The first time I saw the OXO Tower was a moment or two before I took the photo below. I was cruising down The Thames River and spotted the building that I had read about in my London book guides. It set in motion a curiosity to one day visit it and possibly dine at the rooftop restaurant and bar.
Over the years I had traveled back to London again and again but never step foot into the OXO Tower Building. If you have ever been to London then you understand why as there are so many things to see and do that it can become overwhelming. So after a decade of traveling into England, I FINALLY made it a point to have afternoon tea at the rooftop restaurant that overlooks The Thames River. It was the brilliant experience that I was hoping for!
—— Afternoon Tea Service ——-
I made a reservation for one which is not uncommon for me as a solo traveler. I rarely wait for others especially if I want to try a place out or travel somewhere. Having afternoon tea at OXO was one of those places. Although I would have loved to been here with my adult daughter or one of my tea loving friends, it was just me and I really do like my own company.
— OXO Classic Champagne Cocktail —
If offered, I typically start off afternoon tea with a glass of champagne. Better yet a champagne cocktail, which I definatley prefer. I like to arrive early to any dining establishment so I can order a cocktail. This was no exception and I ordered the OXO Classic Champagne Cocktail. It was strong but delicate and marvelous. Think Courvoisier VSOP Cognac infused with orange peel, vanilla and bitters. Then lightly sweetened and charged with OXO Champagne!
— Afternoon Tea Menu | Summer 2019 —
The afternoon tea menu was classic with scones, finger sandwiches, savouries and sweets. When I read the menu I became quite excited to try everything especially the savories and finger sandwiches, which are my favorites. Every country adds their own twist to the savories, in this case it was the Mini Yorkshire pudding and Scotch egg.
— Harvey Nichols Tea Menu —
A cup and pot of Harvey Nichols Earl Grey Tea.
I was pleasantly surprised to see Harvey Nichols Tea on the menu, even though OXO chose not to use loose leaf tea. If you are not familiar with Harvey Nichols, it is a posh department store on Knitsbridge, close to Harrod’s. It is a spectacular multi-level shopping experience and their fine foods department is excellent.
— Savouries and Tea Sandwiches —
The first part of OXO’s tea service made its appearance on a traditional tiered platter with the condiment assortment on the top. Then the appetizing savouries in the middle and last but not least, the classic finger sandwiches.
— Finger Sandwich Assortment —
English Cucumber, anchovies, wholemeal bread
Cotswold Egg and Mustard cress salad, English farmhouse bread
Mrs. Kirkham’s Lanchashire cheese and orchard chutney, tomato bread
Wiltshire ham, watercress, mustard, English farmhouse bread
Severn & Wye smoked salmon, dill creme fraiche, granary bread
A few of my favorite things in life are finger sandwiches or tea sandwiches. I love the delicate flavors and the softness of each bite. Then when sipped with tea it creates a euphoric calmness. Bite – sip – bite – sip – calm …
— Extraordinary Condiments —
Sweet mustard and dill mayonnaise
I have experienced afternoon tea all over the world and this was the first time that condiments made a lavish appearance. I asked what condiment went with what savory and my server said it was up to me, no rules really. I will say that I loved each of them as they were all different. Also I believe that the ratio of condiments to savouries was a bit off.
— Savouries Course —
Mini Yorkshire pudding
Dorset crab, choux bun
Seven & Wye smoked salmon, Scotch quail’s egg
Savouries are one of my favorite parts of afternoon tea besides the finger sandwiches. Everywhere I have been and experienced afternoon tea the savouries were all different, creative and fun. OXO offered very interesting savouries that were all quite British!
— Potted crayfish —
For those of you who know me, I am not a huge fan of crayfish. I did try a nibble of this dish but left it after that nibble. It was good and the flavoring was nice but one nibble was enough for me. I did devour the brown bread toasts though.
— Mini Yorkshire Pudding —
This was one of my favorites simply because I love regular Yorkshire pudding. If you are not familiar with Yorkshire pudding it is actually a bread, not the creamy dessert pudding we have in the states. It is made with using beef drippings from the roast beef that it accompanies. This miniature version was impressively created and delicious to taste.
— Scones and Pastries —
Then came the sweets and scones! In this tea service the scones were served along with the sweets. Typically, the scones are served prior or with the whole service if that is how the restaurant decides to present afternoon tea. It was all good though.
Take a look at the height, consistency and fluffiness of the scones! The two flavors of preserves were delectable and I loved both of them the same.
Penny’s homemade scones, preserves and clotted cream
— Sweet Selections —
Apple mousse, rhubarb compote
Lemon Cheesecake, carrot jam
Coffee chocolate tart, caramel meringue
As a Yank, an American, I initially thought the coffee chocolate tart with caramel meringue was a s’mores dessert. Although I somewhat like s’mores, I have to be in the mood, I found the toasted meringue very delicious. Meringue has a better texture than marshmallow, in my book.
So once again, my gastronomic affair with afternoon tea and travel and continues. This is a lifestyle and a darn good one at that- tell that to my waistline!
To experience OXO Tower’s afternoon tea, please visit their website for information: OXO Tower Restaurant, Bar & Brasserie
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📸 All photos are taken by me and are my intellectual property – Trixie Navarre