I’m a sucker for all the British food traditions, but with my dislike for so many things the British like best, I always do it my way. (lalalalala … but through it all, when there was doubt, I ate it up and spit it out, I faced it all and stood tall, Aaaaaaand did it myyyyy waaaaaaay …) Sorry.
I decided to treat my friend to a nice Afternoon Tea. She needed cheering up, as she’s having a tough time at home and at work. After checking the website Afternoontea.co.uk I decided to go for one of the less traditional ones: a vegetarian mix of savoury and sweet treats based on London Street Food (according to the website).
The restaurant Hunter 486 is located in The Arch Hotel near Marble Arch. The hotel is set back a bit from the busy Marble Arch tourist streams. The restaurant is also not largely featured on the outside and we would have easily missed it. Chattering away as we were, we nearly missed it anyway. After going through the nice hotel lobby, we were greeted very nicely by staff and shown into a little alcove, which was separated from the rest of the restaurant by a see-through curtain. Very cozy and I immediately filed it away as a nice place for a romantic afternoon…as I’m rubbish at filing (mentally and practically) I’m sure I will have forgotten about it the next time I manage to get a date. As it was, we were not here for romance, but for serious relationship talk. As mentioned before my friend is currently going through a separation and it was easier talking to her in such a private environment. The staff was very attentive and we took the opportunity to play the part of Grand Dames and had fun with it: “Should I play mother?” “More tea, darling?” “What has the world come to?” “Young people nowadays … tsk tsk.” When the food arrived on a wooden boards it looked amazing, but on closer inspection it was a collection of pub food classics in a miniature version. Well … I like pub food, so that didn’t put me off. I had more problems deciding what to eat first. We went to work on the savoury first, but sadly none of the food was hot. Decisions were made and regretted later on. The Sweet board was brought out at the same time as the savoury board, so we enjoyed the view and took some pictures.
Here the menu with my notes:
Mini Portobello Mushroom burger in brioche bun – I chose to eat it last and was punished for it. Nice, but not great, as the brioche tasted a bit old.
Grilled vegetables tortilla with guacamole – Strangely tasteless.
Homemade scotch quail eggs with curried mayonnaise – The egg was great, but the mayonnaise was soooooo good. It managed to save the tortilla as well.
Roasted vegetable skewer with honey and mustard glaze – Yummy, but nothing to write home about.
Tomato, basil and mozzarella fried risotto balls – Best of the lot, as it was not too oily or too dry.
Sweet: (see picture)
Homemade macaroon – They were too soft, but a great taste of lavender base filled with chocolate ganache.
Lemongrass, mango and coconut rice pudding – I really liked the combination, but my friend didn’t. I think this related to memories of school lunch. Bad memories.
Strawberry and pistachio tart – My favourite, as the tart was amazing and the custard was just right. Shame I ate it so early on. Badly done, Jules. Badly done.
Raspberry Victoria sponge – I’m not a fan of sponge, but it was good. We were promised a coffee éclair when we booked it initially, but they didn’t have it on the day and gave us more sponge instead.
Apple and cinnamon doughnut – I love, love, loooove doughnuts, after all I’m a Berliner (haha). But sadly, this one was too dry.
Should I feel guilty for being so critical after I stuffed my face with it?! Don’t be ridiculous!
Verdict: Its a great place for a nice, non-traditional, well proportioned Afternoon Tea. Middle of the field contender…just like me.
If you want to try it , see details below.