Duck & Champagne, HKK

When I am craving Chinese food in London there is one place I want to go… HKK is a sophisticated restaurant in Moorgate which offers faultless Chinese cuisine and lovely service. I’ve visited with my dad twice now and both times we have both left in awe of the fine food. The eatery is currently offering a four course Duck & Champagne Saturday lunch menu for £49 per person, showcasing chef Tong’s signature Cherry wood roasted Peking duck.


During the week this Michelin starred restaurant is popular with businesses nearby, but on Saturdays there is a much quieter, civilised atmosphere in the dining room. A chilled bottle of Louis Roederer Brut Premier champagne arrived at our table. This fresh and elegant champagne pairs perfectly with Chinese cuisine, cutting through the rich ingredients and complementing the food.


To start, a blue crab salad, was a delicate and light starter. The creamy seafood was served with a salad of micro herbs with a striking goji berry dressing and little pieces of sweet exotic fruits. It was a clever combination of flavours and textures. The dish was presented in a dramatic waft of dry ice, which also kept the salad cold.


“From farm to plate, each Peking duck at HKK takes two days and multiple different cooking techniques and skills to create.” The duck was served to us in two courses. First in a bao bun topped with Imperial caviar with slices of crispy skin on the side, sweet sauce and sugar for dipping. It was an amazingly rich and decadent dish, showcasing how regal duck can be.


Next we had a fine dining version of duck and pancakes. Ultra thin pancakes with a thin spread of hoisin sauce, slithers of cucumber and onion and fleshy pieces of duck. The duck at HKK comes from Silver Hill Farm in Ireland and is marinated in a glaze of five spice, lemongrass, sugar, vinegar and garlic before being hung for 24 hours. Then it is cooked for 90 minutes in a firestone oven over cherry wood. The flavour is incredible, tender succulent meat with a glossy thick crispy skin. Egg fried rice with duck and abalone supreme stock is served with the duck pancakes and it a lovely comforting accompaniment.


Nashi pear and champagne mousse with cotton candy was the ideal palate cleansing dessert. It was not as exciting compared to the earlier courses, but the flavours worked well as part of this special lunch menu.

As soon as I left HKK I wanted to find another date in my diary to return. I would highly recommend the Duck & Champagne menu… it is an extravagant (but reasonably priced) taster of what this fantastic restaurant has to offer.

More information and book a table for HKK’s Duck & Champagne lunch 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.

Oh So French! Afternoon Tea, Kensington Hotel

South Kensington is the most obviously French area of London so it seems fitting that the Kensington Hotel has introduced an “Oh so French!” afternoon tea. This delightful offering celebrates the culinary traditions of France and pays tribute to the cultural character of the neighbourhood.

The £35 menu includes:

Selection of savouries

  • Goat’s cheese vol-au-vent puff pastry shell filled with creamy goat’s cheese & swiss chard
  • Pissaladiere crispy flat bread base with caramelised onions & anchovies
  • Quiche Lorraine with bacon, onion & cheese
  • Pan Bagnat crusty pain de champagne with tuna, olive oil, tomatoes & quail egg
  • Croque monsieur pan-fried ham & Gruyere finger sandwich with tomato tapenade

Selection of sweets

  • Passion fruit madeleines shell shaped sponge flavoured with vanilla & passion fruit
  • Rose macaroons with fresh berries pastel pink macaroons, with rose petals & wild berry butter cream
  • Strawberry millefeuille layers of crisp puff pastry with crème Chantilly & strawberries
  • Paris-brest baked almond choux with hazelnut crème patisserie
  • Cherry & pistachio clafoutis freshly baked clafoutis with Provence figs & toasted almonds

Aux Merveilleux de Fred brioches

  • Plain & chocolate chip brioches from Aux Merveilleux de Fred with apricot jam

There are plenty of tea varieties to choose from, and for an extra £10 you can make the tea experience more decadent with a glass of champagne.

Often, afternoon tea is a sickly sweet experience, but I loved that the ‘Oh So French’ menu included a range of delicious savoury bites. Particularly tasty were the cheesy and light vol-au-vents, and the cute mini croque monsieur that was so good I would have liked a full sized version.

The brioche buns were a surprising change from scones, and I did miss the traditional English counterpart. But the French are deservedly known as the finest pastry chefs in the world, and this was represented well in the top level of treats on the afternoon tea stand. My favourite were the exotically flavoured madeleines and the luxurious little millefeuille.

I always find the Kensington Hotel staff welcoming and the dining rooms are comfortable and relaxing. The ‘Oh So French’ afternoon tea suited me perfectly, fuelling my love of French food and entertaining me for an afternoon of fun in London.

More information and book here.