The tube turns 150 years old this week – and love it or hate it, most Londoners would be lost without the world’s first underground system. In fact, despite our not infrequent incidences of tube rage, and mild discomfort experienced from being squashed into someone’s armpit every morning, we developed a strange kind of affection for it after the lack of Olympics trauma and the BBC Two documentary The Tube.
To mark this momentous occasion, The Park Lane Hotel will be serving a very special London Underground Afternoon Tea of tube-themed cakes, cocktails and sandwiches - and we can’t think of any better way to celebrate, aside from cracking open a bottle of cava on our next Central line commute (it would vastly improve rush hour, don’t you think?).
Served in the hotel’s iconic Art Deco Palm Court lounge, the London Underground Afternoon Tea will “take guests on a culinary journey around the world-famous tube network”, with delicacies created by award-winning Pastry Chef Sarah Hartnett.
ABOVE: The Bank Hazelnut Pound Cake
The first stop on the menu (we promise we’ll keep tube puns to a minimum) is a Metropolitan 1863 cocktail, a potent blend of cocktail, a blend of Beefeater 24 gin and blackcurrant tea, named after the first tube journey ever on the Metropolitan line.
Five different sandwiches and savouries are then served, each honouring a different element of the underground, including ‘Gloucester Road’ tart; saffron ‘Circle and District Line’ roulade with coronation chicken and spinach and mini ‘Royal Oak’-smoked salmon bagels.
ABOVE: A selection of the cakes that will be served
The underground theme continues with towers of scones served with ‘Limehouse’ Curd and ‘Victoria Plum’ Jam and clotted cream, and then orange Victoria sponge (for Victoria station, obviously), a ‘Paddington’ honey, lemon and pistachio cake, and a white chocolate Oreo Swiss ‘Roll’ Cottage.
ABOVE: The full afternoon tea
A journey along the tube line that promises good service, no delays or planned engineering works AND cake? Sign us up.
The London Underground Afternoon Tea at The Park Lane Hotel will be served from 9th January to 10th February 2013 (3pm-6pm on weekdays and 2pm-6pm at weekends) in The Palm Court and costs £41 per person. Bookings must be made in advance. For more information, visit www.palmcourtlondon.co.uk/london-underground-afternoon-tea. To book, call The Palm Court on 0207 290 7328.
Picture credits: The London Underground logo is reproduced in the photos with the kind permission of Transport for London