sweet tooth) and you’ll have the perfectly romantic experience – whichever day you decide to visit.
HOW MUCH? £43.90 for two.
ADDRESS: 2-4 Bedale St, London SE1 9AL