Are your Mondays mundane? The return to the working week marks a day laden with tasks to achieve, optimistic gym visits and even a carefully prepared home-made lunch. But what if one Monday afternoon, you could teleport yourself away from rigid routine to a distant galaxy of fun, spontaneity and out of this world indulgence? Protons at the ready, I logged off last Monday lunchtime to experience the Ampersand Hotel’s Science Afternoon Tea.
Located a stone’s throw from South Kensington tube station, the Ampersand Hotel is a boutique hotel with a style all of its own. From the towering light installation in the hallway to the animal prints in the Drawing Rooms, the décor provides a refreshingly quirky twist on modern hotel design.
As we’re seated, a current of childish excitement crackles through the air as the novelty of our decadent Monday indulgence takes hold. Moments later, gasps of shock are heard as our hotly-anticipated cake stand appears in a cloud of smoke.
Glancing around for the nearest fire exit, the dry ice effect clears to reveal a medley of scientific instruments, chocolate dinosaurs and sponge-cake planets. While it’s tempting to attack the dinosaurs first, we demurely opt for the savoury gougères (a croissant/bun hybrid) and a novel twist on the staid sandwich staple of traditional afternoon teas. Generously stuffed with fillings ranging from coronation chicken to salmon, dill and cream cheese, the gougères pack a surprisingly substantial punch.
Next up are the home-made white chocolate scones, so good that we manage to force down two each before embarking on the cake stand’s final frontier. Deliberating over whether to plunge into the mango mousse volcano or the raspberry planet first, it’s a far cry from my typical Monday afternoon work dilemmas.
Throwing caution to the wind, I opt instead for the pistachio macaroon with its cheeky cherry juice pipette. The first squirt is fatal and all resistance wanes as the sugar rush takes hold. Seizing hold of Saturn, the velvety sponge melts in my mouth before being washed down with the mind-blowing citrus juice. On my last legs, I just about manage to force down a white chocolate Diplodocus before reluctantly conceding defeat on the hazelnut, walnut and chocolate cake.
From the childlike cries of excitement around the table, it’s clear that the science afternoon tea has transported us all a galaxy away from mundane Monday to an afternoon of spontaneity, fun and excitement, never before experienced on the first working day of the week.
The Science Afternoon Tea runs from the 17th February until the 21st March 2014.
The Science Afternoon Tea was provided courtesy of LDR London on behalf of the Ampersand Hotel.
What spontaneous thing are you planning this week to break out of your normal routine?