Wonderland.

MARIE ANTOINETTE AFTERNOON TEA AT PONT ST.

Go for the best afternoon tea in London at the Belgrave’s restaurant, Pont St.

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We’ve written about the eminently stylish Belgrave Hotel and its excellent restaurant, Pont St., before, but had to go back when we heard what the place is doing with afternoon tea. Afternoon tea at a hotel might sound like nothing new, but with Pont St., nothing should be taken for granted: Cue the Marie Antoinette Afternoon Tea, head chef Sophie Michell’s wonderfully French take on an English classic.

The obvious opportunity for “Let Them Eat Cake” related gags aside (come on, who could resist?), the whole Marie Antoinette thing is really about capturing the sheer opulence of her court. As Michell explained, “I’ve always found Marie Antoinette an intriguing character; she was seen as a figure of decadence, beauty and frivolity. It’s debatable as to whether her famous quote, ‘Let them eat cake’ was actually coined by her, but it did get me thinking about what would be her perfect afternoon tea.” Whilst the real Antoinette’s life of excess and indulgence was somewhat ill-fated, you can rest assured that Pont St. is a revolution free zone. Instead, the atmosphere is serene and polished, with subtly contemporary design throughout.

Onto the food itself though, because really, that’s what we’re all here for. The menu includes some outrageously indulgent treats, like rose macaroons, an absinthe choux bun (for those dissolute artist vibes) and something called ‘chocolate opera cake’: don’t worry, it’s low on opera but reassuringly heavy on chocolate. If you’re more of a savoury person – or, like me, enjoy a bit of everything – then there are decadent delights like hollondaise quail egg tartlets, smoked salmon on pumpernickel, and even foie gras on brioche toast – because if there’s one thing foie gras needs, it’s to be spread on rich, sweet bread. For drink, you could opt for tea. However, if you’re out to treat yourself (which you should be) then plump for a glass of crisp Rulnart Champagne. Marie would, after all.

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MARIE ANTOINETTE AFTERNOON TEA AT PONT ST.

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