Sunday, 26 September 2010

Claire Clark afternoon tea - Harvey Nics

JD had noticed an article about Claire Clark in the Metro around a month ago which mentioned that she would be opening a pop-up patisserie in Harvey Nics for a limited period of time, as well as offering afternoon tea for 2 weeks only. I got on the phone "toute suite" and managed to bag us a table for tea on the final day on offer. For those who might not know who Claire Clark is, she is a renowned pastry chef and probably most famous for having been the head pastry chef at the French Laundry. 

I have to admit that I was toying with the idea of cancelling our reservation in the week leading up to afternoon tea, mainly due to the fact that the last and only time I had tried afternoon tea before (Pret a Portea at the Berkeley Hotel), I had been served stale sandwiches and didn't fancy handing out 35 squid per head for a similar experience. After a little bit of coaxing from my boss, we decided to go and try and Claire Clark's creations in the end :)

It was a lovely experience and contrary to what I thought before, the afternoon tea was replenishable (we looked like we were the only table in the whole dining room who asked for seconds of stuff!! We shared a 2nd plate of savoury sandwiches). Some of the pastries were pretty good whilst others didn't really hit the mark. Still, I did leave feeling a bit more inspired.......perhaps it was down to seeing the chef herself, who knows? :)

Platter of savoury sandwiches inspired by different cities around the world (apparently!)

Paris: Oven dried tomatoes and blue cheese on sourdough - not bad but you couldn't really taste the bread

London: Egg and watercress in a soft roll bun

New York: mini poppy seed bagel with smoked salmon and cream cheese - talk about stingy with the cream cheese, that can't even be called a smear!!

Our favourite sandwich of the day - focaccia with tuna and tapenade, think this was called Milan?

 Tray of sweet goodies

 Praline roulade - tasty but large chocolate disc base was not very necessary

Jaffa cake macaron - nice flavour but pretty disappointed that we were served hollow(!!!!) shells!

 Chocolate cherry cake - a biteful of Black Forest

Battenburg cake - never been a fan and still remain unconvinced

Lemon madeira cake - one of my favourites of the afternoon

Rose and raspberry eclair - a bit on the soggy side, the influence of PH is far-reaching!!

Sesame opera - a twist on a classic which didn't add much

Pistachio, passion fruit pain de gene - another fav of the afternoon - lots of flavours I liked!

Peanut butter s'more

 Biggest dud of the afternoon - bubblegum pavlova, looked nice but tasted revolting......worse than Parma violets!!

Biggest highlight of the afternoon - feather-like, flaky scones.....if I wasn't so full, I would've had another plate :)

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