SYON PARK HOTEL: THE ULTIMATE AFTERNOON EXPERIENCE
Driving through the huge iron gates of Syon Park, up the gravel path, you get an excitement that can only be described as the uncontrollable butterflies you used to get as a child opening Christmas presents. The Syon Park English playground sits proudly in two hundred acres of land, once home to the Duke of Northumberland for over 400 years. It’s hard not to feel excited taking in the grand view. As we approached the entrance, the door attendant was eager to help us elegantly out of the cab, carrying our handbags through the door with a warm and glowing smile. It was apparent from that moment that our afternoon tea adventure will be one to share and recommend to close friends. The menu looks like a small, easy to read gift card small, which was pleasing to the eye. There were three Afternoon tea selections, sandwiches; vegetarian; and savoury. We decided to try out the savoury menu which consists of Chicken Liver Pate, coddled duck egg with Montgomery cheese, smoked haddock rabbit, pork pie & piccalilli and not forgetting the Syon grand tea list. All selections come with a variety of cakes.
First to explore our taste buds was the Syon Park Breakfast Tea. A rich, powerful tea hand blended with a mellow yet full bodied Ceylon Orange Pekoe, blended with a mild Keemun and perfectly rounded. This complimented the yogurt lolli starters with freeze dried raspberries, white chocolate shell, with a natural yogurt filling. The starter was a devilish treat, light airy inside and very refreshing, though I would have preferred this as a finishing dish.
We were given a selection of best different teas to try, one in particular that stood out was the pinhead gunpowder tea/gunpower pearl. It had the strong aroma of battles of old, and we were teased by our waiter who told us to stay away from open flames after drinking. The history was most intriguing as the tea was first production dating back to the Tang Dynasty (618 907) but it was first introduced to Taiwan in the 19th century. Legend has it that this tea was given its name by a young English clerk who thought that its tiny, tightly rolled leaves looked like gunpowder. The Chinese call this tea Zhucha meaning Pearl Tea.
The Chicken Liver Pate went down a treat, and was well seasoned and full of flavour.The bread was light and fluffy and crucially did not overpower the pate. The coddled duck egg with Montgomery cheese was heavenly as I have a huge fondness for duck eggs. The scones and Cornish creme was without doubt the best I have ever tasted. Crispy coating and a moist, fluffy inside, it would have been rude not to eat them all! The talented Pastry Chef did a marvelous job and the afternoon was well rounded with Victorian slices, and a selection of fruit and chocolate tarts.
The hotel also offers a Patisserie for all the guests that want to treat their sweet tooth, which is separate from the Restaurants. The hotel has a lot more to offer such as butterfly house, a near by zoo and breathe taking views. The hotel is the perfect city escape for some relaxation therapy, and the afternoon tea makes it the prefect get away to share with some close friends.