Walking into One Aldywch in Covent Garden, you’re already in the heart of the West End, surrounded by some of the world’s most exclusive theatrical productions, and needlessly to say, some of the best! Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, may have been a flop in London’s theatre scene, but its afternoon tea at One Aldywch is to be heralded as a delicious delight!
I am a great lover of afternoon tea – there is something quintessentially British and elegant about drinking tea from delicate china, and sampling crust-free cucumber sandwiches, which you never contemplate making at any other time. I do love a good afternoon tea, but as per my review of Balthazar’s Bobbi Brown afternoon tea, I am quite keen to try out some of London’s quirkiest and more interesting afternoon tea’s, with a twist. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory afternoon tea has been voted as one of the top alternative teas in the capital and it didn’t surprise me, as from start to finish, we were taken on a golden ticket journey.
Myself and my boyfriend decided to visit One Aldywch as a bank holiday treat, and we were told we would be eating upstairs in the restaurant, which overlooks the reception of the hotel. The atmosphere is opulent and modern and the tables are set up, with enough space between one another, so you don’t feel too crowded. The menu’s are sketched with characters from the book, with a selection of five sandwiches, which were absolutely delicious. The best part – you were not limited to how many you would like. So if you wanted two rounds of sandwiches, you could (bonus for Ollie). It was so refreshing to have a selection of sandwiches that did not adhere to the norm, and even the smoked salmon was served on a tomato based, with creme fraiche as a filler.
No afternoon tea is complete without a choice of tea – on offer was mango noir, chocolate tea (it worked I promise), lychee rose noir, moroccan mint and jasmine pearls. Again, you could have as much or as little as you wanted, trying all five flavours of tea, or sticking to your favourite. Between us, we tried the Moroccan mint, mango noir and the chocolate tea which was seriously heavenly. The tea was a rich and smooth blend of Indian assam, Yunnean black, pervuian cocoa nibs and madagascan vanilla pods. It was light to drink, despite the infusion of cocoa, and it was a great way of washing down all the sweet treats to come.
Now for the important part of the afternoon tea – the sweet delights which have been created with a delicate care. The presentation was exquisite – it was beautifully presented, with a variety of colourful assortment of desserts to choose from. The food was placed on a wooden layered stand, to elevate certain desserts, such as the cake pops – which were raspberry and white chocolate flavoured and the homemade candy floss which tasted like ‘tutti frutti’.
Between two people, you really do get your money’s worth. In a separate bowl, there were scones, blueberry brioche and cocoa bean financier which literally melt in your mouth, finished with a gold dust. Other options included, lemon meringue pies, chocolate caramel milk which was served in a small milk bottle and to finish it all off – the waiters favourite – the golden chocolate egg filled with mango and vanilla cheesecake. It was to die for! We were horribly full by the end of our tea, and even had to take home a doggy bag of scones and brioche as we just couldn’t manage it all.
The afternoon tea really did capture at its core the journey of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and although it is slightly more expensive than your average tea, at £39 per person, it was definitely worth it! No matter the occasion or celebration, I couldn’t recommend it more!