What more apt rendezvous for a fragrance-focused tea than Covent Garden’s Floral Hall? Nowadays, of course, it’s a beautiful conservatory-style space wtihin The Royal Opera House, renamed the Paul Hamlyn Hall – but until just a few decades ago, the Floral Hall was home to London’s flower-sellers (as immortalised in My Fair Lady, and Audrey Hepburn’s Cockney violet posy-vendor).
The latest in a series of themed teas (we obeyed orders to ‘Drink Me’ and ‘Eat Me’ during the Alice in Wonderland Cream Tea season, at Christmas), it’s now possible to enjoy a most fragrant teatime outing with L’Occitane, inspired by their La Collection de Grasse.
The menu has been created by Helena Puolakka (formerly of Gordon Ramsay’s Aubergine) to accent the citrus elements which are woven through La Collection – Jasmin & Bergamote, Néroli & Orchidée or Thé Vert & Bigarade, accenting the top notes in each scent.
Think: finger sandwiches of native lobster with citrus and dill creme fraiche in lemon thyme brioche. Think: elderflower and mandarine amandine… (Echoing the orange and mandarin used as a top note in each scent.)
Think: Champagne baba, with rose petals and Ruinart… (Note: if you’re veggie, vegan or have food intolerances, they’ll happily cater to this, too.)
Naturally there are fragrant teas to sip – but we have our sights set on the sweet Melissa Mojito, with Belvedere vodka infused with melissa, peony, wild rosehip petals, fresh mint and lime. (And no, we’re not really expecting to get any work done afterwards.)
The finishing touch? To enhance the experience, you can spritz yourself with a complimentary bottle of one of the three La Collection de Grasse scents, which is yours to take home…
The Limited Edition La Collection de Grasse Afternoon Tea can be enjoyed throughout the month of May, prices from £75 for tea for two.
To book, go to www.roh.org.uk