Okay, I don’t mean to be a traitor to the United Kingdom, but I’m not really that fussed about scones. I’ll eat them if they’re all that’s on offer, but I could happily go through the rest of my life without another. However, I do enjoy the ritual of afternoon tea, so whenever there’s a menu that’s slightly unconventional I’m game to give it a go. And earlier in the week I visited St Martins Lane hotel, in Covent Garden, to try their Cafecito afternoon tea.
One of my best friends has just graduated from university, so it seemed like the perfect way to celebrate. The Cafecito afternoon tea is split into two courses – savoury and sweet – and all of the dishes have a Asian and Cuban influence. So although there are scones on the menu they’re flavoured with tomato and chives, and instead of clotted cream and jam they’re served with a delicious garlic butter.
I won’t list every single dish on the menu – because that would take forever and also spoil the surprise if you plan to experience the tea yourself – but highlights include the mango, kiwi and strawberry layered bottle (you drink this first to prepare your palette); beef and vegetable empanadas with Caribbean hot sauce; fresh green mango, cucumber and mouli summer rolls; and hot and sour chicken and avocado spring rolls.
The selection of sweet dishes is thankfully a little bit smaller (one giant platter, compared to three tiers of savoury treats), and offers a nice people-pleasing selection. There’s a chocolate chilli cream and pistachio crumble, banana spring rolls filled with white chocolate and coconut ganache, Asia de Cuba’s famous mini Mexican doughnuts and a key lime pie.
The banana spring rolls were my favourite, and Holly went gaga for the chocolate chilli crumble!
As you can imagine, after eating all that food we both slipped into a food coma. It’s the only time I’ve ever finished an entire afternoon tea, so I definitely recommend visiting. If you’re a fan of the traditional it’s probably not for you, but if you like experimenting with new flavours you must check it out…
Cafecito afternoon tea at Asia de Cuba, St Martins Lane hotel. £25 per person. Book online or call +44 020 7300 5588.
– Coco’s Tea Party was a guest at Asia de Cuba, St Martins Lane –