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Thursday 14 April 2011

Afternoon Tea: Hendricks High Tea at Hush

Earlier this month, I was lucky enough to wangle an invite to try the Hendricks High Tea at swanky Mayfair brasserie and cocktail lounge Hush. A new venture for Hush, the entire menu has been carefully crafted to compliment the Hendricks gin cocktails its accompanied by, and the quintessential Englishness of afternoon tea.

It's served up Monday to Saturday in a beautiful and intimate dining room complete with Hendricks teapots, cups and other crockery, making you feel like you've been transported back in time for a decadent treat in a swish society dame's drawing room.
The tea itself features mini macarons from Bougie, deliciously dense scones with elderflower and rose petal jams by Wendy Brandon, and an assortment of sandwiches (salmon, chicken with avocado, egg and cucumber - somehow I suspect my vegetarian beloved was not as impressed as I was, but that may have only been an excuse to start scoffing the cakes). The maracons especially were wonderful - light, sweet and the perfect size and texture to finish our feast.
But the most exciting part of the Hendricks High Tea menu was the molecular cocktails, created exclusively by Hush bar manager Pedro Solarzano. A clearly knowledgeable and passionate chap, the concoctions he whipped up may have looked like they belonged in an evil scientist's laboratory or Heston Blumenthal's kitchen, but they tasted delicious.

With several weird and wonderful combinations of taste and texture, the innovative inventions on offer include the 'Royal Lady', made with Hendricks, Grand Marnier, caramelised cucumber and cinnamon 'caviar' - tiny, bead-size bubbles like the ones in my champagne cocktail (above).

For the ones with more traditional tastes, they do a range of infused martinis too, such as the Hush Wolfsberry (top picture); a potent blend of Hendricks infused with rose petals and Goji berries, plus Goji liqueur.

I wobbled out tipsily content and will definitely be back. Afternoon tea at Hush starts from only £8.75 per person, with the Hendricks High Tea priced at £24.75.

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