A delightful pairing experience is taking place at Taj 51 Buckingham Gate. No, not the Alice in Wonderland themed tea, though I'm sure that's fun (maybe a bit predictable at this point?)
I don't do Afternoon Tea as often as I used to, because if I'm honest it's a bit overwhelming sometimes: too much bread and sweet things for my sensitive system. I believe I still have Afternoon Tea more than most people, even more than the average British person, because it's generally considered a Special Occasion. For me, this certainly was special, as it was not only my last full day in London, but also my first Afternoon Tea with Abigail and Clarissa.
I'll get my one and only complaint out of the way, and it's not aimed particularly at this particular place, but at AT's in general. There's a surfeit of sweet, and only just enough savory on offer. I'm looking at you, Hound of Baskerville: roast beef to die for, little chicken pies, but just a taste and it's over! If that's my worst complaint, though, I think we're doing well.
The scones were scones, and they were wonderful. The pastries were rich, so I had to keep my consumption to a minimum - scotch infused macarons, mousse cigar, all named after a prominent character in the stories. Here's the menu. And here's our adventures:
Scones are vital in an afternoon tea: dare I say, they are elementary?
One of the things I especially appreciated about this afternoon/evening is that it reminded me of how much I love good pairings. I've probably gone on about the childhood teatime ritual of having a spot before sitting down to Jeremy Brett's latest performance. Even though tea is not the first drink one thinks of in connection with Sherlock Holmes, it's definitely part of it, and when you're down the block from the illustrious Buckingham Palace, wearing a silly deerstalker, you can't help but talk about your favorite stories, and then the conversation progresses to other books, and one is complete.
There's a part of me that wishes I could find something like this in New York: if I did, I'd try it out, but would it be the same? Emerging fully satiated into the light evening London rain, I don't think it would compare.