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Afternoon Tea Information
Podium Restaurant at The London Hilton on Park Lane,
22 Park Lane, London W1K 1BE
Days and Times: Daily, 3-6pm.
Cost: From £25.50 per person.
Dress Code: Smart but not formal.
Reservations: 020 7208 4022 or online at www.podiumrestaurant.co.uk
Photography: Permitted. Staff will help.
Music: Instrumental, modern, chill out music.
Chocolate Afternoon Tea Menu
All the delicacies are freshly made in-house with the highest quality ingredients, including 70% cocoa and edible gold leaf, and where possible the products have been locally sourced.
You can round off the experience with a glass of Toblerone Martini (£10.50) made with Kahlua, cream, honey, white and dark chocolate liquor and espresso, or glass of Cabernet Sauvignon (£8.95).
If you can't finish all the delicacies you can take them away in a pretty box.
Hilton Park Lane Chocolate Afternoon ReviewI visited on a weekday when it was quiet but I hear weekends are usually fully booked.
The Podium restaurant, is at the front of the hotel so you can people watch from the large windows. The tables are neatly presented with white table runners and simple white crockery.
Twinings Teas are on offer with ten choices. Sadly, the tea is all teabags and not loose, and there is no tea expertise, but tea is not the focus for this afternoon tea; it's all about the chocolate. And surely that's why you'd choose this option. The sugar for your tea is paper sachets and not lumps but that can hardly be a criticism.*
* 2011 Update: They are no longer using teabags and now offer loose leaf Harney & Sons teas that have been specially blended for Hilton Hotels. Sugar is also no longer in sachets but served as lumps in a sugar bowl.
Before you get onto the chocolate there's a wonderful plate of open sandwiches, with vegetarian alternatives available. My companion told me the prawn mayonnaise and baby gem lettuce was divine and I loved my vegetarian asparagus, Parmesan, and watercress. The bread could be a little thicker, or denser, as some of the fillings weighed it down but all were presented beautifully and tasted wonderful.
The three-tier cake stand was modernized with a chrome frame and square glass plates. The layers were scones, cupcakes, and topped with stunning chocolate miniature fancies.
You can choose between plain or fruit scones with clotted cream and strawberry jam, or indulge in chocolate chip scones with a fresh praline chocolate spread. We tried them all and while disappointed that the strawberry jam was quite runny the chocolate spread was superb. As the only chocolate spread I had ever tried was Nutella, I was amazed how it should taste.
The cupcakes are little works of art and I have to say we decided to take them home to share with family as we didn't want to not be able to manage the chocs. (Anything you can't finish can be taken home in a very cute mini-handbag box. I got lots of smiles carrying that home on the tube!)
So this is what you want to know about. What are the chocs like? I can report, even for someone who is not a huge chocolate fan, they are delicious. Again, presentation is immaculate and the chocs are served on a dark chocolate plate which you can eat too. A miniature strawberry cheesecake was my favorite with ground pistachio decoration and served in, what I can only describe as, a cuff bracelet of dark chocolate. There was also a chocolate parfait with real edible gold leaf.
'Confessions of a Chocoholic' is extremely well-priced for afternoon tea at a London five star hotel. Tea is not the priority but the food is superb. Presentation is excellent and the chocolate is rich and delectable. Just what you'd hope for.
As is common in the travel industry, the writer was provided with complimentary afternoon tea for the purpose of reviewing those services. While it has not influenced this review, About.com believes in full disclosure of all potential conflicts of interest. For more information, see our Ethics Policy.