The Langham’s Festive Afternoon Tea by Cherish Finden
Cherish Finden, the executive pastry chef of The Langham and the awarded judge of Bake off Creme de la creme loves to be playful when creating afternoon teas. Her latest creation was inspired by Asprey of London and is therefore all in colours of lilac and white.
It was a cold rainy day in London and the only motivation for us to go into the downpour was Cherish’s invitation to the launch of the afternoon tea at the Langham.
This year The Langham partnered with British heritage brand, Asprey, and consequently all the festive decorations and the desserts shine in Asprey’s signature brand colours of lilac and white.
The festive decoration at the Langham. Photo: HdG Photography
The glamorous Palm Court with live piano music is a perfect setting for the lovely dessert collections created by Cherish Finden. The pastries of the festive afternoon tea were accompanied by a delicious selection of warm scones from the Palm Court bakery, Devonshire clotted cream and strawberry preserves. Sandwiches were prepared by the Executive Chef of The Langham London, Chris King, and his team, and included the duck egg and oscietra caviar blini, Balvenie whiskey smoked salmon and fennel brioche, farmhouse stilton, red onion and port relish on walnut bread, classic cucumber, cream cheese and chive, smoked turkey and marjoram stuffing served on cranberry bread.
But the real highlight were the desserts by Cherish. A delightful pre-dessert - a festive eggnog panna cotta with rum jelly, flavoured with cinnamon, clove, nutmeg and vanilla prepared us for the main desserts. We knew that Cherish Finden had created her own Cacao Barry Or Noir chocolate for the Langham, so we were curious to see where is it hidden.
Cherish Finden. Photo: HdG Photography
Cherish arrived at our table when desserts were served and presented the collection. There was a beautiful handcrafted Mini Gingerbread house made of roasted and griddled homemade spice inspired by a recipe Cherish learned when she first started her craft twenty six years ago. Beside it was a beautiful Snowflake Macaroon of pickled beetroot confit with blueberry vinegar. Cherish explained that she chose pickled beetroot because of its humble and earthy flavour, which she sees as the perfect way for jazzing and sparkling up Christmas. Just like Marmite you can love it or hate it! She found it very intriguing and fascinating to create something new - something she has never seen anywhere else. I personally really loved the nutty and fruity Pistachio and Cranberry slice which was a beautifully refreshing addition and the lovely Asprey Bergamot Bauble with Bergamot mousselines and chocolate cremeux (we do love chocolate, don’t we?). The refreshing acidity of bergamot was perfectly balanced with the intense flavour of the chocolate cremeux. There was also a bit of the lemon semi-confit, followed by the crunch from the shortbread and a lasting subtle bitter taste. In the collection there was also a sweet little Mini Mincemeat Pie and a Rosehip and Hibiscus shot which concluded the collection as a fruity and floral palate freshener. Desserts were accompanied by the tea blend of our choice and a glass of Champagne.
The Langham festive pastries. Photo: HdG photography
Beautiful for the eyes and delightful for the palate. It is not surprising that The Langham serves around 4000 afternoon teas in the month of December. If you haven’t tried it yet, you still have time. The festive tea will be served until the 2nd of January 2017.