The combination of culture, cake and a glass of Champagne is one which never fails to win us over. A delicious celebration of one of our favourite decades of the last century, the Jumeirah Carlton Tower’s Swinging Sixties Afternoon Tea is inspired by the Victoria & Albert’s latest major exhibition, You Say You Want A Revolution? Records and Rebels 1966-1970. The museum’s acclaimed show is a fascinating insight into the era-defining significance of the late 1960s, encompassing fashion, film, art and music. And those cakes? The Jumeirah’s sixties-themed tea provides an excellent excuse for an afternoon of culture and wandering round the V&A. Or perhaps it’s the other way round!
Opening in 1961, the Carlton Tower was London’s first tower hotel – and one of the places to hang out, with international stars staying, not to mention legendary 1960s designer Mary Quant using the location’s roof as a backdrop for her photoshoots. Served in the Chinoiserie lounge, the Jumeirah Carlton Tower’s afternoon tea starts off – as all good things should – with a glass of chilled fizz (we like the wonderfully afternoon-appropriate Laurent Perrier rosé) and an elegant dish of fresh strawberries.
Next up are a trio of savoury delights – the three-tiered prawn cocktail sandwich and duck liver parfait on soft brioche are particular highlights. It’s easy to forget your afternoon tea technique here and overindulge on the sandwiches, but fix your eye on the prize – those spectacular sixties-themed cakes! Our favourite was undoubtedly the Yuzu Really Got Me: an aromatic yuzu curd tart with Italian meringue topping, while the Swiss Rock ‘n’ Roll is sure to please chocoholics, and the sweet Strawberry Cake Forever is a delicate twist on the traditional Victoria Sponge.
Of course, there are freshly-baked scones served with jam and clotted cream – and an ample menu of teas to accompany. The Jumeirah’s staff will be happy to replenish sandwiches, cakes and scones – you need your strength to take in all that culture, right? While you’re there, do make time to visit the hotel’s very own miniature exhibition – organised in collaboration with nearby Harrods. Bringing the fun of the 1960’s to life, the show features photographs snapped at the hotel itself, alongside archive images and even a fantastic sixties minidress.
The distance between the Jumeirah Carlton Tower and the Victoria & Albert is just enough to help walk off those sandwiches – just try not to be swayed by the temptation to call in to Harrods on your way there…
Available until 20th November, the Swinging Sixties Afternoon Tea costs £55 which includes a glass of Laurent-Perrier Brut champagne and a ticket to the V&A exhibition (worth £16). For more information or to reserve the Swinging Sixties Afternoon Tea, call +44 (0)20 7858 7185 or email JCTdining@jumeirah.com.