Did you know that the week of the 12th – 18th marks National Afternoon Tea week in the UK? Handy for me, Last weekend I was invited to review VIVI Restaurant‘s Traditional Afternoon Tea on behalf of Love Pop Ups London. I last visited VIVI just after it opened to review their dinner, which I couldn’t fault. As I haven’t had the chance to try many afternoon teas in London I was very much looking forward to filling myself with some fruity tea and some sweet goodies, not to mention the sexy little finger sandwiches that every afternoon tea must have.
I mentioned the exquisite interior of VIVI restaurant in my previous post which you can find here. And so this post will focus fully on the Afternoon Tea that they offer between 3pm & 6pm evert Tuesday – Sunday, where you can be sure that you’ll be able to treat yo’self with a whole host of delicious goodies, you really do need to give it a go. It made a very nice change to the weekly brunches I seem to indulge in!
The first thing you will have to decide on is which of the fantastic tea flavours you’re going for. Are you feeling fruity? Or do you know what you like and that’s what you stick to? I went for the mango but there are a whole host of flavours which include; English Breakfast, Earl Grey, triple mint, jade green tips, jasmine pearls, wild chai, honey and orchid, silver needle, lemongrass and ginger, berry and hibiscus and chocolate noir. I was so tempted to try the chocolate noir but chickened out at the last minute, although someone else on our table tried this and said it was a little underwhelming as it tasted more like tea with the smallest hint of chocolate rather than actually tasting chocolatey. I, on the other hand loved my mango tea, it was refreshing and full of flavour and didn’t taste too tea-ey. However I did keep forgetting to use the tea strainer and therefore ending up with mango lumps in my tea, My bad.
Next, you’ll be brought over your afternoon tea stand. Yes, everyone gets their own! I love this, as other afternoon teas I’ve been to expect you to share and then you always have the tough decision of who gets what or you attempt to cut everything in half equally and end up with a big old plate of mess. This saves all of the trouble and means that you can sample everything on every tier, and trust me, you won’t be leaving feeling hungry still.
The first level was the sandwiches and I was extremely eager to get started and to tuck in. I love being able to try an assortment of different flavours rather than picking one filling and then being bored of it before the end of your sandwich. This afternoon tea offers 5 different fillings; smoked salmon & cream cheese, cucumber & dill butter, egg mayonnaise & mustard cress, coronation chicken & mint mango chutney and finally, my personal favourite, roast beef & horseradish (although I don’t normally tend to be a fan of horseradish so this was a little surprising) I also loved the salmon and cream cheese, always have. Always will. Another one I was a big fan of was the cucumber, I think the dill butter really added something to this and made it far more exciting than regular cucumber wedged between two slices of bread. I was a little unsure of the egg mayo as it seemed to have a lemony taste to it. Maybe some had been added to the mayo? but it wasn’t for me.
Next up was the scones. I’m so glad you can’t tell the pronunciation when it’s written down as I pretty much change my mind each time I say it. I only tried the raisin version as I didn’t want to be too full for all of the cakes on the top. In hindsight, I probably should’ve tried half of each and then compared them. But I didn’t think of this. In my opinion it was a very very good scone. Not dry, still warm. I actually just tore mine directly in half rather than using a knife. No faults. HOWEVER. if I were to eat both scones, I definitely would’ve needed a top up of cream and jam but I also think it’s a good idea to just give a standard amount as this reduces waste. I’m more than sure if you asked for a little extra, the staff would be more than happy to sort you out.
It was at this point we were told that we also had a cocktail or a glass of champagne included in our afternoon tea ( I think there are two price options, one with and one without champagne/ a cocktail). I opted for the Pink Floyd Rhubarb. I wasn’t expecting this to be quite so sour. I’m usually a big fan of sour things but this was a slight shock to the system, luckily, the sugar around the rim definitely helped and I think I started to get used to the sourness. However, I still really enjoyed this cocktail and wanted to go for one I hadn’t tried previously. My favourite is still the Seifert (complete with candy floss).
Finally, it was time for the sweets. I have a huge sweet tooth but also I’m not the biggest fan of cake and so I was happy to see that there was a lot of variety on the top tier. We were given; carrot cake, Battenberg, blackberry macaron, chocolate eclair and a Victoria sponge. I worked my way around these, some of them I wasn’t as fond of. in particular the carrot cake and the Battenberg. I’m REALLY not a marzipan fan so the Battenberg was never going to be a winner for me but the others really seemed to enjoy this so maybe I was just being fussy. The Victoria sponge was light and fluffy and went down a treat. The macaron was nice, not too chewy, although I think had it not been written on the menu that it was blackberry flavour I would’ve just thought it was a plain one. Definitely needed more blackberry. HOWEVER. The chocolate eclair was quite possibly one of the tastiest (and messiest) goodies I’ve had in quite some time. If you’re with someone that doesn’t want to eat theirs, I can guarantee you’ll be scooping that up for yourself.
And just like that, we were done. And on a sugar high. It was a really enjoyable experience and I’d definitely go back with friends for a nice afternoon bitch whilst stuffing ourselves silly with cakes, scones and sandwiches. The staff weren’t quite as attentive as my last visit and it wasn’t overly busy but sometimes this works out relatively well as it means you get longer to enjoy your visit and savour the flavours. Thank you so much to VIVI Restaurant and Love Pop Ups London for having me. I’ll be back (hopefully for a brunch as I’ve been debating for a while), definitely one of my favourite spots in central London!