I absolutely love Afternoon Tea, from the traditional to the not so traditional. Cafecito Afternoon Tea at the St Martins Lane hotel definitely comes under the untraditional variety. Served at the brilliant Asia de Cuba within the hotel, the Cafecito tea takes inspiration from the Cuban food that is served at the restaurant, with a sweet and savoury touch, from doughnuts in cinnamon sauce to cuban pressed BBQ pork sandwiches. If you are more of a savoury lover you are in luck as the tea starts off with a whole host of savoury foods and then to capture your sweet tooth follows a tray full of treats to compliment the fruity cocktails on offer.
Last week Danny and I went to try it out, Asia de Cuba has a really nice decor inside, which matches the Philippe Starck influences throughout the hotel. The tables are minimal, with book shelves around pillars and flower pots lining the walls and the lightbulbs hang down low and bare, it’s very quirky and modern and a great setting for the afternoon tea.
We took our tables and were greeted with Cuban cigar boxes, of course there wasn’t any cigars in them but our menu, which was set out on a newspaper and our utensils for the tea. I love all these quirky parts of an Afternoon Tea it really gets you involved with the experience, just like the way the afternoon tea at The Sanderson did.
The menu looked so big and so first we started off with an Apertivo which was mango, kiwi and strawberry layered in a cute bottle with a straw which was delicious!
Then it was onto the savoury menu and the complimenting teas.The teas have been chosen to really match the savoury style, they included Traditional Iron Buddha, Dragon Well and Bohea Lapsang. I opted for the Dragon Well which was like a green tea and Danny had the Iron Buddha.
The savoury selection includes a salmon tart with quails egg, Cubano pressed sandwiches with BBQ pulled pork, swiss cheese and ham – which are best eaten whilst still warm, beef and vegetable empanadas with Caribbean hot sauce, hot and sour chicken & avocado spring roll and fresh green mango and cucumber & mooli summer rolls. There are also a selection of mini scones, which are spinach and cheese, which I spread with the mojito butter, so tasty! We enjoyed some Old Cuban Martinis which was a mixture of rum and champagne and grapes, it was nice to have a cocktail with Afternoon Tea instead of champagne.
Anyone for a game of Dominoes?
After working your way through the savoury you have to make room for the sweets, my favourite part! Again you are asked to choose a tea so this time you have the choice of Wuyi Big Red Robe, Lychee Red, Vanilla Black. This time I went for the Lychee and Danny the Vanilla.
I was very excited for the sweet part and it was mainly for the warm cinnamon doughnuts with butterscotch sauce, so of course they were eaten first! Joining the doughnuts was key lime pie topped with a soft meringue, which was so super yummy. Banana spring rolls filled with white chocolate and coconut ganache and a chocolate chilli cream and pistachio crumble. I am pretty sensitive to spice so could really taste the chilli, but Danny loved it as he is a spice lover. We also tried some more cocktails, the Asian Passion Martini which was amazing, it was a blend of vodka, creme de fraise, lime and passion fruit, I could have drunk them all afternoon, whoops!
Finally – yes there is more! We finished with a cold tea, a shot of cold tea none the less. Again there were three options Lemongrass and Ginger, Phoenix Honey Orchid or Cafecito. I went for the Honey Orchid which was a great way to finish off a completely different and unusual afternoon tea!
If you love a bit of Cuban and fancy doing something different then the Cafecito Afternoon Tea at Asia de Cuba is priced from £25.00 per person, for more details visit the St Martins Lane website.
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