Afternoon indulgence

The Langham, London launches its elegant new afternoon tea

Decadent. Extravagant. Supersized. These are the adjectives we have recently come to expect from our cakes and patisseries, along with lashings of cream or ice cream. In an age of hyper-stimulation—hyper-satiation, even—bakers and pastry chefs face increasing demand for bigger, creamier, more. It’s what makes the approach of The Langham, London so remarkable. Small, subtle and elegantly constructed, the sandwiches and sweets which make up the new afternoon tea with Wedgwood fly in the face of the prevailing trend.  

The team have returned to the classics: paris-brests, madeleines, cucumber sandwiches and prawn cocktails, while retaining their hallmark capacity for innovation and flair. The classic prawn cocktail sandwich, for example, comes in a potato bread bun; the egg mayo with marinated artichoke. A baba comes soaked in blackcurrant and star anise, topped with whipped ganache and crunchy pearls of chocolate—a creation that tickles and brightens the senses, without leaving them overwhelmed.

“Where possible, we strive to reduce fats, sweetness in our creams, or the overall feeling of heaviness in a process we might use, while still offering a real sense of contentment,” comments the pastry team. “From making the lightest, flakiest puff pastry to rethinking a classic cream, we have finally created a new collection we are proud of and hope will equally enamour our guests.”

From the array of contented faces and sticky fingers on display at the tea’s launch, it would seem they have succeeded.