Yesterday as a thank you for doing some decorating for my cousin we went to Brasserie Blanc in Charlotte Street for afternoon tea. I’ve been to a few different afternoon tea venues as special treats and I always enjoy them.
There is something nice about going to a posh venue, dressing smartly and eating little sandwiches and cakes. You feel like you stepped back in time to old world London for a while.
I almost forget that there is so much of London that I never see. I used to travel up regularly and mill around with no real direction, just seeing what I could see, but I haven’t done that in ages. A trip to London for shopping consists of walking Oxford Street and Regents Street and coming home. I never considered all the shops in the side turnings that I was missing.
Charlotte Street is a lovely little road, just behind Tottenham Court Road and accessible from Oxford Street. There was a lovely hotel almost opposite the Brasserie and we enjoyed walking along and taking in the new sights.
There was a side turning where a man was handing out samples, which on closer inspection were hot chocolate. Perfect for a day like yesterday when it was wet in the air but not quite raining and a little on the chilly side. The bakery he was standing outside looked lovely with its window full of bite sized cupcakes and pastry cups topped with Halloween themes.
We arrived half an hour early but was seated in the clubhouse area and brought hot cups of tea to warm up. I loved the Victorian colour scheme of the restaurant and the simple but comfortable seating. When our table was ready we were taken downstairs to have our afternoon tea.
We were brought a glass of champagne to start which was really lovely. Sometimes I find it can be a bit dry for my liking but I really enjoyed whatever it was we had yesterday. I love trying different champagnes on special occasions, I’ve tried most of the top brands and my favourite to date is Moet.
The afternoon tea when it arrived was cream cheese and salmon sandwiches on brown bread, cucumber sandwiches on white bread, champagne truffles, lemon drizzle cake and scones with clotted cream and jam.
It’s funny, I don’t mind a cucumber sandwich but it’s not something I would make for myself.
The food was ok but a little disappointing. The salmon sandwiches didn’t have any cream cheese in them and the cucumber sandwich was bare also. They were both in need of some dressing or something to make them come alive. It would have been nice to have had a meat option also as salmon is an acquired taste not everyone appreciates.
The lemon drizzle cake was a little dark on the edges, was quite heavy and a touch on the dry side. The scones were nice but we just had one each. I don’t normally eat truffles but I had one which was nice, but too sweet for my tastes.
The tea was rich and strong, which everyone enjoyed but I think I prefer our usual tea brand. I’m not refined when it comes to hot drinks I’m afraid!
All told I enjoyed the treat as it was more about the experience and the company for me than the food.
After we finished we walked along Oxford Street in the rain to Regents Street where they were having a NFL Preview Show Day for the big match at Wembley today between The Buffalo Bills and the Jacksonville Jaguars.
It was nice to see so many people braving the rain to have some fun. There were a lot of people in NFL jerseys and hats. Even though we arrived towards the end of the day there were still people queuing to have a go on the side stalls.
We saw the commentator being interviewed on a little stage, building up to the big game, followed by the Jacksonville Cheerleaders.
There was a stall where you could test your quarterback accuracy by throwing the ball through the holes of the different through balls. We watched a couple of people proving it’s a lot tougher than it looks!
There was also the opportunity to see if you can beat the NFL star with the 42.5″ standing jump. His knees must be made of springs. A couple of people tried and got close, I wonder if anyone beat him!
In the toy shop by Bond Street station there was a lot of interest in the Red and Blue Stormtroopers in the window. Inside the door people were having their photo taken with a red Stormtrooper. I thought of my friend’s Daughter who is a Star Wars fan and sent her a picture. I’ve only ever watched part of one movie at my cousin’s house when I was little. They were both big fans!
I always love looking at the different types of architecture in London. I find it fascinating. Big parts of Tottenham Court Road and Oxford Street had been pulled down and new buildings are going up in their place. Centre Point was completely covered in building wrap, I seem to remember it is being converted into flats. There is a lot of evidence of the building of cross rail in places too.
I just hope that whatever they put in place of the old buildings has a bit of character to it. It all seems to be concrete, metal and windows nowadays with no gargoyles or sculpted façades in sight.
That’s why I loved the designs for the new Stamford Bridge stadium, it is proper old school architecture and not just a soulless steel and concrete frame like a lot of the other newer stadiums I have seen.
I think I’ll remember in future to try a couple of back roads on every trip into London, just to see what I’m missing out on. I might find some hidden gems or a new favourite hangout.