‘Edible Garden’ Afternoon Tea at InterContinental Westminster

The sun is shining (sort of), May is underway and the time is approaching for one of London’s premier spring events: The Chelsea Flower Show. Now, flowers and gardens are all very nice to look at – but it turns out they are even better to eat…

InterContinental Westminster has launched an ‘Edible Garden’ Afternoon Tea to celebrate the floral festival down in Chelsea.  It’s an opportunity to out your inner horticulturist while tucking into flower-themed treats and fragrant teas. Alongside the regular tea choices, there are a selection of specially selected teas designed to complement the garden menu.

I’m not really a tea drinker (the shame of it) but the herbal blackcurrant and hibiscus infusion was a light but fruity accompaniment to the decadence of the meal. A flowering osmanthus and mandarin green tea also didn’t disappoint, with a subtle green tea flavour complemented by the floral extras.

chelsea tea 2

The meal begins with a visually impressive a tier of savoury treats. No mere bricks of sandwich here, instead we are presented with a variety of interesting and inventive cheese, meat and vegetable nibbles that all draw on garden produce. Think: a garden pea and basil tart, a baby vegetable shot, roast beef and horseradish on beetroot bread or goasts cheese and tomato on cheddar shortbread. It’s original and fresh – both in concept and taste.

I love avocado. If a dish has avocado in it I am likely to eat it, steal yours and then pretend it wasn’t there so I can ask for more. The vegetable shot in chilled avocado mousse with pickled baby vegetables was definitely a highlight (although the spoon was too big to fit into the bottom of the glass. We improvised…).


The scones appeared alongside the savoury selection. I’m fussy about scones. I like them warm, but not too warm, I like them classic and I like them crumbly. I tend to be a bit wary of ‘interesting’ scones, so I approached ‘lavender infused scones’ with trepidation. However, they were excellent – with a great texture that wasn’t too cloying. Complemented by rose infused strawberry jam, they were delicately flavoured enough to be fun to eat, without being overwhelming. It was a nice nod to the Flower Show.

The Show’s location was also given a little shout out with the additional of mini Chelsea buns accompanied by a fresh and nicely tart lemon curd. My dining companion had never had either before (I know – what an amateur) but gave both a thumbs up.

So, savouries – done. Nice balance, fresh tastes (but we needed a smaller spoon). Scones – pleasantly surprising. What about the cakes? Often, afternoon tea is so heavily weighted towards sweetness that you leave in an amnesiac sugar haze having forgotten what you ate, why you opted for that extra scone and who you are.

Chelsea tea 1

The cakes at the InterContinental were generous, but not overly heavy, so those of us with no willpower could tuck in to our heart’s content without regretting it afterwards. In another homage to Chelsea Flower Show, they were presented under a ‘greenhouse’ cloche and on edible soil. The soil was fun and mostly tasted of chocolate, although apparently there were also dried olives. The ‘pebbles’ weren’t such a success. They were sugar-coated chocolate beans and just not quite as sophisticated in taste as the rest of the presentation.

In keeping with the rest of the tea, there was a distinct summer garden theme, with a lemon box hedge, raspberry meringue pie, strawberry champagne bubble, chocolate pond and a crushed violet macaroon.  All topped off with the odd edible actual bloom for garnish. The raspberry mousse topped the polls, closely followed by the chocolate pond, which was rich, but not overwhelming when shared.  The strawberry bubble was a little too sweet; the macaroons were lovely and chewy, but I don’t really like violet, so it was hard to judge.

chelsea 4

Scone rating: 4.5 out of 5. This was a tasty tea, and the Flower Show theme made it memorable and added a nice dose of subtle theatricality to the whole thing. The setting is very elegant and staff are incredibly helpful and friendly. The ‘Edible Garden’ Afternoon tea is £44 with free pouring Laurent Perrier Brut Champagne and is available until 26th May. Bookings taken from 10th April will be entered into a prize draw to win a pair of tickets to Chelsea Flower Show.




22-28 Broadway, SW1H 0BH
+44 (0)202 301 1400


2 Responses to “‘Edible Garden’ Afternoon Tea at InterContinental Westminster”
  1. just posted a blog post about afternoon tea at the royal garden hotel! please check it out 🙂 https://enjoybypaula.wordpress.com

    just starting out my blog 🙂

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