Young Ladies About Town

The girls living and laughing their way around London, meeting lots of fascinating folk along the way...

London’s Highest High Tea

Posted by Young Ladies About Town
Young Ladies About Town
Fiona Hicks has not set their biography yet
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on Friday, 31 May 2013
Anna, the 7th Duchess of Bedford, popularised afternoon tea in the 19th century as a way to combat that ‘sinking feeling’ during the late afternoon.

Today, there are arguably few better ways to catch up with an old friend than over afternoon tea – with Champagne.

So when Paramount announced it was now offering London’s highest high tea it was only a matter of time before I’d be booking myself in.

London's highest high tea

On a sunny Saturday afternoon the view from floor 32 of Paramount was as spectacular as it promised to be.

Sat at our table for two, my friend Emma and I spent an inordinate amount of time gazing out across the city. From the windows (which run from floor to ceiling by the powder room) you can literally see for miles. The Gherkin, The Shard, St Pauls are all laid out before you, seen from an angle you rarely get to enjoy.

And like the views, the food didn’t disappoint.

London's highest high tea
Of the items on the bottom tier of the slate cake stand the poached chicken with spring onion mayonnaise was a particular hit. Both Emma and I could have eaten a platter full of just them.

The piccalilli on the dry cured ham packed quite a punch, and the scones (both with raisins and without) were everything a good scone should be (light, moist and of a decent size).

There was something for everyone’s taste in selection of pastries and cakes – though for me you’d have to go a long way to better the three-tiered chocolate cake.

Now here I have a small confession to make. I’m not actually a big fan of tea. In fact I very rarely drink it. So when I do, I rather expect it to be something special. Which the pot of flowering Osmanthus most certainly was.

London's highest high tea

When it arrived at our table in a chic glass pot the flower looked a bit like a floating green mushroom. Within minutes though, it had opened up transforming into a pot-filling orange flower. And not only did it look rather pretty it tasted delightful too with sweet notes of apricot and mango.

We had opted to have a glass of Champagne with our afternoon tea and the Billecart-Salmon was a real discovery. One of the few Champagne houses to remain family owned it’s a Champagne we shall both be seeking out again. And The Billecart-Salmon Rose, we were informed by our utterly charming waiter, is even better.

Having spent an indulgent couple of hours enjoying our afternoon tea, before leaving Paramount Emma and I popped up to the viewing gallery (a couple of floors up) for a cocktail or two.

With the evening sun blazing through the floor to ceiling windows there was no question that the duchess’s dreaded sinking afternoon feeling had been well and truly banished.

Afternoon Tea at Paramount is £28 per person. Afternoon tea including a glass of Champagne is £42 per person. Book now at www.paramount.uk.net/afternoon-tea/

Words by Katy Pearson

Behind the scenes at Ascot

Posted by Young Ladies About Town
Young Ladies About Town
Fiona Hicks has not set their biography yet
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on Monday, 13 May 2013
One of the great sounds of an English Summer is pounding hooves on turf whilst heady punters cheer their money over the line and champagne corks pop in celebration. But for me, like so many others, it’s all about the horses and names like Frankel and Black Caviar are as revered as equine gods and legends with almost mythical status.

I love getting close to horses and when Ascot held its third annual Free Raceday on 1 May it offered a great opportunity to see behind the scenes and into parts of the world famous racecourse normally restricted to the inner circle of owners, jockeys and stewards.
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With the beautiful May sunshine greeting the 20,000 people who had dressed up for the occasion we headed into the parade ring to stand on the winner’s podium and for a brief moment feel what it was like to own a racehorse. Then into the jockey’s weight room to speak to the Clerk of the Scales. Who knew that jockeys could gain so much as 2lb if they ride in rainy and muddy conditions, or conversely can lose a pound or two on sunny days and that any dramatic weight changes could cause instant disqualification.
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Next we were taken to the Stewards box directly overlooking the winning post and heard how a series of cameras and mirrors defined who won by a nose, a head or a length; a serious job for a steward considering how many millions are involved in the sport.
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Perhaps my favourite titbit though was the story of how the Queen arrives at Royal Ascot from her back garden at Great Windsor Park, up the race course and almost straight into the Royal Box. No-one is allowed in or out at any point during the year and she brings her own food up in Tupperware whilst Prince Phillip watches the cricket in another room. It reminded me of my own Scottish Grandmother, always ready with a tartan flask and packet of cheese sandwiches for any outing. I like to picture Her Majesty, eyes glued to binoculars shouting for her horse to romp home whilst her husband is shouting at England who inevitably are about to lose another wicket.
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I like it that for others racing is all about the hats, the champagne and the showing off, but for some of us we are happy with a cheese sandwiches and luke-warm tea as our races are truly all about the horses.

Words and photography by Kitty Buchanan-Gregory

A perfect coffee

Posted by Young Ladies About Town
Young Ladies About Town
Fiona Hicks has not set their biography yet
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on Friday, 10 May 2013
The smell and taste of coffee is one of the things that helps us Britons wake up for a day of work in the morning. But finding your perfect coffee can be tricky.

Luckily for us, we went along to a class at Prufrock Coffee where John Thompson, master coffee blender at CaféPod would be demonstrating the art of blending coffee and the intricacies of creating coffee capsules. And at the end of the class we would be able to make our own pods, to our own flavor specification, with our newly learnt skills.

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Before getting down to actually making own pods, we tried each of the beans available to us. Loudly slurping our coffee (I hadn't forgotten my manners, that's the proper way to taste coffee) John told us how the tastes of each one differed due to the location the bean was grown, the soil type and so on.

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After tasting all of the coffees it was down to the business of making our pods. We mixed three blends in varying quantities depending on how strong we wanted our coffee.

Although I did make a bit of a mess along the way, two hours later I had a coffee blend that was perfect for me and i've been slurping away ever since.

CaféPod capsules are available in compact boxes of 10 from Waitrose, Sainsbury's, Ocado, Morrisons and Amazon, priced £2.75

Words by Melonie Clarke
Tags: CaféPod, Coffe

Murder, Mystery and Burlesque

Posted by Young Ladies About Town
Young Ladies About Town
Fiona Hicks has not set their biography yet
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on Thursday, 09 May 2013
Proud Cabaret's new murder mystery dinner is a delicious combination of 1930s glamour with a hint of Agatha Christie and is everything you could want from an evening of Burlesque.

I have seen countless videos of burlesque online but had never seen any live. So The Silencing of Miss Scarlet would be my first real foray into the world of burlesque.

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Enjoying a three course meal, and a few drinks, the mystery unfolds as the venues performers sing, dance and perform acrobatic tricks, weaving clues into their performances.

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You are supplied with a few pieces of information at the start of the evening to help you solve the case. I like to think I'm the female, 21st century equivalent of Poirot so perused these with much interest. But despite my confidence in my detective skills I sadly did not guess correctly – I won't tell you who I thought it was and who it turned out to be though as that's for you to work out on your visit.

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The performances during the evening were fantastic. There is truly something for everyone to enjoy with a variation of musical numbers from the compare, acrobatic performances, and of course burlesque, with one incredibly exciting number involving fire and water – water was part of the act and not to put out anything that may have been singed.

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The women were incredibly beautiful but the way they used their bodies to celebrate their sexuality, it didn't make me jealous of their stunning figures – it made me want to rip of my clothes and jump up on stage with them in my non-matching Primark undies!

Great food and cocktails, beautiful performers and a compère that made me laugh so hard I thought I had given myself a hernia at one point - I couldn't recommend this evening more if I tried.

www.proudcabaretcity.com

Words by Melonie Clarke
Tags: Untagged

Tea for Two

Posted by Young Ladies About Town
Young Ladies About Town
Fiona Hicks has not set their biography yet
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on Wednesday, 10 April 2013
Afternoon tea, with its delicious scones, dainty sandwiches and tempting cakes is the ultimate traditional treat.

Now in its 28th year, The UK Tea Council's Tea Guild Awards (the Oscars of the tea world, with world) has awarded The Goring Hotel the highly coveted honour of Top London Afternoon Tea.

The Tea Guild judges dine anonymously and pay like regular clientele - follow strict guidelines and criteria that cover every aspect of the afternoon tea experience. The décor, the appropriateness of the crockery, staff attitude and tea knowledge, efficiency of service, overall ambience and very importantly how the tea itself is served are all taken into account.

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The Goring gained a near perfect score from the Tea Guild's very impressed judges this year. Guests can enjoy an elegant afternoon tea by a roaring fire in the hotel's lounge. In warmer weather The Goring boasts a delightful garden, offering one of the few al fresco afternoon teas in the capital.

Afternoon tea at The Goring consists of dainty finger sandwiches, homemade buttery scones, and numerous hand-crafted patisseries, all served with an excellent selection of carefully selected and perfectly brewed teas.

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Head of The Tea Guild Irene Gorman said: "Afternoon tea at The Goring Hotel is a truly special experience. The elegant surroundings and faultless presentation make it a memorable occasion aided by friendly, efficient and knowledgeable staff. It is easy to understand why this leading establishment attracts so many, of all ages, to take afternoon tea."

Food and Beverage manager at The Goring Stuart Geddes said "As a proud member of The Tea Guild we are delighted and honoured to receive this prestigious award. All of the staff at The Goring Hotel are passionate about creating a memorable guest experience and when it comes to serving the perfect afternoon tea, we strive to get every detail just right."

To book your afternoon tea at The Goring visit www.thegoring.com or call 020 7396 9000


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