Dessert Correspondents

A Melbourne, London & Hong Kong dessert blog

The Langham Hotel London – Bijoux Afternoon Tea

The quintessential high tea experience.

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Our experience

Ideally positioned as a perfect retreat after a bout of Oxford Street shopping, afternoon tea at the Langham London is taken at the Palm Court, a ground-floor dining space. In the mirrored decadence of the serene Palm Court, the melodies of piano and later, a string quartet serenade patrons throughout the afternoon. Formal tables are dressed in brocaded white linens, and surround the cluster of sapphire blue velvet sofas and stools at the centre of the room. The ceilings are high, the seating generously apart, conferring both a sense of space and privacy. Uniformed staff serve the afternoon tea on a floor-standing three-tiered silver service, rather than the unwieldly table-stand commonly used by most high tea institutions that unfortunately block the view of one’s afternoon tea companions.

The Langham London – *image courtesy of the Langham London

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The Palm Court at the Langham (*photo courtesy of the Langham London Hotel)

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Afternoon tea was presented on elegant silver-edged Wedgewood porcelain, accompanied by luxe embroidered napkins and a teapot bouquet of velvet red roses. An incredibly extensive range of teas was available, including the traditional Tregothan blends (earl grey, straight unscented blacks etc), an exotic collection of black, green, white and yellow teas heralding from the East, and unique infusions of tisanes, which are teas that use the non-leaf parts of their constituents, for example, the buds, petals, roots. As with every upstanding English afternoon tea institution, a tea sommelier was present to assist the indecisive mind. MoMo & Coco selected the Langham Blend, one of five blends created by the tea sommelier himself. It was described on the tea menu as a “sophisticated blend of Second Flush Indian Assam; for a malty flavour, First Flush Indian Darjeeling; the ‘champagne’ of teas with delicate muscatel charm and Uva season High Grown Sri Lankan; for a light, citrus character.”

Langham London Bijoux High Tea – We LOVE cute sugar cubes-y!!

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Langham London Bijoux High Tea – the tea setting

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The first taste was a palate cleanser — a lightly scented pineapple and vanilla panna cotta.

Langham London Bijoux High Tea – the palate cleanser

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Afternoon tea then followed with a plate of savouries. No traditional ribbon sandwiches here. Think rarefied savoury canapes – the type that you would like to see at a fine cocktail function. There were two triangles of parmesan and celery cream chesse and coronation chicken sandwiches; smoked duck with foie gras; asparagus with wiltshire ham; smoked scottish salmon mousse with cavia; cornish crab with cucumber and shiso.

First tier of savoury delicacies from the Bijoux High Tea

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Langham London Bijoux High Tea – the savouries

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Langham London Bijoux High Tea – the savouries

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Langham London Bijoux High Tea – the savouries

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And a high tea is not one without scones, of course. A generous basket of scones of two types – raisins and chocolate – served with Devonshire clotted cream and jam. Served warm, and witheld until after the first tier was consumed.

Langham London Bijoux High Tea – the scones

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The top tier of the three-tiered stand was the simply unforgettable piece-de-resistance of irresistibles — the most exquisitely hand-crafted “pastries and cakes inspired by the beauty and sparkle of some of the finest  jewels from the most famous fashion houses,” as so described on the Bijoux Afternoon Tea menu. Pastry artisans and dessert chefs in Australia should take note of these individually hand-crafted, finely-executed, stylistic irresistibles — this is what a decadent high tea should look like.

Langham London Bijoux High Tea – the irresistibles

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 The first sweet irresistible sampled was the Asprey Diamond – a sponge-like cake with a thin layer of cream and jam at its heart, delicately iced over with a layer of white fondant, its skirt hemmed with edible, luminous pink jewels.

Langham London Bijoux High Tea – The Asprey Diamond

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Langham London Bijoux High Tea – inside the Asprey Diamond

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The next irresistible was the Delices de Cartier — a cute, round cake containing a sponge base with an intensely-flavoured grape mousse centre, its top glazed red and embellished with a touch of irridescent gold leaf and a flake of white chocolate.

Langham London Bijoux High Tea – The Delices de Cartier

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Langham London Bijoux High Tea – inside the Delices de Cartier

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And the Bulgari B.Zero — a meringue-based snowman-shaped figure to perhaps resmble a finger, and two encirclements of exquisitely piped violet/blueberry cream, hence the rings of the Bulgari B.Zero. Finished with a mini violet/blueberry macaron, resembling a top-hat.

Langham London Bijoux High Tea – the Bglari Zero

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And the Baccarat Eclispe — bashfully-flavoured strawberry macarons, adorned with an edible, sparkling white diamond, and presented in a nostalgic way of lollypops.

Langham London Bijoux High Tea – the Baccarat Eclipse

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Langham London Bijoux High Tea – the Baccarat Eclipse

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The final irresistible from the tier to be sampled was the perfect finale to a very sophisticated, very English, afternoon tea. Here, the most decadent layered chocolate cake. This stunning irresistible comprised a dark chocolate biscuit base, followed by a layer of rich coffee mousse and, a berry mousse layer. Cloaked in dark chocolate ganached, topped with two juicy tangy raspberries to alleviate the richness, and a white chocolate decoration.

Langham London Bijoux High Tea – a decadent finale

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Langham London Bijoux High Tea – close-up of the chocolate finale

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OUR VERDICT

Given that the philosophy of this journal-blog is that MoMo & Coco only photograph and describe, we hate to proffer our opinion. However, we have to say that the Bijoux Afternoon Tea offered at the Langham Hotel in London may just be the contemporary benchmark for all afternoon teas that we have savoured, both before it and sincesimply hmmmmm…irresistible…

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We therefore dedicate this post as the first of our dessert-only blog. Enjoy! :)

  • Dessert adventure checklist
  1. Dessert destination: Palm Court, The Langham London, IC Portland Place, Regent Street, London, W1B 1JA, UK.
  2. Budget: $$$$  (£49pp + 15% service charge).
  3. Sweet irresistibles: High Tea.
  4. Must-eat: Available daily.
  5. The short and sweet story: The quintessential experience.

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Palm Court at the Langham on Urbanspoon

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4 comments on “The Langham Hotel London – Bijoux Afternoon Tea

  1. Brittaney Reagh
    June 15, 2011

    Hello There. I found your blog using msn. This is a very well written article. I will be sure to bookmark it and come back to read more of your useful info. Thanks for the post. I’ll certainly comeback.

  2. Pingback: Hyatt Regency The Churchill London – Sex and the City Par-Tea « MoMo & Coco

  3. Ellena Minney
    January 9, 2012

    My partner and I absolutely love your blog and find almost all of your afternoon tea posts to be what precisely I’m looking for. I have since been to three places on your afternoon tea recommended list. Does one offer guest writers to write content in your case? I wouldn’t mind publishing a post or elaborating on many of the subjects you write about here. Again, awesome blog!

    • MoMo & Coco
      January 17, 2012

      Hi Ellena – Thank you for your very kind comment. It’s lovely to hear that you followed and enjoyed three of our recommendations. Unfortunately, we do not offer guest writer positions on this blog, there are two of us administering to this blog and we do it in our free time alongside full time careers. Therefore, at this moment, we cannot accommodate the logistics of having another writer. Thank you for asking though, and thank you for your readership of our blog. With warmest regards, MoMo & Coco.

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