Harrods will have a French flavour this summer as it opens its tea room to four of the country’s most talented pâtisserie chefs for a season of afternoon teas (set menu of four cakes, sandwiches and tea, £65 per person) with je nais se quoi.
The French Collection series will begin with Pierre Hermé (from July 19-25), pioneer of haute pâtisserie and maestro of the modern macaron. Hermé and his team have collaborated with Harrods’ chefs to devise a menu that will include his millefeuille infiniment – coffee mascarpone cream in caramelised puff pastry – which will be served with a carrément chocolat and tarte infiniment vanille, featuring shortbread pastry steeped in vanilla and topped with ganache and mascarpone cream. Naturally, Hermé has included a macaron on the menu, one of his most iconic creations – the macaron ispahan – mixing hints of floral rose, lychee and fresh raspberries.
Moving into August (from August 2-11), Angelo Musa, executive pastry chef at the Parisian Hotel Plaza Athénée and winner of the Pastry World Cup in 2003, will present a pomelo cheesecake using the citrus fruit in two ways in a cream cheese flan with mousse and a sablé biscuit, which will be served alongside the “100% vanilla” (a decadent vanilla sponge cake), chocolate caramel fingers and the Harrods religieuse cake – pâte à choux with coffee croustillant, almond cream and coffee crémeux.
Known for his inventive take on French classics, Yann Couvreur joins the line-up from August 16-25. Guests can indulge in “the merveille”, one of the chef’s bestsellers, made of whipped milk chocolate ganache, meringue and hazelnut paste with a sea salt, milk chocolate and hazelnut glaze, cocoa nibs and hazelnuts. There is also a lime and shiso tart, a peach and lemon-thyme cheesecake, vanilla and apricot scones, milk chocolate and gianduja shortbread, and mokabacha, made from crunchy biscuits with brown butter and sea salt, soba-cha caramel and coffee mousse, topped with a caramel glaze.
Cédric Grolet, executive pastry chef at Le Meurice Paris and maverick of the pâtisserie world, will conclude the series (from August 30 to September 8) with his signature cake, the “lemon 2.0”, crafted in the shape of said fruit and made with Menton lemon, fresh mint, candied lemon and yuzu ganache. His “royal gala apple” mixes the aforenamed fruit with jelly and ganache, while his hazelnut Paris brest oozes with hazelnut pastry cream, hazelnut praline and roasted hazelnuts. There’s also the delightful-sounding “the bee”, a melange of honey and lemon gel and Earl Grey ganache with a jelly coating.
For those unable to partake in the delights offered at the tea room, the chefs’ limited edition pâtisserie will be available to buy from the Roastery & Bake Hall at the Knightsbridge store.