‘The chocolate scones look tempting but I advise you taste the patisseries first,’ our server advises.
As she walks away, my partner whispers: ‘Yeah but those scones smell so divine that I am diving in now.’
We are at the Fitz’s Bar at the Kimpton Fitzroy in Bloomsbury. Dark wood panelling, low-slung velvet sofas and a flamboyant disco ball offer a suitably decadent backdrop to a new afternoon tea entitled ‘Do you like chocolate?’
Three courses are paired with four chocolate-infused cocktails. The dishes are designed by pastry chef, Thibault Marchand, winner of Bake Off: The Professionals 2019 and the drinks by cocktail connoisseur, Sean Fennelly.
We begin, of course, with loose leaf tea by The Rare Tea Company. The Wild Rooibos and Indian Rose are delicate and flavoursome and are rounded off with the first alcoholic accompaniment, a refreshing champagne delight with cacao fruit eau-de-vie, jasmine and olive.
Our little cut-sandwiches arrive and I enjoy vegetarian delights of avocado, mushroom and artichoke whilst my partner indulges in smoked trout, goat’s curd and Tandoori chicken. The cocktail pairing is Mexican-inspired with lime, marigold, bay leaf and an Aguardiente spirit.
Then for the piece de resistance: two tiers of cakes, pastries and scones. The chocolate scones taste as great as they smell, served with jam, clotted cream and passionfruit curd. And the tiny pastries are exquisite with a tonka bean, lime and chocolate chou, a passionfruit, mango and chocolate slice and a mouthwatering coffee and chocolate tart.
There is also the traditional scone – although I must admit we did not quite get round to these. To cut through the chocolate hit of the desserts, we have a cherry wine and cherry blossom drink reminiscent of a black forest gateau.
I manage to squeeze in the final drink of the afternoon: a warming and spicy hot chocolate with French liqueur, Green Chartreuse, Stout and vanilla cream. I pass through the grand entrance of the Kimpton Fitzroy into the cool London winter on a chocolate high.
If you fancy a spot of indulgence in the capital to blast away the winter blues and you would like to try some of the very best cocoa pastries outside of Paris, head to Fitz’s at the Kimpton Fitzroy and get ready to truly answer the question: ‘do you like chocolate?’
£65 per person – including four cocktails.
£45 per person – including four non-alcoholic cocktails.
The chocolate afternoon tea is served in Fitz’s Friday – Saturday, 12:00pm to 3:00pm. For more information, visit kimptonfitzroylondon.com.