When you are invited for ‘a tea’ in London, don’t ever expect a boring bon-ton afternoon of hot water sipping, get ready for bubbles and bite-sized deliciousness instead. A few days ago I was invited to try the Matisse Cut-Out Afternoon tea at Le Mèridien Piccadilly, ispired by the Henri Matisse Tate exhibition, that opened just today. It took place in the stunning Grill & Bar Terrace of the hotel, overlooking Piccadilly Circus. The terrace was once a pool, and its glass ceiling makes it incredibly bright and charming, just perfect for a relaxing break. It was a relaxed, pampered afternoon with four lovely girls, some gorgeously looking (and delicious) food and – on top of it – raspberry-flavoured bubbles. What more could I have asked for? The tower of yummy treats they served us was just amazing and, since the whole tea menu is inspired by Matisse’s pieces of art, so beautifully presented. Thanks to a funny art kit we have also been encouraged to explore our creative side and make our own cut-outs – my daughter would have loved it! To be honest, we definitely focused more on the champagne cocktails that kept coming on the table. That’s tea, the British way. I love it! We started eating something savoury inspired by the French cuisine: Jambon de Bayonne & Brie filled croissant, Marinated Provençal vegetables with tapenade wrap, Poached Salmon with herb crème fraiche on Long bread and Egg cress sandwich on Long bread. Then the time came to try the beautiful little cakes. The menu included Vanilla Pannacotta with Calvados Jelly, Opera Cake, Lemon & Pistachio Macaroons, Marble cake, Battenberg cake and Framboise Tart. All the pastries were a visual tribute to Matisse’s ‘carving into colour’. They were so pretty it was almost a shame to eat them but, once we ate them all (because yes, of course we did!), the design of one of the Matisse cut-outs appeared on the plate, dusted in green sugar. Of course THERE WAS TEA too. I have proofs: Have I ever told you how much I love scones? Well, I literally LOVE scones. And these were delicious (I know I should have put the jam first, I know…).
It If you’re in London and fancy a proper tea with lots of yummy treats, in a gorgeous and central place I definitely recommend Matisse Cut-Out Afternoon tea at Le Mèridien Piccadilly. It costs £30 per head and is available until may 31st.
Henri Matisse Tate exhibition will run at the Tate 17 April – 7 September 2014.