Review of Afternoon Tea at Reform Social Grill, London
Nothing says classy and girly than afternoon tea in town and my choice of venue was the Reform Social & Grill in The Mandeville Hotel, London. Reform Social and Grill brings a quintessentially British experience to the Mandeville Hotel. Taking inspiration from classic British gentlemen’s clubs, Reform Social and Grill offers an informal yet sophisticated experience with quality at the fore.
The steel counter top, dark wooden drinks cabinets and charcoal black high stools creates a 1950’s Mad Men ambience. Not excluding the female clientele, the handsome bartenders are smartly dressed with a cheeky smile.
Modern vibrant soft furnishings, retro posters and vintage crystal chandeliers might sound like random decor, but the blend of old meets new works.
We chose the Vintage Afternoon Tea menu for £26.50 which included a selection of fancies, sandwiches and loose leaf teas. Oh and free flowing champagne of course.
Head Chef Serge Neil has sourced the finest ingredients from around the British Isles, including John Ross Scottish smoked salmon, goats curd from Thornby Moor Estate in Cumbria and ham from the local Marylebone butcher, to create a vintage afternoon tea that celebrates the best of British. The menu includes classic finger sandwiches with a modern twist, the Smoked salmon sandwiches are served on beetroot bread and the cumber and goats curd served on basil bread. Retro Battenburg cakes, individual Black Forest Gateaux with kirsch cherries and, of course, the classic scones with clotted cream and jam.
My blogging contributor for the day Helen is a vegetarian and when making the booking I requested for special / off the menu sandwiches to be made, not including meat or fish. However when we turned up on the day no special sandwiches were prepared instead the egg mayo and cream cheese slices were doubled up. This was a birthday treat for the both of us and I was disappointed that my request had not been acknowledged. Saying that the sandwiches were fresh and elegant, you could taste the high quality of the ingredients, each sandwich was flavoursome, distinctive and perfectly portioned.
On to the second tier of fruit scones served with Devonshire clotted cream and raspberry jam.
The buttery glossy topped scone was moist, moreish and divine. Smothered with cream and jam added another level of decadence.
The final tier was a collection of beautiful fancies; flourless chocolate and orange cake was sublime, delicately flavoured with orange and light as a feather. The rhubarb and custard shot glasses were delicious, small chucks of soft sweetened rhubarb covered with pale yellow vanilla custard was simply magnificent. The cherry bakewell was almost black forest gateaux inspired – actually I think it was a BFG!; a bitter black cherry perched on a butter cream topping with chocolate shavings and sponge cupcake based. Not my favourite as the sponge was slightly dry and cherry too tart for my liking.
Nothing like a bit of British classic battenberg! sweet enough to make your teeth ache the hot pink marzipan had a strong almond essence – gorgeous! the sponge was light with a tasty raspberry jam holding it all together. Finally the miniature pistachio meringue with an earl grey filling, smooth airy texture, crumbly and gooey with bit of a chew – perfect!
Reform Social Grill was a perfect setting for afternoon tea. The surroundings were like stepping back into a classy, chic and sophisticated era of glamour and style. The presentation of the food was well thought out, the beautiful tea sets were darling. The fancies and sandwiches remained British, not a hint of American influence or modernism which is what I admired the most. Great value for money, I will be recommending Reform Social to my friends.