If you’re heading to the UK on your trip, taking afternoon tea is quite likely on your bucketlist. I don’t blame you, any cultural experience or tradition that revolves around eating usually makes it onto my list when I go away too… But being a native Londoner, I’m no stranger to afternoon tea, whether that’s a sophisticated outing of eating finger sandwiches with my mum or a boozy champagne-filled affair with my besties.
However I recently heard about a little thing called ‘Not Afteroon Tea’ at London’s OXO Tower Restaurant on the South Bank. And what makes it ‘Not’ Afternoon Tea I hear you cry? Well instead of tea and sandwiches, Tower-goers are treated to cocktails and cakes instead!
Of course I had to go and try it out! So I visited the OXO Tower Restaurant last weekend with my pal Lauren to try out the delicious delicacies. Some people start the year with diets and going to the gym, but we opted for sugary treats instead…
Despite seeing the OXO lights adorning the London skyline for most of my life, I had never actually been inside the OXO Tower so wasn’t sure what to expect. The restaurant is on the 8th floor and has lovely views of the river. Although on this particular day the rain had made it look pretty grey and dreary. Standard London I guess.
But the restaurant itself was lovely and modern, with clean white walls, sky blue chairs and pretty golden leaves and fairy lights left over from their New Year’s celebrations. And of course the floor to ceiling glass windows overlooking London. Beautiful!
Also, the staff were really lovely. I was actually a little hesitant about how posh it would be here but the waiter was down to earth and welcoming and everyone I spoke to wished me a Happy New Year! Great service.
But you want to hear the important part, right… The cocktails and cake!!
There were 3 cake and cocktail options to choose from on the menu –
- I Am The Forager – A selection of woodland inspired cakes accompanied by a Walk On The Wild Side gin and vermouth cocktail.
- Detox – Mouth-watering vegetable-based treats along with The Mightly Blightly Mojito cocktail.
- Chocolate Decadence – Some indulgently chocolaty lovelies with a Frappe cocktail.
We obvs both went for the chocolate option. No brainer.
You can mix and match the treats and the cocktails if it takes your fancy but I thought I would go with the recommendation. These people know what they’re talking about after all.
The Frappe cocktail arrived in a glass bottle ready for us to shake to aerate the cocktail before drinking. I love any kind of eating experience that is even remotely interactive so happily gave my cocktail a shake!
The Frappe was just like a chocolate milkshake but with a rather potent hit of rum! This meant that one cocktail was enough to feel pretty merry to be honest! Totally delicious though.
The cakes arrived in a gorgeous formation on the plate and included a Bitter Chocolate and Caramelia Mousse, Chocolate Saffron Truffle, White Chocolate and Champagne Parfait, and Chocolate Melting Moments with Brandied Cherries. Where do you even start with a plate like this?!
Words can’t do justice to how delicious these cakes actually were.
The Chocolate Saffron Truffle was my absolute favourite and was rich without being overpowering. The Chocolate Melting Moments were the most buttery of biscuits and went lovely with the hit of brandy in the cherries. The White Chocolate parfait was really light and sweet and who knew I would like champagne jelly so much? Finally the Bitter Chocolate and Caramelia Mousse was gorgeous with crunchy hazelnuts topping it off. Bloody lovely.
We really took our time eating these lovely treats and savoured every bite!
An added bonus to eating this delightful version of afternoon tea, was a jazz singer and guitarist nearby who set the most relaxing mood. And we felt quite happy to stay for as long as we liked, enjoying the atmosphere without being rushed at all.
And the timing of our sitting at 3pm was perfect as at about 4pm the sun set and we got to see the gorgeous views of London at night with St Paul’s in all it’s glory. Perfect!
Overall I had a fantastic time here and considering the quality of food, the impeccable service and the cool jazzy atmosphere I think it is well worth the money if you want a London treat – £26.00 for the cocktail and cake combo is totally worth it. I would go back in a heartbeat.
They even do an Alice in Wonderland themed version at the moment if that takes your fancy! You can find out more here if you would like to plan a visit.
What do you think of my Not Afternoon Tea experience? Have you had any great afternoon tea experiences in London? Let me know in the comments below or tweet me @HeelsInBackpack!
*This post was sponsored by OXO Tower London, but all opinions expressed are my own. I wouldn’t play you like that, shorty.