Restaurant reviews

Le Cordon Bleu afternoon tea: French perfection

August 13, 2015

There is something about French cuisine that intrigues me, that speaks to me in a sweet language, sweeter than any cakes I’ve had. The precision and techniques are impressive, you would definitely need an entire life and dedication to master all the secrets of this art: the art of cooking French food. I’ve had my fair share of trials in the kitchen, while testing Laduree recipes and complicated attempts seen at Top Chef. I’ve cried of happiness when my passion fruit tart came close to what I’ve had at a restaurant, even if it took me two days to finish it. I understand now all the hard work that is behind a perfect dish, and the French cuisine never disappoints, as it is boosting with challenges.

Yesterday I went to Le Cordon Bleu in London, to enjoy their delicious afternoon tea. With over 120 years of teaching experience, Le Cordon Bleu is a well established leader in culinary and hospitality education, permanently changing the standards of the industry. Ever since I found about this place, I dreamed about attending one of their classes, or indulge in some of their culinary creations. I had no idea they have opened a cafe as well, for people like me, eager for the best of food.

le cordon bleule cordon bleuCafe Le Cordon Bleu offers a little flavour of Parisian life, nestled in the heart of London. Acting as a window into the world of Le Cordon Bleu London, the cafe showcases a range of the finest French patisseries, gourmet sandwiches and viennoiseries available in the capital. All products are crafted daily in the school’s dedicated bakery kitchen, reflecting a selection of the techniques taught to students of the world famous Le Cordon Bleu. Located just a short walk from the British Museum, the cafe overlooks the secluded Pied Bull Yard. with both indoor and outdoor seating, the cafe is the perfect retreat at any time of the year.

All the buzz in Holborn and Covent Garden is forgotten once you go inside this private place, where French art is unfolding before your eyes. Time stops because all the pastries and cakes are breathtaking, and you need a while before deciding what to order. You might as well have one of each, they’are all as delicious as they look. There are lots of students taking a break from living their dream, spreading a sophisticated air in their white coats. Jealous right now.le cordon bleu

The National Afternoon Tea Week started Monday, the 10th of August and will end Saturday the 22nd. I know, a week lasts much more at Le Cordon Bleu, and we are so thankful for that. This is when you will be able to order an afternoon tea, from 2.30 to 5.30 pm, at the cost of £19.50 per person. I had the pleasure of enjoying their selection, and I was blown away. I am a big fan of petite fours, mini sandwiches, posh little scones, and living in London has the perks of so many options in this area. But, after sampling what Le Cordon Bleu has to offer on a Wednesday afternoon is out of this world: French perfection, simple as that. I will take you through my experience, it was one of the best I’ve had.

The staff is really well trained, very polite, helpful, prompt and friendly. With a nice selection of teas, we opted for the House Tea, a sublime blend of two great Indian teas – Darjeeling and Assam, from the flood plains of the Bhramaputra Valley. The hot pots kept on coming, without even the slightest suggestion I ran out of water for my leaves. Talk about professionalism and flair! The selection of finger bread rolls, freshly baked in Le Cordon Bleu kitchen, so soft, buttery and crisp on the outside, were filled with coronation chicken; smoked salmon, picked cucumber and creme fraiche; and goat’s cheese and chutney. Delicious fillings, we were really impressed with the coronation chicken, not as sweet and rich as we had it in different restaurants, it was perfect.

The freshly baked scones with Cornish clotted cream and berry jam were the best I’ve ever tasted. The little scones were melting in our mouth, while the clotted cream was so smooth and flavorful, a delight! I wish I can have them delivered at my door each morning, that would be bliss. The selection of French pastries included a perfect summer fruit tart, a rich chocolate and coffee Opera cake, a lemon cake so buttery, aromatic and light at the same time, and delicious macaroons filled with chocolate and blueberry. We couldn’t finish everything, but I wish we did, because everything on our plates looked and tasted magically.

I felt, with each bite, I was in Paris, strolling along the Seine, at sunset, with no care in the world. I am definitely recommending you stop by Le Cordon Bleu for an afternoon tea, or a coffee and some pastries, you will understand the savour of  proper French cuisine and you will be hooked, I guaranty. We ended up having a quick tour of Le Cordon Bleu school, where I was so impressed with the large kitchens, the preppy students captivated by their lecturers, and the friendly Chefs with lots of Michelin stars in their resume. You could feel the passion for the French cuisine art in the air, the intensity of dedication and excellence that defines Le Cordon Bleu. Have you tried Le Cordon Bleu afternoon tea? You should!  le cordon bleu