TWG Tea, the luxury tea brand, are set to launch a special two and three course Valentine’s Day set menu and a commemorative patisserie to celebrate the day in their Leicester Square and Knightsbridge Tea Salons.
Shop does not do it justice however, if you’re thinking small tea emporium with a little old man in an apron weighing out the leaves, think again. This is a Tea Salon & Boutique.
Downstairs there are more teas on sale at TWG Tea than you can shake a strainer at, a mind-boggling variety in fact. The store is large and luxurious, its roots in Singapore rather obvious by the opulence.
TWG Tea celebrates the year 1837 when the island became a trading post for teas, spices and fine epicurean products. Upstairs it’s a tea room fantasy with glass cases of delicious looking patisseries and a tea museum.
This last had me humming Joni Mitchell’s Big Yellow Taxi -‘They took all the teas and put them in a tea museum’.
The Valentine’s menu has been designed by TWG Tea Executive Patisserie Chef Philippe Langlois and TWG Tea Executive Chef Gael Gomez each dish on the menu is infused with the teas expertly picked from over 800 that TWG Tea stocks.
The menu is priced at £22.50 for two courses and tea and £27.50 for three courses and tea and is available from Monday 11 February – Sunday 17 February.
We ate Red, white and yellow quinoa accompanied by feta cheese cubes, roasted almonds and dried cranberries topped with petals of crunchy beetroot and a Strawberry Tea infused dressing. A great looking, light and healthy starter.
Also a starter Brixham scallop carpaccio brushed with an 1837 Green Tea infused dressing served with pomegranate and pickled romanesco cabbage, was elegant on the plate and beautifully subtle. You really get to savour the scallop while the tiny punctuation marks of the cabbage were perfect.
I got in a bit of a tangle with the pea shoots though, they’re quite hard to eat elegantly, so if it’s a first date do be careful.
A main of Pan-roasted cod with caper relish accompanied by carrot sponge, fondant potatoes infused with Valentine Breakfast Tea and butternut squash mousseline, served with spinach emulsion and squid ink crackers was a burst of colours.
The cod was superb, a proper generous chunk of cod well-cooked, and the variety of textures, colours and flavours excellently judged. I really did not expect this level of expertise in a’tea shop’.
Risotto is a brave choice for a chef, it doesn’t take kindly to being prepped early but here Asparagus risotto infused with Green of Fujian Tea served with parmesan crisps and crunchy green asparagus was faultless.
We ended up with a little jewel of a dessert, a chocolate and raspberry dome filled with almond sponge layered with dark chocolate mousse and Bain de Roses Tea infused raspberry marmalade.
It was bit sweet for me, I don’t really do desserts, but it was a masterpiece of construction and layered flavours. Very Valentiney.
We drank tea, of course, throughout. Mon Amour Tea is a black tea is blended with yellow blossoms and sweet notes of quince, the sacred fruit of the goddess of love, Aphrodite. Well I don’t know about that but the tea certainly complemented the flavours of all the dishes. A very good meal at a very reasonable price
Tea for Two
As well as the menu, TWG Tea has exclusive tea blends that are perfect for gifts for loved ones as gifts. The Mon Amour Tea comes in an artfully packaged caviar tin, enveloped in a blue gift box at £27.00 for 100g.
These are perfectly paired with the Mon Amour Tea Macarons that are available in boxes of 6, 12 and 24 priced at £10.80, £21.60 and £43.20
Or there’s Amour de ThÃƒÂ© a blend of the finest Darjeeling tea, delicate rose blossoms from the Grasse region of France and leaves of pure gold. The tea is available loose for £41.00 per 50g and contains 24 carat gold flakes or in an exquisite caviar tin of 100g for £25.00.
Another idea is the Bain de Roses Tea, a blend of Darjeeling tea with Grasse rosebuds and vanilla, and the Bain de Roses Tea Scented Candle. The candle is combined with delicate Grasse roses, a bouquet of black tea, notes of white sandalwood, warm vanilla and fresh grapefruit.
The tea is priced at £19.50 for 50g and the candle at £53.00.