Every so often an invitation turns up that you simply cannot refuse. I was very fortunate to receive one of these golden tickets recently. It involved what promised to be, and indeed was, a truly memorable occasion, on a balmy September afternoon at the stunning location that is the French Ambassador’s residence in London.
The event was a ‘Charity Champagne Afternoon Tea’, with all the money raised from the tickets and raffle going to support the Ashinaga Scholarship in Japan, a wonderful cause that supports children who lost their parents in the earthquake and tsunami with their studies.
The tea was no ordinary tea however. It was more ‘Alice in Wonderland’ in its manifestation than an English afternoon cream tea. The reason being was that it was meticulously prepared by London’s finest pastry chefs and chocolatiers. The roster included Lauduree, The Lanesborough, The Wolseley, The Langham, Claridges, The Arts Club, Inamo, Le Manoir aux Quat’saisons, Melt, Roux Fine Dining, Valrhona and Rococo Chocolates. In short, it was foodie heaven and an enormous privilege.
The sun shone and guests spilled out onto the lawns of the embassy. It had a wonderful Great-Gatsby-esqe feel , indeed I would not have been surprised had Jay Gatsby sauntered across the lawn with a macaroon in hand.
I had to share with you some of the pastries that had been prepared for the occasion.
These stunning creations were prepared by Nick Patterson, Head Pastry Chef at Claridges. I loved the way they were presented, with the little pink lights reflecting through a glass platform.
The ‘Japanese flag’ inspired pastries were eagerly devoured.
Laurent Couchaux, principle chocolatier from Rococo Chocolates created these wonderful chocolates. You can see which ones I was eating.
These chocolate mousses went down a treat.
These chocolate dainties were going like hot cakes!
Special thanks go to the organisers: Fabien Ecuvillon, Consultant Chef and Founder of Pastry Network, Miho Nozawa, Dana Arce and Sachiko Bush. A truly memorable event.