Bobbi Brown Afternoon Tea at Balthazar

Afternoon tea is one of my favourite things; I love tea and cake to begin with, and being able to enjoy that turned up to 11 in beautiful surroundings makes it even better. Throw in an interesting theme, and a good thing is made even better. So when I found that Bobbi Brown had teamed up with the London branch of legendary New York bistro Balthazar to create a beauty-themed afternoon tea for her 25th anniversary, I booked a spot for myself and my friend C as a treat for her birthday a few weeks ago.

I got there a little early so used the time to take a few snaps of the building (just me who feels bad for taking blog pictures when there are other people with you?). Inside, it is exactly as you picture a classic French brassiere to be - beautiful tiled floors, dark woods, red leather banquettes and age-spotted mirrors. The warm, low lighting sets it off perfectly, making it feel cosy and romantic even on a sunny Sunday afternoon; I imagine that on a dark winter evening it would be utterly lovely.

We decided on the classic afternoon tea and both chose a different tea - I opted for the Darjeeling whilst C went for the jasmine. Both teas arrived in the most beautiful antique-look silver teapots (I like that they don't match, it adds a certain charm to things) and with all the accompaniments. How cute is that little milk jug?!

Shortly afterwards our tea arrived and it was absolutely delicious. We started with the sandwiches - all afternoon tea classics, apart from the pastrami and pickle bun which nodded to Balthazar's New York origins, and all absolutely delicious. I particularly liked the chicken and guacamole, which was a nice alternative to coronation chicken, and the lemon tang of the salmon and cream cheese. Then it was on to the scones, which were absolutely top-notch: light, fluffy and a perfect balance for the rich cream and fruity jam.

But of course the highlight was the cakes, which have each been crafted to represent one of Bobbi's classic beauty products. They're almost too beautiful to smash into! Due to C's nut allergy she took the sachertorte 'eyeliner' and rhubarb 'shimmer brick', whilst I got the macaroon and foundation stick and we split the 'kiss' (that's the red lips in case you were wondering).

The 'kiss' was made of the lightest, creamiest sponge-mousse that utterly melted in the mouth, and had a cluster of blackberries in the bottom which gave it a nice added tang. I really liked the foundation stick too, with its gooey middle offset by the sharp citrus of the jelly and the sweet crumbly biscuit base. The macaroon was lovely and had a good balance between the redcurrants and the lemon cream, but I didn't like it quite as much as the others. It looks beautiful though; the little pearls remind me of Guerlain Meteorites. C also very kindly gave me a little bit of the sachertorte and it was really delicious - super-chocolatey and rich - so not sure I could have managed a whole one!

Overall we really enjoyed our afternoon tea at Balthazar and if you've got a special occasion coming up for a beauty lover in your life then it's very much worth a visit. They have actually reworked the patisserie selection since I went a couple of weeks ago - you can see the new menu here - but if it's half as good as ours was I'd definitely recommend it!

The Bobbi Brown x Balthazar Afternoon Tea is served every day (hours vary so check the Balthazar website for details) and costs £27.50 each for the standard afternoon tea or £37.50 with a cocktail or glass of champagne.

Where is your favourite place for afternoon tea?

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