Thursday 18 May 2023

Ampersand Science themed Afternoon Tea 2nd visit - South Kensington London

 On Saturday I went to a Science themed afternoon tea with my friend. This is my second visit to this hotel and last time I went with my mum in October 2020. I did say on my review then that I would come back.

The Ampersand is a small boutique style hotel just a few minutes walk from South Kensington underground station . I booked via website and there were no offers at the time. The standard menu price is £49 each which is reasonable. 

The afternoon tea is served in the small bright drawing room with lovely sofas and velvet arm chairs . 

We sat at a small round table by the window which was simply laid with a crisp white tablecloth and napkins and white china. 

We were handed the menu and asked if we had any allergies. I just asked if i could swap my salmon blinis for an extra chicken bun. Which turned out to be a good move as the salmon one was very tiny and the Chicken bun was large in comparison and tasted very nice. 

There was not  much tea selection so I opted for the Orange Rooibus one as generally I do not like the taste of tea but the waitress said that it tasted more fruity than actual tea. It tasted OK but still had that tea taste !!!!!!

Whilst waiting for the food we was given a drink experiment to do which involved mixing colored   water with sodium bicarbonate power and then adding flavoring. It did not taste nice just a bit of fun to add to the science theme. 

When the tea stand arrived it looked very full and nice. The waitress explained what each item was and then created an smoke effect from the top plate with dry was all rather dramatic and lasted for a good few minutes.

Once I had taken a few photos of the food we tucked in as both feeling very hungary. 

For the savories I got two chicken basil and lemon buns, a beef brioche roll and a very mini cheese quiche. 

The chicken was like a soft pate mixed with mayonnaise, lemon and basil that made it a bright green color  !!!! It tasted very nice and so did the rare slices of beef in the brioche roll. The quiche was slightly dry and overcooked. 

Next we had the scones which were unfortunately  not served warm. We got a plain one each and a cranberry one which was supposed to also have white chocolate but I could not see or taste this. 

As well as strawberry jam and clotted cream we got three test tubes with sprinkles inside to put on the scones. There were milk and white chocolate crunchy peals, freeze dried raspberries and freeze dried pineapple. 

The scones were disappointing as dry inside and did not taste freshly baked. 

By now our teapots were empty so we both ordered a cappuccino . Our waitress also asked if we wanted anymore sandwiches which was a bit too late to ask since we had moved onto the cakes. 

Lastly we both tucked into the cakes which did look very nice and went well with the science theme

The first cake we had was both our favorite, Dulcey chocolate and blakcurrant planet. 

White chocolate sphere filled with blackcurrant mouse on a light sponge base. It was lovely and creamy inside and I liked the spotted white chocolate ring around it. 

Next I had the mixed berry macaron and my friend tried the jelly in the petri dish as she does not like macarons. 

There was a pipette of lemon juice to squeeze into the macaron which added to the flavor. it was a very nice macaron. My friend was not so keen on the mandarin and cherry flavor jelly in the petri dish. I think is was more of just a gimmick to go with the theme !!!!

Lastly we had the raspberry pistachio almond cake with  a chocolate spaceman. 

This was a nice pistachio sponge cake with a strong raspberry taste topping. We were surprised to find that the chocolate spaceman also had a raspberry taste. 

We both decided to order another coffee each to finish with. We had to call the waitress over to order this as they were very busy. I thought that the service had not been very good as they never came over to offer more drinks we had to track them down and ask them. 

Whilst drinking our coffees I released that we had not had our mini dinosaur biscuit and chocolate fossils in wooden box that was stated on the menu.  I also remember getting this last time I came. 

We once again called the waitress over which took a while as they were all busy. She said ' Oh you have not had this yet ' with a surprised look on her face.  She then went to the kitchen and came back with just one box.  I asked if we should get another box  and she said that they were cleaning them and if we wanted another one that we would have to wait 10 minutes.....we said this was fine as not in a rush. We got the impression they did not want to give us another one !!!!!!

Finally we both got a box each . The chocolates inside are buried under the soil so you need to use the paintbrush to uncover and dig around.  I got three dark chocolate fossils inside whilst my fiend got milk chocolate ones.  Neither of us got a biscuit as stated on the menu which was disappointing. 

It feel like we just got what was left from other peoples boxes chucked in at the last minute. Hopefully I am wrong on this !!!!

Overall a nice themed afternoon tea served in a lovely relaxing drawing room. However the service was not up to the standard I experienced  before which may put me off coming again. 

Nearest Station : South Kensington underground station - about 5 minute walk
Best bits : The sandwiches and the planet cake.    
Worst bits :  Dry scones and the service    
Value for money : Its not too expensive compared to some afternoon teas.  
would I go back? :  Probably not unless they have a new theme