Lucky us. We’ve been invited to the launch of a new beer-and-food menu at the swanky Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park’s ‘Rosebury Lounge’. They’ve given the traditional afternoon tea a twist by matching dainty finger sandwiches, hand-made pastries, scones and cakes with beer.
Not only were we impressed with their choice of beers – Thornbridge Chiron, Kriek Boon and Rogue Hazelnut Brown Nectar – but the posh nosh looked impressive too, with ‘Cotswold egg and black truffle’ among the sarnie options to have caught our eyes and a ‘Maple Snow Ball’ sounding like an intriguing pastry (see full menu below).
Annoyingly, my dodgy back and Rich’s dodgy day-job meant that neither of us could make it, but such was my salivating at the prospect of a tasty tea with a drop of Kriek Boon – one of my favourite beers – that I delved into my beer collection and pulled a bottle out for immediate consumption.
On the Rosebury Lounge’s menu, Kriek Boon was up second, accompanying the pastries.
Unable to muster anything quite as tasty as the Lounge’s ace chef Paul Thieblemont, I hopped down to Gregg’s Bakery and snaffled a jammy biscuit instead.*
Kriek Boon is a Belgian Lambic beer that has been flavoured with cherries. Lambics are produced by a natural fermentation using the wild yeasts unique to the Pajottenland region which create deliciously crisp and sour beers, of which the Boon brewers are masters. It has Champagne-esque bubbles, kept under control with a cork, and is a sweet and sour, sparkling fruity wonder. The tasting notes on the Lounge’s menu describes it perfectly: “Spontaneously fermented with 400g of whole cherries added to each litre of beer, giving a slight tartness with lovely cherry and almond flavours. Chocolate and cherries are a match made in heaven so this beer is the perfect companion for the hits of chocolate, vanilla, caramel and hazelnut.” It also goes well with a jammy biscuit.
Maybe we’ll take a visit to the Mandarin Oriental sometime next year, pull up a plush chair and enjoy their Beer Afternoon Tea because, as much as I enjoy a home poured bottle of Kriek Boon, I’m certain it’ll taste even better with a menu designed to match it’s fruity charms.
Brewery: Brewery Brouwerij Boon, Lambeek, Belgium
Beer name: Kriek Boon
Available from Beer Merchants
Beer Afternoon Tea at the Rosebery Lounge
Slow roasted turkey with cranberries and sage butter
Cotswold egg and black truffle
Smoked salmon tartare, tarragon and compressed Granny Smith apple
Slow braised beef short rib, horseradish and watercress
Mediterranean sandwich, confit tuna with sweet piquillo peppers, black olives and oregano
Goat’s cheese, caramelised onions and butternut squash
Thornbridge Chiron – 5.0% abv
Mandarin mont blanc
Maple snow ball
Chocolate and caramel yule log
Passion fruit and hazelnut finger
Kriek Boon – 4.0% abv
THE FAMOUS ROSEBERY SCONES & CAKES
Freshly baked plain and cranberry scones accompanied by Devonshire clotted cream, strawberry jam and rose petal jam
Cinnamon and Plum Cake
Beer match – Rogue Hazelnut Brown Nectar – 5.6% abv
The Rosebury Lounge Beer Afternoon Tea costs £65 per person plus service charge and can be booked by calling reservations on 020 7201 3828 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
*Yes, I know it’s not a pastry. It was that or a ‘Yum Yum’ and I refuse to ever order anything with such a ridiculous name as ‘Yum Yum’