Mondays are funny, fickle things. You either love them or hate them. They can be a source of anxiety or a reassuring fresh start.
I didn’t know quite what to expect from last Monday. I knew a manic work-week was ahead but I was (somewhat) prepared for it. The weather was completely unpredictable. And I had been invited to an event I oddly didn’t know how to describe: the “Science Tea” at The Ampersand Hotel.
I already had a bit of a crush on The Ampersand, which in pictures looked to be something of an interior designer’s dream (just look at what you can find on Pinterest.) And such was the scene when myself and 15 other bloggers invaded The Ampersand last week.
I say invaded as I sometimes think this is how a hotel has to feel – it is a happy, giddy sort of invasion, but we do tend to start taking pictures of EVERYTHING and talk about EVERYTHING. (Many of us noticing how much more comforting it was to review something in this kind of setting rather than with a loved one begging us to stop taking pictures of their food so they can finally eat it…)
I can honestly say I look forward to going back to the Ampersand on one of those indulgent weekends when I have a friend in town and we need a break from exploring the V&A or the Science Museum – just a five minute walk down the road.
The tea room is colourful and peaceful at the same time – you kind of naturally exhale when you walk in. A beautiful buffet of sweets and shiny coffee machines line one wall and amusing portraits line the others (my favourite being the giraffe and the champagne glass).
And then we sat down:
Sandwiches: Gloucester old spot ham, sauce gribiche; H. Forman & Son London smoked salmon, dill & cream cheese; Coronation chicken; Cheese with fruit chutney
Scones: Homemade white chocolate scones served withDevonshire clotted cream and homemade strawberry preserve
Pastries: Hazelnut, walnut and chocolate cake with mango mousse volcano and Chocolate dinosaur; Pistachio macaroon with cherry sauce pipette; Raspberry cake planet; Citrus cocktail in a beaker
The sandwiches were delicious and light as a feather. I discovered that all scones should have chocolate as a key ingredient. And just to hit that last point home again, I ate so many scones that I had a hard time getting through the main event.
The staff came around with watering cans which set dry ice floating along the top layer of pastries. The moment reminded me of when my grandparents took me to The Plaza when I was little… that feeling that you are a bit special, rather lucky and maybe just a bit spoiled to there……which sounds precisely like what an Afternoon Tea on what might-otherwise-be-a-rather-dull-Monday should be.
The Science Tea runs through March 21st. But if I were you, I would also keep an eye out for what The Ampersand comes up with next…
The group was invited to The Ampersand to review the Science Tea. Many many thanks to the lovely Selena for inviting me to join – you can take a look at her take on that lovely Monday outing here.