I’m sure we’d all agree that afternoon tea is an institution in Britain. It was introduced by Anna Russell, Duchess of Bedford, in the 1830s so has a long history. And who doesn’t enjoy spending an afternoon eating delicate sandwiches, delicious cakes, scones with jam and cream with a glass of champagne and some fancy, exotic tea – like Oolong? I’ve been lucky enough to enjoy afternoon tea at many places, including Fortnum & Mason and Claridges, which are quintessential of British afternoon high tea. So when I was invited to review Mamounia Lounge’s Middle Eastern afternoon tea in Knightsbridge, I was intrigued. I love Middle Eastern food but afternoon tea…?
We booked for 2:30pm on a Saturday and were welcomed by Jimmy the manager and shown to our table. As we’d not eaten lunch yet, we decided to order some cold mezze dishes and opted for the hummus and moutabel, which is smoked aubergine puree with tahini, garlic and lemon juice and topped with pomegranate seeds. Both were served with hot Lebanese bread and were absolutely delicious!
I particularly enjoyed the moutabel as I love Baba Ganoush. My husband enjoyed it too but he preferred the hummous, which he said was one of the best he’d ever tasted. It was creamy and lemony and both dips went perfectly with the hot Lebanese bread. We enjoyed these starters with a glass of chilled Moët – perfect!
After our starters it was time to sample the afternoon tea. The afternoon tea serves two and consists of a selection of sweet and savoury treats. It’s served on a traditional three-tiered cake stand with a selection of organic teas. When we were in Morocco, we loved their fresh mint tea so we ordered that. We were even asked how sweet we’d like it, which is a lovely touch.
The bottom tier consisted of all the savoury items – grilled Lebanese halloumi cheese sandwiches, a selection of briot (parcels of filo pastry with various fillings) and sambousek (light savoury pastry with various fillings). These were served with lemon, radishes and rocket. It’s of course traditional to start with the bottom tier and work your way up, which is exactly what we did. We ordered another glass of champagne to accompany the savoury treats.
The middle tier was filled with various sweet, homemade baklawa and fresh berries. Although they were sweet and sticky, they were surprisingly light. These went perfectly with the sweet Moroccan mint tea, which was served just as they do in Morocco – poured into a beautiful glass from a great height!
The top tier consisted of macarons, which are French, however Morocco has a large French community and French is one of their official languages so it makes sense that they were included. They were wonderfully light and delicate. Along with the tiered cake stand, we were also served two fruit mahalabia, which is an Arabic milk dessert. It reminded me a bit of panna cotta and was lovely and sweet although the tartness of the fruit coulis (passion fruit topped one and raspberries topped the other) helped cut through the sweetness. They were yummy!
We polished off the lot and thoroughly enjoyed every bit of it. If you’re looking for an afternoon tea that’s unique then definitely give Mamounia Lounge’s Middle Eastern inspired afternoon tea a try. It’s served from 12 – 7pm and costs £24.50 for two (this consists of the three tiered sweet and savoury treats, fruit mahalabia and tea). Readers of my blog can receive 10% off the price by quoting ‘AFTEA10’ when you book.
Our meal was complimentary in exchange for an honest review.