Free flowing champagne afternoon tea may be all the rage nowadays, but if you’re looking for a sophisticated alternative to alcohol, then look no further than cocktails featuring Seedlip.
The two blends – Garden and Spice – are the world’s first distilled non-alcoholic spirit which solves the ever-growing need for a proper grown up drink. And luxury hotel, Lancaster London, has now officially launched a specialist menu of alcohol-free cocktails featuring Seedlip. And it goes mighty fine with their offerings of afternoon ARTea.
The brand, which has been championed by some of the world’s most celebrated bartenders and Michelin-starred chefs, had me excited about it so I went along to the Lounge Bar to sample it alongside their tempting ARTea. So while my guest Melanie mulled over which champagne to go for, I learned about this mysterious Seedlip blend.
Seedlip, the name of the type of basket used for holding seeds, offers two unique blends to mix up a perfect non-alcoholic tipple. The Seedlip Spice 94 combines six individually-distilled barks, spices and citrus peels to create a complex, earthy blend which can be served long or short. The Seedlip Garden 108 is a fresh and floral blend, created by combining five distilled fresh herbs including hay, pea, spearmint, rosemary and thyme.
Out of the six new unique beverages – all using zero-calorie Seedlip blends – my decision was swayed by the spicier affair of the Seedlip Spice 94 & Fever Tree Indian Tonic served long with pink grapefruit zest garnish. On a cold winter’s day, not only was this delicious, but it was also incredibly warming. The other drinks on the menu include Seedlip Garden 108 & Elderflower Tonic, Seedlip Spice Martini, Curds Away with lemon curd, Seedlip Garden 108 & Apple Soda and Spice and Sour.
And while the cocktails were certainly creative, the innovative afternoon ARTea was a real piece of art. The delicious post lunch treat was born out of the hotel’s affinity with London’s thriving art scene. Not only are the walls adorned with the works of emerging and local artists, but the waiters wear paint-themed aprons to serve the edible delights to fit in with the whole experience.
A selection of cakes, pastries with edible images of art and finger sandwiches were served to us in beautifully crafted wooden painters boxes. But the real touch for me was the freshly baked scones which arrived on painting slates alongside jam and clotted cream concealed in 30ml paint tubes. Now that would be enough to get anyone’s creative side out.
Lancaster London’s ARTea and Seedlip Cocktails – Where and How?
Lancaster London, Lancaster Terrace, London W2 2TY, 020 7551 6000, www.lancasterlondon.com
Prices for the ARTea start from £35 per person while the Seedlip cocktails start at £7.
By Sabi Phagura