There is something about leaving a city which makes you approach it with a critical eye. The same can be said with its cuisine. So it is telling that the first meal I had when I got back to London was a cream tea at Palm Court.
People have often asked what Jen and I miss in Hong Kong and the answer is pretty simple; cream. Cream in all its luscious fattening varieties. And where better to get that weight bestowing manna from heaven than from a traditional English high tea.
High tea also has that virtue that it is something which is completely and utterly English. It rigidly starts with the sandwiches, moves to the cakes and then you get the cream and scones. You might be able to have it in various hotels around the world but we invented it and I still haven’t had better. Palm Court (old review here) has always been our favourite in London so I couldn’t wait to revisit to catch up with an old friend whilst Jen was off at Thanksgiving in the US.
It didn’t disappoint. From charming, glimmering in the background, service to the brilliance of tens of little morsels that leave you ridiculously full at the end. The other truly great thing about a cream tea at somewhere like Palm Court is the pace. I sat, I talked, I digested and went back for more. Two or three hours passed and not once did I feel harried.
I have to admit it wasn’t quite as good as previous visits as a few of the sandwiches were a touch stale. The cakes were, however, fantastic and the Valhronha chocolate cake sugared me with joy. The scones with clotted cream were also everything that I had dreamed off and missed. Still warm, slightly moist at the core and ready to be prised apart and slathered with clotted cream
I’m not sure I can fit another visit in whilst I am back in London this week but I am sure as hell tempted.
- Price – £45 a head
- 150 Piccadilly London W1J 9BR
PS is there anywhere which seriously competes with Palm Court. Any new contenders for the cream tea crown?