AFTERNOON TEA AT THE PLAYBOY CLUB
Afternoon Tea At The Playboy Club Review
My expectations wandered at the prospect of Afternoon Tea at the Playboy Club. Would there be cocaine dispensers in the loos, exposed boobs aplenty and a general sense of contagious objectification? Who goes to these places and was it right to lose my girlfriend’s invite in the post? It was time to hit the swanky part of town and find out what Hugh gets up to these days.
Several large men and two Playboy Bunnies occupied the entrance to the venue. Not sure which to feel more intimidated by, I flapped off my coat and headed for the nearest bar. Upon finding my companion and acquiring a cocktail, we sat and took in the surroundings. Hmm. No T and A in sight, save for the few portraits of caddish men on the wall. No corrupt judges or notorious scoundrels were immediately obvious. The music was a pleasant jazzy piece that didn’t require shouting over. Waves of relief and disappointment flowed over me as I realised this was not the smut-fest I had imagined.
The cocktails were top notch, which we enjoyed at a most civilized pace with accompanying snacky nuts. Our very friendly Italian Bunny-lady came over to describe the teas and food. I chose Traditional on her recommendation, my companion chose Spicy, as he was feeling dangerous. Then she dropped the bomb that the tea would be cold. Fiddlesticks to that. Cold tea is reserved for hungover, microwaveless spendthrifts only, stewed I.
What a fool I was. Cold tea, it turns out, can be delightful. As long as it’s laced with plenty of booze, of course. The Traditional’s tea and rum offering would satisfy Jack Sparrow himself, had he been an East India Company employee rather than a bounder and a ruffian. The Exotic was more of a green tea experience, refreshing and a bit saucy. Both were served in funky black teapots, which complimented the noir, surprisingly sophisticated ambiance of the venue.
The accompanying pre-theatre savouries and sweets came with the tea, and were a lot heartier than you might anticipate. Bruschetta, blinis and baguettes were among the mains, with a most indulgent selection of desserts including huge macaroons, bunny ear cupcakes and strawberry + cream shots to finish off. I picked at them with gusto; wary my Christmas gut should expand any further. As pleasing as all the food was, the best part about it was that although they were served on the same platter, they were separated into two distinct portions. This meant we could avoid the perils of competition, the subconscious jousting for position and inevitable subterfuge that sharing platters always bring. Eating crisps out of the same family bag leaves me stressed and slightly envious of the crook that “unknowingly” swindles the best looking crisp away. They knew all right. Separate bowls are the only way.
So with our friendly and not over-erotisiced Bunny girl having taken away our empties, we pondered whom the bar appeals to. There had been a table of slightly boisterous suits, who didn’t last long. There were a couple of middle-aged gents who looked like this wasn’t their first cocktail and a man and wife came in for what looked like some sort of family reunion. But the prices weren’t unrealistic, the staff were terrific and the whole experience was generally pleasant and relaxing, like a massage without the happy ending you were concerned about. As long as your significant won’t be compelled to investigate your browser history after “how about we go to the Playboy club for tea, darling?” a splendid time should be had by all.
Playboy Afternoon Tea
Accompanied by a live pianist, the Playboy iconic Bunnies will serve your Afternoon Tea in Salvatore’s Bar. A wonderful selection of homemade savouries, sandwiches and pastries will accompany your choice of Te’Freddo Teapot Cocktail.
Salvatore ‘The Maestro’ Calabrese himself has developed four fabulous tea-based cocktails to give afternoon tea a sophisticated, adult-only twist. Choose fruity, floral, spicy or classic flavours. Served between 5pm and 7pm, Afternoon Tea Playboy-style is the perfect pre-theatre treat or starting point for your evening.
£30 Per Person
For Bookings and reservation please visit: http://playboyclublondon.com
For Play Boy’s Afternoon Tea menu: Salvatore’s MENU
Dress: 14 Old Park Lane, Mayfair, London, W1K 1ND
Tele: 0207 491 8586