An-Tea Establishment By Lauren Steventon

Think Punk Rock playlists, inspired cocktails such as ‘God Save The Queen’ and a retro menu of Great British classics.

An-Tea Establishment

Ok, I’ll admit it. Come Friday I’ll be celebrating with the best of them. I love bunting. I love bank holidays. I love weddings. However I, and the Metropolitan Hotel apparently, know that some of you just aren’t feeling that love. So to prove that tea isn’t always prim and proper, I popped in to try their new limited edition An-Tea Establishment afternoon tea.

It’s a fun take on the Metropolitan’s usual, low-fat Afternoon De-light tea. Think: no bread sandwiches, ingeniously low-fat-yet-tasty cakes, and scones with creme fraiche rather than the good old clotted stuff.

So… We started with a selection of British classic savouries given a modern Met twist. The prawn cocktail was pretty standard, but with a tasty, tangy Marie Rose sauce. Yum. I didn’t have the ‘Fergie’ chorizo quiches, but I loved the savoury cheese and pickle muffin with homemade piccalilli. My tea companion had never tasted this deliciously British spicy preserve and was an instant convert to its wonderful ways. Less convincing was the cucumber jelly with bread foam. The foam really did taste like bread (and quite a bit of butter) but for me the whole thing was a bit squishy. It was a nice idea, though, and well executed.

One thing I was definitely convinced by were the scones. Nice and crumbly-fresh. The creme fraiche is an acquired afternoon tea taste, but does leave you feeling less full and ready to face the cakes: Victoria sponge roly poly, trifle with raspberry compote and low fat custard, macaroons, custard cupcake (topped with a message for the future monarchs: thanks for the free day off) and chocolate and vanilla Battenberg. The latter might have some purists up in arms, but I’m sure they’ll be calmed by the fun Sid and Nancy esq, Union Jack Kate and Wills portrait – God save the Queen (and all that jazz – or punk).

So while it might not have the same effect as a sex, drugs, rock and roll Jubilee boat party down the Thames its a fun idea to while away the extra bank holiday if bunting just isn’t your thing.

The menu will be served in the Met Bar from 22nd April to 8th May 2011 from 3pm – 6pm, Monday to Sunday.

Priced at £27 per person + service. Reservations must be pre-booked by calling +44(0) 20 7447 4757.