I'm a simple person with simple pleasures.
Lolz, just kidding. My dad likes to say of me that I should've been born rich. I try - try - to keep my wannabe rich kid under wraps most of the time (because, y'know, huge debt is bad) but I need to let it out every now and then to relieve the pressure.
My birthday was one such occasion. Now, anyone who knows me/has watched over my shoulder whilst I unlock my iPhone on public transport will know that the current major
weird obsession object of my affection - the Anton du jour, if you will - is Great British Bake Off judge Paul Hollywood. Seriously, dude is hot. And has insane sex eyes. And bakes bread. Ergo, he is perfect.
He also used to be Head Baker at The Dorchester hotel in London. Swanky right? On an episode of his most recent tv series he was filmed going back there to check out the kitchen and have afternoon tea. It looked amazing and I pretty much instantly decided I wanted to do the same for my birthday. Monkey see, monkey do.
As impetuous, fangirling based decisions go it was definitely one of the best.
You all know the deal with afternoon tea right? A three tier cake stand with a handful of sandwiches, a scone and a few teeny tiny cakes. Not so in The Dorchester's Promenade restaurant. Everything - and I mean everything - was unlimited and the quality was just superb.
First up a round of really substantial 'finger' sandwiches. All the classics were in attendance: egg and cress, smoked salmon, cucumber and cream cheese, ham and mustard and gorgeous creamy chicken. I know that doesn't sound exciting but, man, they were amazing sandwiches.
After an amuse bouche of chocolate cup filled with chocolate and mint mousse came the scones: plain and fruit with strawberry and rhubarb jams and Cornish clotted cream. Frankly, we'd all overdone it on the sandwiches by this point but the scones were similarly amazing; perfectly baked and not too heavy. The jams and cream were as lush as they sound.
Finally the adorable cake selection. I forget what they all were exactly, but the highlight for me was the delicious passionfruit and mango mousse - light, fruity and perfectly sweet.
All of this was washed down with lashings of the delicious house blend tea and absolutely faultless service. And for me, the added bonus of a birthday cake - coconut crusted chocolate sponge with chocolate mousse, chocolate ganache and white chocolate decoration - with the poshest doggy bag I've ever seen to take it away in.
And which provided my breakfast the next day...
Overall it was a fantastic experience that I genuinely can't recommend enough. Yes it's expensive (£45 per head plus tip) but the food (quality and quantity), the service and the experience of being somewhere as beautiful and historic as The Dorchester makes it worth every penny. Find an excuse and just go.