That’s (Speak)Easy For You To Say | Blind Spot’s Speakeasy Cocktail Tea, St Martins Lane hotel
Last week was National Afternoon Tea Week (14-20 August). As always we are willing to jump on a trend and join in the fun and where better a place to have fun than at the Blind Spot at St Martins Lane hotel. Their new Speakeasy Cocktail Tea really was just too good an opportunity to miss.
We know just how good sbe are at afternoon teas, we’ve visited the Sanderson for their famous Mad Hatter’s tea party. And if this Speakeasy Cocktail Tea was anywhere near as good then we’d be in for a real treat.
St Martins Lane hotel has changed a fair amount since our last visit, which involved a rickshaw ride and ‘grown-up’ hot chocolate – but that’s a different story. The Light Bar has been replaced by the Blind Spot – a secret bar set behind the façade of a boutique tea counter. Accessible via a subtle door with a not so subtle blinging golden hand-shaped handle (be patient, as almost everyone stops for an Instagram moment at this point).
Blind Spot is in stark contrast to its predecessor, a dimly lit late-night speakeasy serving signature cocktails influenced by the British Empire and its ancient tea trade. The bar also offers live music and a great little nibbles menu, I particularly liked the sound of the crispy chilli beef sliders (£12) and the Cuban Cornish pasty (£8).
But we were here for the Speakeasy Cocktail Tea, not served in the traditional afternoon time slot but in ‘giddy beginnings’ of the evening. The tea is served in an abstract framed box of savoury and sweet delights and a side of three beautiful mini tea inspired cocktails.
Savoury highlights were definitely the bite size Mini quiche Lorraine’s and the warm, flakey, buttery deliciousness which were the Spinach and feta feuilletés. Whilst the Mini brioche buns filled with crayfish and mango were, in comparison, a little dry.
The sweet selection will tempt your taste buds too – the Passion fruit passõa macarons were light and moist (unlike the crumbly efforts that most establishments try to pass as macarons) and the Chocolate Bailey’s cake with praline and coffee liqueur were perfectly fine. But it was the Dulce panna cotta which was the show stopper – a miniature work of art with its beautiful chocolate butterfly, candied pecan nuts and backberry compote with Chambord.
This came served with three bespoke cocktails inspired by the British Empire. The Teetotaller cocktail was my friend and I’s winner – chamomile-infused Grey Goose vodka, lemon sherbet and white vermouth syrup, it somehow managing to tick both the sweet and sour boxes. Next was the Have The Bee’s with Bacardi Carta D’oro rum, pineapple spicy mix and Darjeeling syrup – a fiery little tipple, we’d love to know just what’s in that ‘secret’ spicy mix.
Finally was the amusingly named Giggle Water with Bombay Sapphire gin, rose Champagne, peach syrup and infused with English summer tea – maybe a little too sweet, fruity and syrupy for us. But it definitely won the beauty contest thanks to its garnish of red currents and thinly sliced strawberry.
For us, a trio of cocktails and that delicious dulce panna cotta is a much more preferable way to celebrate National Afternoon Tea Week than a couple of scones and a pot of Earl Grey – although this was an evening and the only tea present was infused in the alcohol.
Now then, what’s the next ‘national food day’ that we need to celebrate?
Served Sunday to Thursday from 7pm – 9pm in Blind Spot at St Martins Lane. £35 per person.
Age Policy Access to the bar is limited to those 21 or older
Visit their site here
45 St. Martin’s Lane
London, WC2N 4HX
Telephone: 020 7300 5500
Hours of operation: Daily 12:00pm until 5:00pm
Nearest station: Leicester Square Station (2 mins walk) Charing Cross Station (5 mins walk)
We ate as guests of The Blind Spot, this does not affect our review in any way. We always write with complete honesty.