Food | Need To Now

A colourful, cheerful tea to celebrate the Tube

London Underground’s 150th anniversary is cause for a feast

A colourful, cheerful tea to celebrate the Tube

January 08 2013
Mary Lussiana

Wednesday January 9 will mark 150 years since the first journey took place on the London Underground, between Paddington and Farringdon on the Metropolitan Railway. To celebrate this anniversary, The Park Lane Hotel has created a special London Underground afternoon tea (£41 per person), which it is serving for one month only in its art-deco Palm Court.

All sounding much more fun than a round of Monopoly, guests can travel between sandwich stations from London Bridge (a roll with egg, crème fraiche, sun-blushed tomatoes and rocket) to Gloucester Road (warm leek, asparagus and double Gloucester cheese tart) or Royal Oak (oak-smoked-salmon bagels), and experience the Circle and District Line in culinary form as a saffron roulade with coronation chicken and spinach.

Plain and fruit scones with Victoria plum jam, Lime(house) curd and clotted cream are included in the tea, while those who are still hungry can move on to a selection of delicacies created by the hotel’s award-winning pastry chef Sarah Hartnett. Stops on the sweet-treats map include Bank for hazelnut pound cake (pictured), followed by Victoria for orange Victoria sponge, Paddington for a vibrant Circle-and-District-Line hued honey, lemon and pistachio cake, and Swiss Cottage for… a white-chocolate Oreo Swiss roll.

Accompanying Metropolitan 1863 cocktails – a blend of Beefeater 24 gin and blackcurrant tea – keep the theme going, as the first Beefeater Gin distillery, now near Kennington Station, opened in London in the same year as the founding of the Underground.

Those who make the most of this lavish tea might, however, be advised to pursue an invigorating return home on foot, rather than hopping on the all-too-easy Piccadilly line.