The afternoon tea offerings from London’s finest establishments can at times be overwhelming. Simply there are so many great places to indulge in plates of dainty cucumber sandwiches; tiers of the sweetest, intricate treats; warm, buttered scones; and all washed down with flutes of Champagne and hot pots of tea.
So you can’t blame head chef Carlos Martinez of Cliveden House Hotel when we said he, ‘wanted to create the best afternoon tea experience in the world.’ And this he set out to do.
Forgot your previous experiences of afternoon tea, no matter how opulent you thought it was at the time and head to Von Essens luxury Clivedon House for an afternoon tea which, at £550 per couple, has been unveiled as the most expensive in the world.
The tea set, at the grand stately home in Berkshire, includes white truffles priced at a £2,500 per kilogram, Beluga Caviar at £4,000 per kilogram, and Da Hong Pao Tea harvested from one-thousand-year-old plants that are so rare that it costs over £2,000 per kilogram.
These delights are to be washed down with Dom Perignon Rose, once described as the king of Champagnes.
In addition the afternoon tea contains the Cliveden House Chocolate Cake with Gold Leaf, which uses the most expensive chocolate in the world; Amedi Porcelana.
The cake is paired with the most expensive coffee in the world, Kopi Luwak—a coffee so rare that it costs an incredible £50 per cup. This South East Asian delicacy is made from the beans of coffee berries that have been digested by civets, then washed and roasted to produce an aromatic flavour, without the usual bitterness of coffee.
Meanwhile the hotel’s Platinum Club Sandwich is also part of the menu, which priced at £100 was von Essen’s previous ‘world’s most expensive’ title. This will appear in a mini canapé version and is made from 30-month air-cured Ibérico ham, described by the Spanish as the ‘fourth gastronomic wonder of the world’, poulet de Bresse, white truffles, quail eggs, semi-dried Italian tomatoes, and 24-hour fermented sour dough bread.
Past guests at the country house hotel have included every British monarch since George I as well as Charlie Chaplin, Winston Churchill, Harold Macmillan, President Roosevelt, George Bernard Shaw, John Profumo, and Christine Keeler, and many other well-known names from the past and present.
Cliveden will also be donating 50 percent of any profit to Marie Curie Cancer Care from each of the ‘World’s Most Expensive’ afternoon teas sold between June 12th and July 12th 2011.