Afternoon tea is my all time favourite meal. In fact, I could happily eat afternoon tea at any time of day, every day. I love the elegant atmosphere, the dainty food and best of all the decadent sweets and pastries.
So you can imagine my delight when Nuffnang invited a group of Melbourne food and fashion bloggers to The Langham to sample their famous Chocolate Indulgence Afternoon tea, which they offer on the weekends (they offer a Tiffin afternoon tea on weekdays). I accepted the invitation without hesitation and focused on choosing an appropriately pretty outfit with an elasticised waist.
The Langham Melbourne is one of the Leading Hotels of the World and The Langham‘s afternoon tea is held at Aria, a bar and lounge elevated from the lobby and accessed by a glittering grand staircase. We were seated on cushy couches and leather seats and given a brief talk by Head Pastry Chef Markus Bohm about what to expect: a silver tiered stand with scones and finger sandwiches; a chocolate bar piled on beautifully patterned hatboxes and featuring desserts made from single plantation chocolates from around the world; and made-to-order souffles. I’d died and gone to heaven.
I won’t go too much into describing the delicacies on offer but will just let you drool over the pictures.
The Langham Torte, an almond marzipan, cherries, brandy and Valrhona chocolate concoction.
A shot glass of raspberry jelly, fluffy orange mousse, chocolate and topped with wonderfully delicate chocolate antlers!
White chocolate strawberry mousse tart with berries.
Chocolate biscotti dipped in dark chocolate.
One of my favourites, miniature chocolate eclairs with a crisp dark chocolate icing dusted with gold leaf.
Lime and agastura bitters tart. Another one of my favourites.
Amarascata (cherry) and white chocolate roulade.
I’m not normally a fan of rocky road but I did like the huge macadamias in this version.
Lady Mogador Mousse Cake, a deliciously rich cake made with dark Venezuelan cocoa topped with a passionfruit glaze that cut through the richness. It’s a shame it was one of the last things I ate, because it was gorgeous but I was a bit chocolated-out by then. I also love the Escher-style pattern decorating the side of the cake.
The tier of sandwiches, including traditional smoked salmon, tomato and goats cheese and prosciutto with some form of cheese (definitely not cheddar). The fruit scone was light with a firm outer crust, just the way I like it.
Last but not least, the promised souffles. The miniature chocolate chip and passionfruit souffles took precisely 8 minutes to bake. I was impressed that they were transported from the kitchen in a portable stove so you don’t lose that hard-to-achieve high top.
If you’re now convinced that afternoon tea at Aria is a must-do, the best news is that on Thursday 10 June, The Langham Melbourne and all the Langham hotels worldwide are celebrating their 145th anniversary with a Global Tea Party. That means that every Langham hotel will be offering the Tiffin afternoon tea for the original price of 1 shilling 6 pence, or 20 cents! The catch is that bookings are only open to families booking for three generations or more, ie grandparent, parent and child.
Online ookings open at 1865 hours, or 7:05pm on Tuesday 8 June at www.ariabar.com.au and only 40 places are available. If you miss out on a place, you will be offered the opportunity to try the Chocolate Indulgence Afternoon Tea on weekdays in June for $28.40, 18.65% off the usual price of $35.