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
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