A few weeks ago, it was my flatmate’s birthday. After much thought and scouring the internet, I found a voucher on Buy A Gift for afternoon tea for two, complete with Bellinis, at Searcys Champagne Bar at One New Change, near St Paul’s. I thought it had her name written all over it.
She booked the trip on a Saturday, a week or two in advance, and finally last weekend the day came. Although the voucher was usable on any day, it wasn’t usable at any time- we had to be there between 2pm-4.30pm. We rocked up just after 2pm at St. Paul’s underground station and crossed the road to the One New Change shopping centre. We didn’t know where the champagne bar was actually situated in the complex but there were some helpful signs so we found it pretty quick.
The bar was smaller than I had imagined but busier. I had thought it might just be us- I mean, how many people would be at a champagne bar in the City at 2pm at the weekend? It turns out, quite a few. Most of whom were sampling the afternoon tea and Bellinis. It looked like we had got in on quite a popular deal. The decor was kinda like a sleek factory, with terracotta walls, rough wooded floorboards, lights hanging down and tubes exposed on the ceiling.
First up, we got our Bellinis. There were an array of various fruit infused Bellinis to choose from, including passionfruit and strawberry, and we both went for raspberry. I haven’t had much Bellini experience but it tasted pretty good for me. Our afternoon tea came pretty quickly. We had a selection of six sandwiches, including mozzarella, tomato and basil, prosciutto and pesto and salmon. Then we each had a scone with jam and a stack of clotted cream, four macarons of varying flavours and some truffles: milk, white and dark chocolate and strawberry.
In all honesty, on first sight I had hopped for a bit more food. The last time I had done afternoon tea was at The Walk in Nottingham, where they give you so much food that doggie bags are practically expected. I’m also more of a cake than a macaron person, so would have preferred slightly more choices. Having said that, we were in central London and the deal had cost less than £30 for two people so it wasn’t going to be quite as plentiful as in Nottingham. I also did end up full, which I didn’t expect so the amount turned out to be spot on. The scone was also amazing and the prosciutto sandwich was particularly good. I feel like I did good with my birthday present choice.
Food was followed by a pot of tea. We both went for Darjeeling and ended up with more than enough for two. We then went for a wander around the outside of St. Paul’s Cathedral in the sun, we needed to walk off all that food and drink.