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Sanctum Soho

For the ladies afternoon tea is a stand of cucumber sandwiches, fondant fancies, scones and chocolate cakes but recently a contemporary London hotel has created a Gentleman’s afternoon tea which feature much more Gentlemanly fare.

Included in an extensive offering of “The Ultimate Indulgence” at Soho’s Sanctum Hotel is a groaning board which would suit a Gentleman with an extremely healthy appetite and a regular gym habit.

Tea includes a seared steak on sourdough toast, a mini smoked salmon bagel, a mini beef burger and a roast beef stuffed Yorkshire pudding. For those with a sweet tooth this is topped off with a twice baked chocolate fudge cake with Jack Daniels Ice cream. You may also enjoy a cup of tea of coffee or chose to wash it down with a tankard of Jack Daniels ‘Gentleman’s Jack’. If that wasn’t enough there is a fine cigar to puff on as you survey the debris and avoid counting the calories.

The cost for this wonderful repast is £50 and on the basis that I don’t suppose you could come anywhere near doing it justice if you had any lunch I think that represents great value.

The Sanctum tea is possibly a once in a lifetime experience and certainly not something you could consider on a regular basis.

I suggest that the perfect Gentleman’s regular afternoon tea is simplicity itself. A large pot of piping hot Lapsang souchong or Darjeeling made from leaf tea and drunk in a china cup with accompanied by a round or two of hot buttered white toast very lightly spread with Pattum paperium, or Gentleman’s relish.

Gentleman’s relish is a taste I acquired when very young when taking tea at my Grandmother’s house. Although quintessentially English, it is a descendant of the ancient Roman condiment, garum and is still being made to a secret recipe first formulated back in 1828. It has a very distinctive flavour, a very salty dish which will draw you back to your bowl of tea to slake your thirst.

Paul Rothe & Son entranceOne of my favourite places in London to take a beautiful and unfussy mug of tea and a slice of toast is Paul Rothe & Son  at 35 Marylebone Lane

They produce excellent tea & hot buttered toast and although its not on the menu they do sell Gentleman’s relish so the answer has to be to buy your tea and toast and a small pot of Gentleman’s relish and spread the toast yourself. The advantage is that you will have some to take home for the following day.

It’s highly addictive and perfectly Gentlemanly.  


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