In my view, the cardinal rule of afternoon tea for the customer is ‘always leave the cake you think is going to be your favourite until last’.
While it is a gamble, it’s one I think pays off.
I was challenged by friends to travel and explore the world via the medium of cake. I can’t see this being a problem.
First stop: Warsaw and the Hotel Bristol.
I was almost thwarted. They serve afternoon tea from Thursdays until Sundays. Unfortunately, I had a train to catch on Thursday to go to Moscow.
I did not want to admit defeat at the first hurdle… so I checked my ticket and discovered I wasn’t leaving until ten past four. Loads of time.
Having spent three days walking around Warsaw… you should really try Walkative’s Street Art and Communist Warsaw tours… I had worked up quite an appetite when I finally arrived at the Hotel’s Column Bar for afternoon tea.
Built in 1901 and restored, following the fall of communism in 1989, to its former art deco design, it really is like stepping back into the 1930s. (As long as you ignore the portrait of Margaret Thatcher in the wine bar).
The sandwiches were excellent – unusual fillings in different types of breads.
The scones were superb – light and with just the right amount of crumbliness. They didn’t collapse as soon as they were sliced and they couldn’t have been used as a throwing weapon either.
The jam was to die for – thick, rich and fruity.
And the cakes… well, as in the UK, there appears to be a stealthiness of mousse creeping into the cake plate and a lack of actual cake. However they were all very good and…
I saved the best for last.
Plus I am delighted to report that the teapot provided a practically endless supply of tea. Now, for me, that is definitely the sign of a great afternoon tea.
For those of you who were wondering what the cardinal rule is for the proprieter, it is this: Do Not Mess With The Scones.