The second day of our mini-heatwave felt surreal. I'm enjoying every sun-soaked second but aware that at any minute (this weekend?) I shall be watching those clouds roll in and pulling on my winter clothesagain.
With an invitation to head to Knightsbridge for tea, I was digging around in my wardrobes at 6am looking for something suitable and hurriedly painting nail varnish over my winter toe nails. #sonotreadyforthesun
It was all floaty summer dresses and a few flip flops on the host of (mainly) female journalists and bloggers also invited to sample the launch of a Chelsea Flower Show-inspired tea at Knightsbridge's Hotel Baglioni.
The menu has been developed with Italian perfume house, Aqua Di Parma. The floral notes in their Coloniali cologne being used to inspire the ingredients for one of the prettiest teas I've eaten.
Tables were strewn with gorgeous yellow and white flowers to match the Aqua Di Parma branding and candles scented with the company's Colioniali perfume burned.
It wasn't just about the flowers, the menu — with a very Italian focus – had plenty of classic teatime ingredients, kicked off with neat, lady-sized squares of cruncy focaccia filled with mozzarella. Perfect with the glass of prosecco included in the feast.
Teas were either rose and lime — a gentle pink — or bergamot and mint. Unsurprisingly, most went pink.
A generous tea stand was delivered to each pair of guests, looking so full we'd never get through it all. (As if.) At the foot of the tea stand, sandwiches included ricotta and sundried tomato; smoked salmon and cream cheese and egg mayo.
Warm scones were served with (the standard) cream and strawberry jam or Sicilian blood orange am or 'L'unica e sola' (one and only to you and me) Nutella. A rare treat in a grown up outing. (I had to hold back from spooning it straight into my mouth as I do when the mini-Fressers aren't loooking.)
I tried not to eat all of the pastries — not wanting to wreck my recent Weight Watchers success - see previous post - but managed to taste everything. A mini lemon brioche was no more than a delicious mouthful, Sicilian cannoli was filled with the most delicious creme patissiere and candied orange peel and pistachio tuiles were tiny green, crunchy wafers. Surely too small to be bad for my waistline?
Having worked my way up the tea stand, I could not leave out the verbena and lime zest panacotta, topped with very pink rose coulis and it would have been rude to ignore the mini tiramisu next to it.
We were dispatched with a mini bottle of Coloniali scent and huge smiles.
The tea will run for the month of May to celebrate the Chelsea Flower Show. More info here.