To coincide with the V&A’s Mary Quant exhibition, The Pelham (part of theStarhotels Collezione), an elegant boutique hotel in the heart of South Kensington, has partnered with events company La Fête to produce an afternoon tea inspired by the iconic 60s designer.
Mary Quant not only introduced the mini skirt, she was also a huge influential figure in the London-based Mod and youth fashion movements. The afternoon tea includes a colourful selection of decadent savouries and luxurious treats, as well as drinkable ‘nail varnish’ and edible ‘lipstick’ all carefully prepared by the hotel’s Michelin-starred Chef Alfredo Russo and his team.
From mini-dresses to vibrant prints and makeup, the afternoon tea experience acts as a guide to the British High Street and the life of Dame Mary Quant and we couldn’t wait to try it!
The Pelham is like a country house retreat in the middle of London, with intimate rooms decorated in elegant rich fabrics, wood panelling and quirky touches from days gone by. The afternoon tea is served in either the Drawing Room or Library. We had ours in the drawing room, an intimate, cosy space that we had all to ourselves.
What better way to start our Mary Quant Afternoon Tea experience than with a cocktail, aptlynamed ‘Forever Mini’ in reference to Quant pioneering the minin skirt and her legacy of fashion innovation and modernity – Bright blue in colour, and combining rum, gin, blue Curacao, vodka, tequila, and lemonade, a sweet, refreshing combination that went down a treat.
Served on a multicoloured board, savoury and sweet were brought out together, it really did look too good to eat’ After five minutes of instagramming, and admiring we gave in to temptation and indulged. Savoury was aptly named ‘Swinging London’, dainty finger sandwiches of chives, butter & salmon and cooked ham and light mustard on spinach bread, along with ‘Quant’s Crayons’, multi-coloured mini buns filled with cherry tomato and mild cheddar; and cucumber and aromatic cheese, all looked amazing and tasted delicious, a combination of fresh flavours and vibrant tastes.
The sweets were decadent delights of tasty treats and imaginative touches, all again taking their names and inspiration from Quant and her designs. ‘The Dame’, a traditional British Victoria Sponge Cake, finished with icing sugar and an almond marzipan flower; ‘Bazaar’, an open macaron topped with whipped cream, a variety of raspberries and dulcey raspberry coulis that has been creatively encompassed in a Quant-inspired nail varnish bottle; ‘Dress of the Year 1963’, banana cake with dried banana, fondant and caramel sauce in a black and white tube (think toothpaste); ‘The Daisy’, a traditional lemon curd tartlet topped with meringue and finished with a fondant daisy and finally another quirky, creative addition ‘Licked’, an edible lipstick made from chocolate! And of course, the quintessential British scones, with a choice of fruit jams and clotted cream.
The creativity and inspiration behind this tea is an explosion of culinary genius, not only did it look exquisite and far too lovely to eat (although we did!), each item was a delectable delight on the taste buds, setting us up nicely for the next part of the experience – a complimentary ticket to the Mary Quant exhibition at The V&A, literally a two-minute walk from The Pelham – what a fabulous, fashionable way to spend a day!
The Pelham & La Fête’s Mary Quant Afternoon Tea is £55 per person including a ticket to the Mary Quant exhibition at the V&A.
Reservations are between 3.00pm and 5.30pm [weekdays and weekends] bookable online.