Celebratory tea at The Connaught's Espelette

Hi everyone! Before I start, I want to send a heart-felt thank you to all of you who were kind enough to comment on here, send me emails and PMs on Facebook to wish me well towards the end of my pregnancy. I apologise for my silence, but let's just say the last weeks were, to say the least, challenging, between complications, tiredness, and the frantic rush that seems to accompany most of my weeks at work before a holiday or a leave.

I am delighted to write that we welcomed a perfect (if I say so myself) little baby girl about a month ago now, and though she and I spent a little longer than we wanted in hospital around her birth, we are both doing well now. I expect I will be a far better blogger going forward, especially given I have lots of post ideas that I want to write.

Going back a few weeks, let me tell you how we feted our new arrival. Despite the chaos that ensues any birth (or, more likely, as a means to distract me from it), Hubby Dearest arranged for a celebratory tea for the four of us in one of my favourite London hotels, The Connaught, just days after Little Madame and I returned home.

Though things could have gone horribly wrong had she needed a feed half-way, it was a relief to everyone (especially the other guests who saw us arrive with a toddler and pram with that look of dread child-less clients pull whenever they see kids!) that both munchkins behaved like perfect little angels throughout the two-hour seating and we all had a wonderful time... And whilst I can't take credit for the baby's impeccable behaviour, and I'm definitely not branding myself as an parenting expert (smirk!), I would say taking children from an early age to all types of places, not just the so-called child-friendly ones, means they know how to behave in different situations and settings, and don't embarrass themselves, or you. At least that's been our strategy with Little Monsieur and it seems to work. Ok, I'll stop boring you with my thoughts on child rearing... On to cakes now!

The setting of the afternoon tea at Espelette is a winter garden style gallery overlooking Carlos Place, which happened to be gloriously sunny that afternoon. The whole place has a gorgeously sophisticated feel without being stuffy, with some of the most perfect floral arrangements I've seen... Service also exceeded any expectations that we had; think "make clients feel like uber VIPs" and dial it up a notch.

Having suffered from gestational diabetes during my pregnancy, it is fair to say I would probably have been happy with the most average of cakes at my first glucose-filled meal after being given the all clear. But Espelette's cakes are way way beyond the average. The tea cakes were so filled in flavours and textures (hazelnut, pear, chocolate, vanilla etc.), they ended being my highlight of the whole afternoon.

Whilst I'm not a fan of patisseries, I loved the pear and sesame tartlet and my two guys relished in the mousse inventions on offer. Little Monsieur particularly enjoyed the apple-shaped caramel and apple bomb. Yum.

What I liked a lot about this tea compared to others in London is that everything is special and unique to Espelette, the food is afternoon tea food that you recognise, but it's unlike anything you can have in other restaurants in the capital. Even the sandwiches... I can still taste the egg sandwich, which here comes glammed up with a little bit of truffle. Delicious!

Overall, Espelette offered us a magical interlude in our first few days as a family of four, and I will definitely rank it top of my favourites for afternoon tea. 

Espelette at The Connaught
Carlos Place
London W1
0 207 499 7070


Bodie said...

Wonderful news- congratulations to you all! Looking forward to many more blog posts.

LittleS said...

Thank you Bodie! Yes, definitely more regular posting now!

Alice @Ogni cosa bella è viola said...

Bienvenue Little Madame!

Food Fash Fit said...

Glowing mama and gorgeous food - I am so happy for you! (And I agree about taking children to 'grown-up' places. My parents never took me anywhere for children, it was always adult places, and although I don't really remember it, I was apparently very well behaved! I do have a vivid memory of taking great delight in eating soup 'correctly' by drinking from the side of the spoon, though, rather than shoving the whole thing in my mouth! Taking kids to a mix of different places is really important to help them develop. I wish I'd gone to afternoon tea as a baby!)

Faux Fuchsia said...

congratulations and wishing you all the best x

Anonymous said...

Congratulations!!!! I hope that you check this more than your BB! I am so glad everything went well, and I hope to see you very soon Marta Z

LittleS said...

Thank you dear friends! It's so lovely to hear all your comments. xx

Anonymous said...

Congratulations. I checked in often while you were "away". I'm delighted that you and baby are fit and well; and that you are able to get out for a celebratory tea.

Julia said...

Congratulations!!! Looking forward to more style inspirations (as I'm also working in a bank) and posts on your life with kids (as I also have a little son).
Greetings from Vienna

Mona P said...

Congratulations on the arrival of your precious baby girl! How wonderful!

So happy for you and so glad that you are back! Looking forward to your blog posts!

Mary said...

So glad to hear such wonderful news. Best wishes for you and your family.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations! Happy to hear the little Madame and her Mum is doing well. By the way, you look great!
All the best for your family:)

MariaDe said...

Congratulations!!! Your are one beautiful mommy. Happy to hear you both are doing well and looking forward to more blog posts.

Funny though how your son is several months older than my daughter and your daughter is several months older than my son who will be born next june ;-)

All the best for your family.


Majara said...

Herzlichen Glückwunsch zur Tochter! Wie schön da hast du jetzt eine Mode-Mitstreiterin :)
Ich finde es ganz süß von deinem Mann (der dir das hier sicher übersetzten wird ;) dass er euch zum Tee ausführte. Was für eine schöne Idee! Und du hast recht es gibt so viele anstrengende und unangenehme Kinder. Und jetzt hab ich hunger... bei den schönen Bildern!
Liebe Grüße

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on your baby girl....good to have you back!
Niti from Vancouver.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations from the Pacific Northwest :).