Kettner’s Afternoon Tea
Laurent-Perrier Champagne Tasting Flight
Kettner’s an institution in the best possible sense…….straddling a large portion of Romily Street in Soho, London, Kettner’s occupies four elegant Georgian Townhouses and was originally opened as a restaurant in 1867 by Auguste Kettner, chef to Napoleon III no less. It soon became infamous for the colourful characters of the time who rendezvoused there to host their vibrant and sometimes risqué parties; indeed it was the trysting place of choice for King Edward VII and his mistress Lillie Langtree!
Other famous diners of Kettner’s include Oscar Wilde, Agatha Christie and Bing Crosby, so, as you can see, it has quite an exciting and interesting social history. This glamorous grade II listed building has a Brasserie, Cocktail and Champagne Bar and 8 private rooms, little and large, that are all available for hire whatever the occasion, and I instantly fell in love with its quirky layout and intimate atmosphere.
And so it was that I found myself at Kettner’s a couple of days ago with my “plus one” guest, none other than the Glamorous Glutton from the same named blog, who told me that she knew the place extremely well and had sent many an hour there sipping glasses of fizz in her youth! The invitation was extended by the lovely in-house PR team at Kettner’s and the champagne house Laurent-Perrier.
GG (the glamorous one as in Glamorous Glutton!) and I made our way there to be met at the door with the opportunity to leave our coats and bags in the clock room – I DO love a restaurant/bar that has a cloak room. We were led into one of the private rooms, or ‘Nooks” as they are called, where our afternoon tea was to be served – a beautiful and very cosy little side room with traditional sofas, assorted textile cushions, intimate ante-rooms and the most beautiful crystal chandeliers and lighting.
There we were introduced to Danny Borchert, Laurent-Perrier’s Business Development Executive and Kettner’s Ambassador for Laurent-Perrier, Scott Mather, the Bar Manager and Jennifer the kind Digital Marketing Manager who had invited me and my guest to the Afternoon Tea event. Numerous champagne buckets adorned the rooms, with sparkling glasses, classic white crockery and gleaming silver cutlery at each small and intimate table.
We were offered a coupe glass of Laurent-Perrier champagne on arrival, such a great welcome, as we waited for the five other specially invited guests to arrive. As soon as everyone had arrived, it was with mounting excitement that we made our way over to our individual tables where a three-tier cake stand filled with sandwiches, scones, cakes and other sweet treats was waiting for us, as well as a Laurent-Perrier Tasting Flight of three glasses on a special tray.
Danny then started us off with a glass of Laurent-Perrier “Ultra Brut” which has zero “dosage” added, which means no added sugar. Ultra Brut is the tipple of choice for models and people on diets, as it only has 65 calories per glass – apparently Kate Moss is supposed to be very fond of it. Danny advised us to enjoy our glass of Ultra Brut with the afternoon tea sandwiches – especially the smoked salmon ones. The champagne was light and very fresh with a clean, citrus flavour. Made with 55% Chardonnay and 45% Pinot Noir grape varieties, the blend is made from 15 principal villages with an average rating of 97% on the echelon des crus.
Next in our tasting flight was one of the most popular champagnes in the House of Laurent-Perrier, Cuvée Rosé; I am a HUGE lover of Rosé wine and champagne, it’s my libation of choice for most occasions, especially for special occasions and summer patio parties. These beautiful pink bubbles go extremely well with desserts and red fruits, as well as making a refreshing aperitif. We tasted our glass of champagne with scones, jam and cream, which was perfectly matched. Made with 100% Pinot Noir grapes, and blended from 10 different villages in what is considered to be the finest in the Champagne region, this is a very special “fizz” that is crisp and dry with a melange of red fruit flavours.
Our third champagne in the tasting flight which was paired with the cakes and sweet treats, was the Laurent-Perrier Vintage 2004 champagne. An utterly delectable vintage that is made from 50% Chardonnay and 50% Pinot Noir grape varieties, the wine is aged for at least 7 years and is a signature style blend of the highest calibre. Golden yellow in colour with very fine “perlage” (fine bubbles) this champagne has top notes of pineapple with a hint of Mirabelle plums. It tasted divine with the mini raspberry macarons, as well as the rest of the afternoon tea sweet treats, and is also well paired with fish, seafood and poultry. Laurent-Perrier is very selective when deciding and declaring a ‘Vintage Year” and only the best years with wines of a truly unique character are chosen, of which 2004 was an exceptionally good year.
We were also offered tea to accompany our Afternoon Tea, but most of us declined and decided to stick with just champagne. The afternoon and early evening had been utterly delightful with excellent, attentive and friendly service and the Afternoon Tea was one of the best I’d ever had the privilege of enjoying. The sandwiches were fresh with innovative and diverse fillings, whilst the scones were light and fluffy and perfect when served with clotted cream and strawberry jam. There were 6 assorted desserts and sweet treats to enjoy, all of them extremely decadent and perfect as part of a high-end afternoon tea. To whet your appetite, I have copied the tea menu for you to peruse below……
Afternoon Tea with Laurent-Perrier Tasting Flight
From the 12th January 2015 and for a limited time only, you can enjoy Kettner’s new Afternoon Tea menu with Laurent-Perrier Tasting Flights for £42.50. Feast on a selection of traditional finger sandwiches paired with Laurent-Perrier Ultra Brut, home-made scones with Laurent-Perrier Cuvée Rosé & sweet treats with Laurent-Perrier 2004.
Selection of Finger Sandwiches:
Ham and Mustard
Smoked Salmon and Cream Cheese
Smoked Chicken, Mango and Mint
Paired with a glass of Laurent-Perrier Ultra Brut
Homemade Scones, Clotted Cream and Preserves:
Paired with a glass of Laurent-Perrier Cuvée Rosé
Selection of Sweets:
Vanilla Choux Buns
Passion Fruit Tart
White Chocolate Cone
Served with a glass ofLaurent-Perrier Vintage 2004
You can book an afternoon tea online or call Kettner’s on 020 7734 6112. Please quote ‘Laurent-Perrier Afternoon Tea’ at time of booking.
So what do I think of the Kettner’s Champagne Tea Experience? Lavender and Lovage awards this unique and atmospheric bar and restaurant a very well-deserved 10 out of 10 for:
Location, Building, Welcome; Atmosphere; Staff, Friendliness, Champagne Quality and Selection, Tea Selection, Cakes, Sandwiches, Scones and Seating Area
Disclaimer: With thanks to all the staff and the in-house PR team at Kettner’s for inviting me and my guest to taste this special Afternoon Tea with Laurent-Perrier Champagne Tasting Flight at a retail cost of £42:50. I was not asked to write a positive review of my experience and all views and opinions remain my own.
Gallery of the afternoon and evening: