Takeaway Tea by Ametsa with Arzak Instruction

This week, in celebration of National Afternoon Tea Week, I popped over to the Halkin Hotel in Knightsbridge to pick up a takeaway tea from the Michelin star Spanish restaurant, Ametsa with Arzak Instruction.

Ametsa with Arkzak Instruction afternoon tea

With Hyde Park so close by Ametsa with Arzak Instruction saw the opportunity to offer guests a take-away tea option, pairing up with Afternoontea.co.uk to package up everything you need to enjoy their luxurious afternoon tea in the park.

Ametsa with Arkzak Instruction afternoon tea

We searched for a suitable spot, avoiding the fitness fanatics and the kids chasing virtual Pokemon, to a sheltered grassy area under some amazing tall trees. Inside the boxes were lots of carefully arranged treats, immaculately presented despite being made to-go. One savoury container featured dishes like red pepper and avocado toasted sandwich and Iberico ham wrapped crackers. Without a menu we were left to try and guess the flavour of each bite-sized delicacy. Two orange and yellow test tubes contained what I could only assume was a kind of innovative fishcake.

Ametsa with Arkzak Instruction afternoon tea

The sweet treats were my favourite, miniature churros and chocolate dipping sauce, crème brulee cake, and tiny fruit tarts. Along with the array of food the staff had handed me a bag with small bottles of cava and plastic flutes, to add to the indulgence.

It was great fun tasting this imaginative tea whilst enjoying the fresh air and watching the activity that surrounded us. We were very lucky to enjoy some sunshine whilst picnicking in the park… if the British weather was more reliable I could see this Basque takeaway tea being a great success all year round.

More information on the restaurant and all its offerings here.

Afternoon Tea at Four Seasons Park Lane

I have a love-hate relationship with afternoon tea. As a concept it makes little sense, because lunch and dinner become immediately redundant. That being said it is lovely in a romantically English way, and I can normally fit in an extra meal, so I shouldn’t be complaining. Often when I review afternoon tea I feel the offering is overpriced and rarely fresh, eating nearly stale sandwiches and saccarine sweet cakes is not worth £30 a head… but at Four Seasons Park Lane I am pleased to report that I was truly stunned by the delicious and immaculate presentation of treats.

afternoon tea four seasons park lane

My best friend is almost professional in her tea drinking skills, so I knew instantly that she would gladly be my date for the Four Seasons afternoon eating extravaganza. It was gone four when the food starting arriving, and we were famished. The hotel felt grand but relaxed on a Saturday afternoon. We sat in the Amaranto Lounge listening to the live piano music and sipping rose Veuve Clicquot champagne, and I couldn’t think of a nicer way to spend the weekend.

afternoon tea four seasons park lane

To celebrate the start of the summer season Four Seasons Park Lane have created a charming ‘Journey through British Summertime’ Afternoon Tea which features some favourite English ingredients whilst recognising some of the most prestigious British summertime events. The pastry section of the tea exceeded all expectations, a beautiful array of immaculate cakes. From Wimbledon-inspired choux pastry with cherry compote to the Pimm’s infused baba to remind guests of boozy picnics at Glynbourne Opera, each item was as pretty as it was tasty. My absolute favourite was the Strawberries and cream lady finger with pink champagne pearls, a subtle and exquisite mouthful of joy.

The savoury sandwiches celebrate some of the best British producers. Locally sourced ingredients help make the Coronation chicken, cucumber with cream cheese, Smoked salmon and sweet pea mousse, crab and Ploughman’s sandwiches flavoursome and fresh.


afternoon tea four seasons park laneafternoon tea four seasons park lane

My favourite part of afternoon tea is the scones, with jam and clotted cream. They arrived after the sandwiches and cakes, still hot from the oven. The scones were a smaller size than usual so it seemed okay to enjoy two or three of them! Served with the thickly, most decadent clotted cream, strawberry jam and rhubarb jam. At this stage we also picked our preferred tea from the Jing menu. I decided on White tea, for the first time, and was pleasantly surprised by the aromatic and floral taste.

The Journey Through British Summer Time Afterrnoon Tea is served daily from 3pm to 6pm in the Amaranto Lounge or outdoors on the terrace and costs £42 per person or £55 including a glass of Veuve Clicquot Brut Champagne.

More information about the afternoon tea at the Four Seasons Park Lane here.

Afternoon Tea at Fairmont Empress, Victoria, Vancouver Island

Most would assume that Vancouver is capital of British Columbia, but that title belongs to the older and wiser city of Victoria on Vancouver Island. If you have time it is well worth visiting this quaint city.

The grand Fairmont Empress Hotel is one of the first sights you see when you arrive in Victoria. The building was built between 1904 and 1908 but became a popular tourist destination in the 1920s. This famous hotel has become iconic over the years, overlooking the Inner Harbour on Government Street. The hotel has 477 rooms and four restaurants, but it is the classic Victorian afternoon tea for which it is best known. In the busier summer months the ‘Tea Room’ can serve more than 800 teas in a day!

Rather than waiting until 3pm, we arrived for our ‘lunchtime’ afternoon tea at 1pm, hungry and excited. We were ushered into the lavish lounge to a preferential table with views of the Victoria Harbour. The Fairmont Empress has been serving tea for over 107 years and the menu is still much the same as Anna, Duchess of Bedford intended when she invited her guests for tea and scones. The china is the same in design as that used for the royal guests, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth who visited The Empress in 1939.


Fresh Strawberries with Empress Cream


Smoked Salmon Pinwheel with Dill Cream Cheese

Roasted Honey Ham with Tarragon Dijonnaise

Free Range Egg Salad Croissant

Cucumber and Ginger Mascarpone on Butter Brioche

Moroccan Spiced Coronation Chicken on Marble Rye


Freshly Baked Raisin Scone with Strawberry Jam and Empress Cream


Duo of Jivara and Ivoire Chocolate Délice

Tropical Lamington

Raspberry Mascarpone Mousseline

Valrhona Pistachio Crémeux Tart

Rose Petal Shortbread

Fresh strawberries topped with Empress cream was first placed on the table. The Empress cream is extra light whipped cream with an alluring sweetness that I imagine comes from adding sugar, it was perfect with the ruby red strawberries. After a round of superior Earl Grey tea, the impressive tiered stands arrived loaded with delectable treats. The sandwiches were fresh and full of flavour, particularly delicious was the creamy rich Moroccan spiced coronation chicken and the exotic take on a standard cucumber sandwich.

I found the scones a little dry, they sadly didn’t taste very freshly baked. The dainty cakes on the top level were a pleasant balance of different flavours and textures. The decadent Délice was a hit with my chocolate loving friend whilst I preferred the airy raspberry mousseline and subtly flavoured rose petal shortbread.

It threatens to ruin the magic seeing the prepared afternoon teas sitting out ready for at the entrance to the Tea Lobby, but nonetheless I loved my experience at The Empress, and highly recommend including it in your Victoria itinerary.

More information and book the Empress afternoon tea here.

While in Victoria, walk up to the impressive Craigdarroch Castle and learn all about the family history. And after indulging at The Empress, wander around the independent shops on Johnson Street – I loved the stationery shop Regional Assembly of Text, the cashmere shop Kit and Ace and the café Hey Happy for their Iced Coconut Milk Latte.

Thoroughly Modern Milly travelled to Victoria with Helijet.

Breathtaking views over the stunning Salish Sea greet guests on a Helijet flight between Vancouver and Victoria or Nanaimo.  Comfortable and spacious, 12 seat, Sikorsky S76 helicopters fly up to 30 daily departures between the cities.  With flights just 35 minutes between Vancouver and Victoria or 18 minutes between Vancouver and Nanaimo there’s more time to spend exploring the city after your flight.  http://helijet.com/scheduled-airline/

All photos taken on my lovely Olympus Pen Lite E-PL7.