I love chocolate. Actually, I adore it about as much as I love tea. So when I heard that the Hyatt Regency London was introducing a brand new Chocolate themed afternoon tea (called the “ChocolaTEA”), I just couldn’t resist reviewing it:
The Hyatt Regency London The Churchill Hotel Setting ★★★★☆
The Hyatt Regency London The Churchill is located in the West End, just a minute away from Marble Arch and Hyde Park. This five-star hotel is designed to honour Winston Churchill and features many nods to his life such as the eponymous Churchill Cigar Bar.
The afternoon tea is served in The Montagu restaurant or in the Lobby. The Montagu is a very pleasant venue with plenty of natural light and several chandeliers while the adjacent lobby features a proper fireplace. There is an open kitchen in the Montagu so guests who are sensitive to smell (e.g. Steak or Chips) will probably favour the lobby.
The Tea & Beverage Selection ★★★★☆
There are many classic teas to choose from, such as good old Earl Grey or white Pai Mu Tan tea.
The star of the show is the ChocolaTEA special blend: the “Maya Gold Cocoa Nib Tea”, infused with orange, cinnamon and nutmeg. I’m normally not keen on cinnamon based drinks but this one gets my vote. Its fruity and refreshing flavour pairs well with the sweets.
For an extra £9, guests will be served a glass of Champagne or the “Sir Winston Martini” cocktail, a classic Martinez garnished with Green & Black’s rich 85% dark chocolate. I recommend drinking the Martini first as the herbal flavour and the chocolate induced bitterness will complement the savouries really well!
The Savouries ★★★★★
I was very happy to see that the Montagu’s kitchen team took risks and decided to incorporate chocolate with the savouries. The Hyatt Regency London afternoon tea is unique in that aspect, as other chocolate-themed afternoon teas will only use chocolate with the sweets.
The ChocolaTEA afternoon tea features five savoury bites. My two favourites are marked with a heart (♥):
- Smoking Salmon Sushi Sandwich, Cucumber and Dill Cream Cheese Garnished with Green & Black’s White Chocolate Flakes
- Churchill Mini Burger with Chocolate-infused BBQ Sauce (infused with Green & Black’s Dark 70% Chocolate) ♥
- Venison and Milk Chocolate Pâté with Fresh Cherries, Braised with Green & Black’s Milk Chocolate
- Aubergine Mousse Éclair, Dusted with Green & Black’s Organic Cocoa Powder
- Coronation Chicken Sandwich in Homemade Green & Black’s Chocolate Bread ♥
The chef has cleverly used chocolate to add a touch of originality to each savoury. The burger is the tastiest of the lot: it’s so good that you’ll regret the absence of food refills! The coronation chicken sandwich is the second best: I found the chocolate black bread heavenly.
The venison pâté was delicious too but it would have been perfect with a piece of bread or a toast. The Frenchman in me struggles to eat pâté on its own and I don’t think the pâté would be a proper match with the scones either!
The Scones ★★☆☆☆
The plain and chocolate scones are quite decent but a bit dry, and the choice of toppings (clotted cream and chocolate spread but no jam) is rather odd. After all, what’s the point of serving clotted cream without any jam?!
I hope the Montagu will rectify that soon enough but as such, the scones are the most disappointing aspect of this chocolate afternoon tea.
The Cakes & Sweets ★★★★☆
Instead of an amuse bouche, the ChocolaTEA is served with Lime Sorbet. This sweet is actually a palate cleanser and is meant to facilitate the transition from the savouries to the sweets:
- Refreshing Lime Sorbet in Ginger Chocolate Dipped Cone (palate cleanser)
It certainly does that really well, on top of being very tasty and refreshing. You may eat it straight after the savouries but I believe it’s best to wait for a bit, after finishing the scones for example.
Aside from the sorbet, there are four cakes and sweets (reminder: I recommend ordering the “Maya Gold Cocoa Nib Tea” with these as it’s a great pairing):
- Passion Fruit & White Chocolate Macaroon Stack
- Dark Chocolate Cupcake with Buttercream & Salted Chocolate DIY Garnish ♥
- Butterscotch Tea Cake with Gold Leaf Garnish
- Raspberry & Dark Chocolate Layered Mousse with Fresh Raspberries
I especially liked the Chocolate cupcake with the DIY garnish. The sweet bitterness of the dark chocolate combines perfectly with the salted buttercream garnish. On the other hand, I found the Butterscotch tea cake tasted a bit odd though it is hard for me to define why this was so.
The Service ★★★★☆
The staff is polite, efficient and accessible. The waiters were perfect and always made sure I had enough tea.
Do note that the afternoon tea is served on a rather short span on weekends (from 3:30 to 5:30 pm) which is slightly annoying.
Below is a video detailing the full contents of the ChocolaTEA afternoon tea:
Conclusion & Overall Mark ★★★★☆
The Hyatt Regency London ChocolaTEA is the only “true chocolate afternoon tea” I have ever reviewed in the city, as chocolate is used with the savouries, scones and sweets.
It’s a great alternative for chocoholics who wish to try something different from the excellent, but extremely sweet-tooth oriented “Charlie & The Chocolate Factory” afternoon tea.
+: The ChocolaTEA savouries
+: The Maya Gold Cocoa Nib Tea
+: The Cakes & Sweets
+: Great service
+: Good value for money
-: No food refills
-: The Scones
-: 2-hour service on weekends
Booking Link / Special Offer with Afternoon Tea Online
(Free glass of Champagne, offer runs until 31/08/2017)
Phone number: 020 7299 2037